Paolo Sorrentino, the Oscar-winning director of “The Great Beauty” and “The Hand of God,” is set to preside over the jury of the Marrakech International Film Festival. The popular fest will make a comeback this year after a pair of editions were canceled due to the pandemic. The upcoming fest will take place Nov. 11-19.
Sorrentino’s jury will award the Étoile d’Or to one of 14 feature-length films set to compete at the festival, which aims at showcasing rising filmmakers from around the world. The helmer follows the footsteps of prestigious directors and talents such as Martin Scorsese and Tilda Swinton, who presided over previous years.
“The Marrakech Film Festival is for me the place where the dream of watching numerous films with Martin Scorsese, and of spending days talking about cinema with him and other talented colleagues, came true,” Sorrentino said in a statement. “I believe — I want to believe — that cinemas will fill up again, and I am sure that many wonderful films will be released soon.”
The helmer said he wanted to “witness this revival from such a symbolic place. To discover the cinema of tomorrow from such an interesting cultural and geographical point of view, will be an additional gift. ”
Morroco boasts one of the Arab world’s most vibrant film cultures and industries, and hosts many U.S. and international film shoots every year.
A revered filmmaker and screenwriter, Sorrentino has had six films play at Cannes, including jury prize-winning “Il Divo,” “This Must Be the Place” starring Sean Penn and Frances McDormand, the Oscar-winning “The Great Beauty” and the Oscar-nominated “Youth,” starring Michael Caine and Paul Dano. Sorrentino made his TV debut with “The Young Pope,” which was nominated for a Golden Globe and two Emmy Awards. Sorrentino’s most recent feature, “The Hand of God,” won the grand jury prize at the Venice Film Festival last year before earning an Oscar nomination.