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Korean film nabs gold as Marrakech fest ends

MARRAKECH, Morocco, Dec 8, (KUNA): The film “Han Gong-Ju” for South Korean director Lee Su-jin was announced the Gold Star winner of the 13th Marrakech International Film Festival, co-organized by the Marrakech International Film Festival Foundation and Le Public Systeme Cinema. The judging panel announced the winner Saturday night. The film “The Swimming Pool” by director Carlos Machado Quintela, a Cuban- Venezuelan production, had to share the Jury Prize with US production “Blue Ruin” by director Jeremy Saulnier. Prize for best direction went to Italian director Andera Pallaoro for the film “Medeas”. Meanwhile prize for best performance went to Swedish actress Alicia Vikander for her role in the film “Hotell”, and best actor was Moroccan Slimane Dazi for his role in “Fevers”. The winner of this festival’s Gold Star, Korean film “Han Gong-Ju” is about a high school girl who gets caught in scandal due to no fault of her own and is forced to change schools and leave her parents’ home. The film shows her plight till one new friend finds out that she is a good singer and gets her into the school singing club. This is the first time the film was screened beyond South Korea, and it is also the first feature film by director Lee Su-jin, who is also the screenwriter.

Received Born in South Korea, his short film Papa in 2004 was invited to the 2005 Busan Film Festival and received the Korean Film Archive Award at Seoul Independent Film Festival. His following short Enemy’s Apple in 2007 was awarded Best Film at the Mise-en-scene’s Short Film Festival in Korea. The awards ceremony was a starstudded event and the judging panel, headed by US director, screenwriter, and producer Martin Scorsese praised the excellence in all categories in the films considered for the prizes of the 13th festival. The judges acknowledged that the films touched on humane, social, and other sensitive issues and addressed difficult topics. The judging panel included Fatih Akin, a director, screenwriter, and producer in Germany and Turkey; Patricia Clarkson, an actress in the US; Marion Cotillard, an actress from France; Amat Escalante, a director, screenwriter, and producer from Mexico; Golshifteh Farahani, an actress from Iran; Anurag Kashyap, a director, producer, and screenwriter from India; Narjiss Nejjar, a director, screenwriter, and producer from Morocco; Park Chan- Wook, a director, screenwriter, and producer from South Korea; and Paolo Sorrentino, a director, screenwriter, and writer from Italy. The festival, held under the auspices of the Moroccan king, screened 15 films over eight days

Competition The films in competition were “Yurusenai Aitai” from Japan, “Pelo Malo” or “Bad Hair” from Venezuela, “Blue Ruin” from the US, “Han Gong-Ju” from South Korea, “Hotel” from Sweden, “How I Live Now” from the UK, “IDA” from Poland, “and “La Marche” from France. The other films were “Medeas” from the US, “The Gambler” from Lithuania, “The Swimming Pool” from Cuba, “The Wishful Thinkers” from Spain, “Viva La Liberta” from Italy, and Moroccan joint productions “Fevers” produced with French collaboration and “Traitors” produced with US collaboration. This year’s festival paid tribute to Scandinavian cinema and artists, and also honored Sharon Stone, actress, US; Kore-Eda Hirokazu, director, producer, and Screenwriter, Japan; Juliette Binoche, actress, France; and Mohamed Khouyi, actor, Morocco.

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