Martin Scorsese Named President of Marrakech Film Fest Jury

Martin Scorsese

Says Scorsese: "Lois Smith was a legend: warm, wise, funny and generous -- one of the sharpest people in the business. She was my friend, and I am lucky to have known and worked with her."

It will be the third time that the director, who shot two movies in the country, will be at the Moroccan festival.

Martin Scorsese will head up the Marrakech Film Festival feature film jury when the annual event takes place in the Moroccan city later this year.

It's shaping up to be a busy month for the director, who will premiere his latest feature, awards season drama The Wolf of Wall Street, on Nov. 14.

"I'm very happy to be this year's jury president," said Scorsese in a statement. "I have made two films in Morocco, during which time I came to admire the spirit of the Moroccan people and the beauty of their culture. I am eager to discover the movies coming from all around the world to this unique festival."

Scorsese filmed The Last Temptation of Christ in the country in 1988 and Kundun at the Atlas Film Studios in Ouarzazate in 1995.

He previously attended the festival in 2007, when he presented The Aviator with Leonardo DiCaprio and inaugurated the master class program at the festival, and in 2005, when the festival organized a career tribute for the Oscar-winning director.

The festival will run from Nov. 29 through Dec. 7.