Magharebia, by Naoufel Cherkaoui (Salé, Morocco, Sept. 27, 2012) – The 6th Annual Women’s International Film Festival came to a close on September 22nd in the northern Moroccan city of Salé. Twelve films from Europe, America, Asia and Africa competed in the six-day event, organised by Association Bouregreg.
Women from India, Iran, France, Burkina Faso, South Korea and Morocco took part in the jury panel, in an expression of Morocco’s goal of cultural exchange.
“Round after round, the festival has become of a level that makes it an event with an international touch, especially with its professional organization,” Morocco’s Minister of Culture Amine Sbihi told Magharebia. “We’re proud to have this very popular festival. The city of Salé with its old history has enough innovation and potential to qualify it to be a city of culture par excellence.”
“The multiple nationalities that are taking part in the festival express Morocco’s cultural openness on the one hand, and on the other hand, this shows that cultural diversity was adopted as one of the criteria in this festival,” he added.
For his part, cinema critic Omar Belkhemmar told Magharebia, “The importance of this festival lies in its interest in women’s cinema. In addition, it’s an international event that attracts films from different world countries; something that allows those who attend the festival to watch different experiences and visions on women and their conditions in different countries.”
Actress Amina Rachid, who received a tribute at this year’s festival, talked about its importance. “This honour is for all Moroccan women who work in every field of art. The organisation of a festival dedicated to women’s cinema makes us more proud of the valuable efforts that Morocco has made with its public and private sectors to promote cinema on the international, local and regional levels.”
“We also become more determined when we watch a group of films produced, basically by women’s efforts, in different world countries,” she added. “We become even happier when we welcome in each round of this international event members of jury who are part of the audio-visual sector.”
In his turn, festival president Noureddine Chmao said, “In this round of the festival, we decided to select the participating films carefully. We were also very careful in our choice of members of jury, who were selected from among very famous women in this field. Through this festival, we want to build a cinematic event that can create a place for this festival among other cinema festivals.”
Moroccan director Azlarab Alaoui, who won the jury award for his film “Androman… De Sang et de Charbon”, told Magharebia: “I think that winning an award in a festival where the jury members are all women is a win for humanity in general. The film defends women, but it basically defends human identity. I had no doubt that those women would choose the film that talks to senses, feelings and identity, and I think they’ve made the right choice.”