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Marrakech festival sets debuts

Saghafi, Armendariz films in lineup of 15

Morocco’s 11th Marrakech Film Festival has unveiled its 15-film competition lineup, including 12 debuts.

Highlights include Amir Hossein Saghafi’s Iranian retribution pic “Death Is My Profession,” Montxos Armendariz’s child abuse drama “Don’t Be Afraid,” Michale Boganim’s Chernobyl disaster piece “Land of Oblivion,” Mark Jackson’s caregiver drama “Without” and Justin Kurzel’s serial killer pic “Snowtown.”

Out of competition titles include Jean-Jacques Annaud’s epic oil-feud story “Black Gold,” Ami Canaan Mann’s crime drama “Texas Killing Fields” and Nobuhiro Yamashita’s political thriller “My Back Page.”

This year’s opening and closing films are Moroccan: Narjiss Nejjar’s thwarted love story “The Rif Lover,” and Faouzi Bensaidi’s noir heist pic “Death for Sale.” The Mexican cinema tribute includes Pablo Aldrete’s “River of Gold,” Gerardo Naranjo’s “Miss Bullet,” and Arturo Ripstein’s “The Virgin of Lust.”

Jury prexy Emir Kusturica, Annaud, Sigourney Weaver, Jessica Chastain and Diego Luna are among the red-carpet guests.

The Marrakech Film Festival runs Dec. 2-10.

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