Salé Women’s Film Festival: Mati Diop opens the ball

The Salé International Women’s Film Festival returns for its 15th edition, from September 26 to October 1, with Senegal as guest of honor. Organized under the High Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, this edition is very specific in more ways than one, as it will take place within the framework of “Rabat, African Capital of Culture 2022”, as it comes two years after the suspension of the festival due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Bouregreg Association, organizer of this major cinematographic event, is planning a program whose creativity plunges into the African continent. Knowing that throughout its course, the festival has, as the organizers point out, “hosted many film productions in which African women occupy a prominent place and carry the banner of originality, while assuming leading roles in captivating films, and championing the cause of African cinema”. And to add that the celebration of the African Year in Morocco will be an opportunity to deepen the reflection on the experience of African women in the seventh art, in particular through round tables, meetings and other activities in parallel. “We aim to deepen the links between cinema and human hopes, especially since cinema in general, and women’s cinema in particular, have always taught us that hope gives life”. Thus, several themes related to women and Africa will be addressed in the many activities of the festival, namely the two official competitions, feature films and documentaries. Two other competitions for the “Young Audience Prize” are devoted to “Un certain regard” on Moroccan feature films and short films.

But it’s not over, because the program for this edition also includes a panorama of sub-Saharan cinema, an open meeting on African cinema, with a testimony from Catherine Ruelle, and a debate around the book. “Africas 50: Singularities of a plural cinema”. Then, a seminar on “The love of cinema in Morocco: from cinephilia to criticism”, organized in partnership with the Moroccan Association of Film Critics, the National Federation of Film Clubs in Morocco, the African Federation of film critic and the International Federation of Cinematographic Press (FIPRESCI). Furthermore, this year’s filmmaker dialogue will take place between director Yassine Marco Marroccu (Morocco) and producer Andrea Taschler (Hungary). However, the film-loving public of the festival will be entitled to other new sections created for this edition, such as the open meeting around the book “The image of women in Arab cinema”, through an exchange with members of the Aswan Women’s Film Festival.
The other novelty concerns parity in the cinema through the holding of workshops “The other shore”, coordinated by Khaoula Assebab Benomar, filmmaker, director, writer and activist for women’s rights.
However, this year’s Carte Blanche will be between producer and director Marianne Khoury and her daughter, director Sara Shazli.
Note that the film “Atlantic” by Mati Diop, presented in tribute to the guest of honor, Senegal, was released in 2019. It was presented in official competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 2019, where it won the Cannes Grand Prix, Cannes Film Festival Jury Prize, César for Best First Film and Palme d’Or.

Works to present

  • “Fragments of cinematographic memory” by writer and director Saâd Chraïbi.
  • “Sacred women, in the footsteps of the saints of Morocco” by the architect, writer and researcher in Sufism Yasmina Sbihi.
  • “A Life in Black and White” by writer and poet Aicha Ammor.
  • “Irony in the time of Corona” by writer, journalist and critic Hassan Narrais.
  • “Famous women of Salé in the 20th century” by the modern history teacher-researcher Mohammed Saâdiyin.
  • • “Film criticism between theory and practice” by critic Mohammed Benaziz.
  • “Zahrat Larnage” by the writer and associative actor in the field of the environment, Hasnaa Chehabi.
  • Official Feature Film Competition Jury
  • Marianne Khoury, producer, director, Egypt – President.
  • Martine Ndiaye, director of the Women’s Film Festival – Africa, Senegal, France.
  • Fatym Layachi, actress, director, columnist – Morocco.
  • Amélie van Elmbt, director – Belgium.
  • Caroline Cuénod, director – Switzerland, Denmark.

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Salé Women’s Film Festival: Mati Diop opens the ball