Iranian director Emad Aleebrahim Dehkordi wins the Golden Star at the Marrakech Film Festival

Chaired by Paolo Sorrentino, the jury of the 19e edition of the event rewarded the first feature film by the filmmaker, who dedicated his prize “to the young generation who risk their lives for freedom”.

The young Iranian director Emad Aleebrahim Dehkordi won the Golden Star on Saturday evening, the supreme award of the Marrakech International Film Festival (FIFM), with his film Black Knightdedicating its award to “all the women of Iran”.

I want to pay tribute to all those who have lost their lives fighting to regain the freedom to be themselves“said the filmmaker, in reference to the revolt in Iran which broke out more than two months ago after the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurd who died on September 16 after being arrested for not wearing the veil. “I dedicate my award to all the women of Iran and the young generation who risk their lives for freedom,” added the 43-year-old director.

Iran has been facing a wave of protests since the death of the young woman on September 16, which sparked unprecedented protests against the strict dress code imposed by the Islamic Republic. At least 378 people were killed in the repression of the demonstrations, according to a new report released on Saturday by the NGO Iran Human Rights (IHR), based in Norway. Black Knight (2022), the first feature film by Emad Aleebrahim Dehkordi, explores the life of a young Iranian, living in Shemroon, north of Tehran, who switches to the dark side while trying to make easy money.

Chaired by the Italian director Paolo Sorrentino and composed in particular of the French actor Tahar Rahimby the Lebanese director Nadine Labaki or the German-American actress Diane Krugerthe FIFM jury awarded the prize for directing to the drama Lightning (2022), by Swiss filmmaker Carmen Jaquier. The jury prize was awarded ex-aequo to two directors: the Moroccan Maryam Touzani for The Blue of the Caftanrepresenting Morocco at the Oscars, and the Portuguese Cristèle Alves Meira for Alma Viva.

Korean actress Choi Seung-yoon won the Best Actress award for her role in Riceboy Sleeps by Canadian director Anthony Shim. The Best Actor Award went to Indonesian actor Arswendy Bening Swara for Autobiography of his compatriot Makbul Mubarak.

An abundance of drama

In the selection, there were only dramas, maybe the new directors are interested in dramatic subjects“, commented for AFP Paolo Sorrentino. In addition, during the closing night of the festival, a tribute was paid to the actress-producer Tilda Swintonalways daring.

“It is the chance of my life to have found the secret door to an existence where I make films alongside some of the greatest contemporary filmmakers. When you honor me, you honor my comrades”confided the actress, citing among other things Pedro Almodovar and Wes Anderson.

The Marrakech film festival was back from November 11-19 after a two-year absence due to the pandemic. The red carpet was rolled out there for big names in cinema like Isabelle Huppert, Jim Jarmusch Where Leos Carax.

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