– Meryam Joobeur triumphed, alongside Mo Harawe and Mia Bendrimia in the post-production category; Halima Ouardiri, Rokhaya Marieme Balde, Fradique and Sammy Baloji, in the development strand

Motherhood is among the winners of the Atlas Workshop in Marrakech

The winners of the 2023 Atlas Workshop

Unspooling between 27 and 30 November within the Marrakech International Film Festival, the 6th edition of the Atlas Workshops (directed by Rémi Bonhomme) saw 300 international professionals coming together around a selection of 16 projects in development and 10 films currently in the shooting or post-production phase. It’s a wholly justified level of enthusiasm for an event which has supported 136 projects and films since its inception, many of which have gone on to feature in major festivals, notably four in Cannes in May of this year (Hounds [+see also:
film review
interview: Kamal Lazraq
film profile
by Kamal Lazraq, La mère de tous les mensonges by Asmae El Moudir, Inshallah A Boy [+see also:
film review
film profile
by Amjad Al Rasheed and Deserts [+see also:
film review
interview: Faouzi Bensaïdi
film profile
by Faouzi Bensaïdi).

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This year, the jury for the post-production Atlas awards (composed of Ava Cahen, Meriem Benm’Barek and Mohamed Hefzy) singled out Motherhood by Canadian-Tunisian director Meryam Joobeur as their winner, a debut feature film following Aicha who has the gift of prophetic dreams. She lives in an isolated village in northern Tunisia with her husband Brahim and their youngest son Adam. The family has been living in a state of angst since their eldest children decided to sign up to the violence of war. Months later, Mehdi returns home without warning, accompanied by a mysterious pregnant woman called Reem. Their arrival re-opens old wounds and plunges them into a darkness which threatens to consume the entire village…

Another two first films reigned triumphant at the event: The Village Next To Paradise by Somalia’s Mo Harawe and the documentary The Magma by French-Algerian director Mia Bendrimia (produced by France’s Nazar Films in co-production with Algeria’s 19, Mulholland Drive).

For their part, the jury for the development Atlas awards (composed of Katrin Pors, Sarah Chazelle and Fayçal Hassaïri Ladjimi) chose to honour four projects, primarily the debut feature film Amnesia by the Palestinian director based in Berlin Dima Hamdan.

And another two first feature films in development also scooped awards, namely The Camel Driving School by Swiss-Moroccan filmmaker Halima Ouardiri, and The Passion of Aline by Senegal’s Rokhaya Marieme Balde. The winners’ list in the development category was rounded off by a second feature film project called Hold Time For Me by Angolan director Fradique.

Last but not least, the ArteKino International Prize was won by Il Padre selvaggio. This debut feature film in development, directed by Sammy Baloji, is a modern-day, Congo-based adaptation of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s eponymous work, namely a screenplay penned in 1962 for an unreleased film.

The full list of winners is as follows:

Atlas Post-Production Award (30,000 euros)
Motherhood – Meryam Joobeur (Tunisia/France/Canada)
Production: Sarra Ben Hassen (Instinct Bleu), Tanit Films, Midi La Nuit
Sales: Luxbox

Atlas Post-Production Award (20,000 euros)
The Village Next To Paradise – Mo Harawe (Austria/Germany/France/Somalia)              
Production: Sabine Moser and Oliver Neumann (FreibeuterFilm), NikoFilm, Kazak Productions, Maanmaal ACC

Atlas Post-Production Award (10,000 euros)
The Magma – Mia Bendrimia (France/Algeria)      
Production: Kira Simon-Kennedy (Nazar Films)

Atlas Development Award (30,000 euros)
Amnesia – Dima Hamdan (Palestine/Sweden)        
Production: Tony Copti (Fresco Films), Laika Film Productions and Television

Atlas Development Award (20,000 euros)
The Camel Driving School – Halima Ouardiri (France/Canada/Morocco)
Production: Margaux Juvénal (Indie Prod), Take Shelter, Art & Essai

Atlas Development Award (5,000 euros)
The Passion of Aline – Rokhaya Marieme Balde (Switzerland/Senegal)
Production: Chantal Scheiner (Seeland Filmproduktion)

Atlas Development Award (5,000 euros)
Hold Time For Me (Segura para min o tempo) – Fradique (Germany/Spain/Angola)
Production: Laura Kloeckner (Seera Films), Migranta Films, Uika Filmes

ArteKino International Prize (6,000 euros)      
Il Padre selvaggio – Sammy Baloji (Belgium/Italy/Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Production: Rosa Spaliviero (Twenty Nine Studio & Production), Red House

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(Translated from French)

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