The Marrakech Film Festival

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Having just wrapped its fifth year, the festival still lacks a solid identity. For one thing, it still hasn't settled on a date. It began in September 2001, each year it has hopscotched across the fall calendar, settling this year in November, just after Ramadan. But more importantly, it still doesn't know what it wants to be when it grows up. And yet it seems to want to be all things at once. Marrakech longs to generate the hype and glamour of Cannes, to support emerging talent like Sundance, to be taken as seriously by Hollywood as Toronto and to provide as unique and intriguing a setting as Venice.

But like any five-year-old, it is still learning and stumbling toward its goal. This is not to say it hasn't met with some success. The involvement of the Tribeca Institute provides a stamp of legitimacy through its Directors Table workshops, bringing young filmmakers together with venerable directors like Martin Scorsese and Abbas Kiarostami for a once in a lifetime opportunity to exchange ideas in this intimate setting.

February 25, 2006 new by giorgio

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