On the penultimate night of the 13th Marrakech film festival, Harvey Weinstein hit the red carpet in the company of stars Alexandra Roach and Valeria Bilello for the Out of Competition screening of David Frankel’s “One Chance.”
“I’m here to support Alex and Valeria on this movie that we also produced,” he announced to surprised reporters.
“I’ve never been to Marrakech, so it’s super exciting.”
The screening was preceded by the Cinecoles short-film competition that offers a $30,000 prize awarded to the winning student film in order to make the next project.
The jury broke into a moondance, accompanied by the Michael Jackson track, before announcing the winner, “Bad,” by co-helmers Ayoub Lahnoud and Alaa Akaaboune.
Moroccan helmer, Noureddine Lakhmari, accepted to preside over the Cinecoles competition because he believes that supporting films by new talent is essential.
“We have great film schools in Morocco – young filmmakers with new voices and visions, who get us to rethink our works.”
The other Cinecoles jury members were French helmer Jan Kounen, Afghan director Atiq Rahimi and French thesps Astrid Berges-Frisbey and Sylvie Testud.
10 shorts were screened in the competition, half from Marrakech’s ESAV film school which Martin Scorsese helped set up in 2006.
The Cinecoles event also included encounters with talent attending the event, such as Danish actor, Mads Mikkelsen.
“Bad” tells the story of a young deaf-mute boy, Smayka, who lives in a poor neighborhood and can only communicate through violence. Love ultimately changes his outlook.
Interviewed by Variety after the award ceremony, Lakhmari explained that the film impressed the jury due to its strong directorial point-of-view, emotional force, visual prowess and authenticity.