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MARRAKECH 2022 Atlas Workshops

La mer au loin wins an award at the Atlas Workshops

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- Saïd Hamich Benlarbi, Katy Lena Ndiaye, Mamadou Dia, Dania Bdeir and Sameh Alaa scoop development prizes, and Luck Razanajaona, Amjad Al Rasheed and Boubacar Sangaré get the post-production ones

La mer au loin wins an award at the Atlas Workshops
Family photo of the award-winners at the 2022 Atlas Workshops

Unspooling 14 – 17 November as part of the Marrakech International Film Festival, the 5th edition of the Atlas Workshops saw 250 international professionals coming together around a selection of 16 projects in development and 6 films in the shooting or post-production phase.

The jury behind the Development Atlas Awards (composed of Lamia Chraibi, Nicole Gerhards and Farès Ladjimi) singled out four projects for prizes, notably La mer au loin (awarded 15,000 euros) which will be French-Moroccan director Saïd Hamich Benlarbi’s second feature film after Return to Bollene [+see also:
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(nominated for the 2018 Best First Film Louis-Delluc Prize). Written by the filmmaker, the story revolves around 27-year-old Nourqui who has immigrated illegally to Marseille and who gets by on petty crime, living a marginal and festive life with his friends. From 1990 to 2000, Nour loves, grows older and clings to his dreams, damaged by the melancholy of an irreversible exile...

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Another two second feature film projects also earned awards: Lënde by Senegal’s Katy Lena Ndiaye and Demba by her compatriot Mamadou Dia (much remarked upon for Le père de Nafi which walked away with the Best First Feature Film Award and the Golden Leopard in Locarno’s Cinéastes du Présent section in 2019), both of which bagged 5,000 euros. A feature film in development - Pigeon Wars by Lebanese-Candian director Dania Bdeir – also did itself proud, scooping 10,000 euros.

The International Arte Kino Award (6,000 euros), meanwhile, went to Whale Belly, which is Egyptian director Sameh Alaa’s first feature film project.

The jury for the Post-Production Atlas Awards (composed of Gaia Furrer, Éric Lagesse and Sébastien Onomo) handed 15,000 euros to Disco Afrika by Madagasca’s Luck Razanajaona, 25,000 euros to Inshallah a Boy by Jordan’s Amjad Al Rasheed (which also won a trophy in Venice’s Final Cut), and 10,000 euros to A Golden Life by Burkinabe director Boubacar Sangaré.

For the record, the Atlas Workshops (directed by Rémi Bonhomme) have supported 111 projects over the course of five editions, five of which were selected this year in Cannes (Ashkal [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Youssef Chebbi and Under the Fig Trees [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Erige Sehiri
film profile
]
by Erige Sehiri), Venice (The Damned Don’t Cry [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
by Fyzal Boulifa and Queens [+see also:
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film profile
]
by Yasmine Benkiran) and Locarno (Fragments from Heaven [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Adnane Baraka).

The full list of winners is as follows:

Atlas Development Prize
La mer au loin - Saïd Hamich Benlarbi (France/Morocco)
Production: Barney Production (Sophie Penson), The Jokers Films

Atlas Development Prize
Pigeon Wars - Dania Bdeir (Lebanon/Canada)
Production: Né à Beyrouth Films (Pierre Sarraf), Nava Projects

Atlas Development Prize
Demba - Mamadou Dia (Senegal)
Production: Joyedidi (Maba Ba)

Atlas Development Prize
Lënde - Katy Lena Ndiaye (Senegal)
Production: Tact Production (Oualid Baha), Sunuy Films, Neon Rouge

International ArteKino Award
Whale Belly - Sameh Alaa (Egypt)
Production: Studios S15 (Mark Lotfy), Fig Leaf Studios

Atlas Post-Production Award
Inshallah a Boy ­‐ Amjad Al Rasheed (Jordan)
Production: The Imaginarium Films (Rula Nasser), Bayt Shawareb

Atlas Post-Production Award
Disco Afrika - Luck Razanajaona (France/Madagascar/South Africa)
Production: We Film (Jonathan Rubin), Africamadavibe Production, Free Women Films

Atlas Post-Production Award
A Golden Life - Boubacar Sangaré (Benin/France/Burkina Faso)
Production: Merveilles Production (Faissol Gnonlonfin), Les Films de la Caravane, Imedia

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(Translated from French)

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