The Marrakech International Film Festival.

By Jennifer Niejadlik

MOROCCO-CINEMA-MARRAKECH-PADUKONE

 

The Moroccan city Marrakech, has come to be called “The Red City”. It’s beauty comes from its natural surroundings of the Atlas mountains and Saharan sands. I attended this year’s film festival in December with my talent agent and casting director Ineke De Vos. She has several clients in the area who had films screening at the festival.

Jennifer NiejadlikJennifer Niejadlik

We attended the premiere for “Half the Sky” starring Anas El Baz at the Palais Des Congres. The film was directed by Abdelkader Lagtaa and is the story of poet Abdellatif Laabi who is arrested in 1970, tortured and sent to prison for 10 years. His French school teacher wife, Jocelyne, struggles to fight for his release. UK actor Jeremy Irons and US actor Viggo Mortensen were honored this years. A few outside screening were held in the Place Jemaa El Fna. This square is also a market of food courts, snake charmers and monkey handlers. I made a new monkey friend and posed for a picture with the little animal. Actor Hami Belal had his days full filming UK TV series “Odyssey” but after his day wrapped he graciously made time to show us around the old city, Medina area.

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I also found time between meeting with local producers and production companies to shop in the famous Souks. This is where you find a maze of arts and crafts, rugs, leather bags, leather slippers, babouches, tea pots, spices, and Argan oil for your hair from the area. I spent part of a day getting lost inside and of course buying a few souvenirs. My female companions and I also took time for a little pampering at one of the public spas, Hammam Ziani. These spas are separate for women and men. We were welcomed with mint tea, and then guided to the spa area for an oil rub, steam, exfoliate, and massage. The experience was pure heaven. Mixing work and a little pleasure are always my kind of business trips.

 

By Jennifer Niejadlik

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3836286/

Jennifer Niejadlik

Jennifer Niejadlik

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