The first Moroccan Film Festival, hosted by the High Atlas Foundation, was a great success, drawing a crowd of 175 people for the opening night film and kick-off reception on Friday, October 29th and nearly 500 people for the following day’s nine feature length films.
Guests were welcomed on opening night with Moroccan tea and cookies and after the film screening were treated to a selection of Moroccan wines and hors d’oeuvres, all sponsored by the Moroccan National Tourist Office. Opening remarks included those by Deputy Mayor of New York Stephen Goldsmith, who also read a letter on behalf of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and words of encouragement and praise for the festival delivered by Mohamed Karmoune, General Consul at the Moroccan Consulate in New York. Dr. Yossef Ben-Meir, President of HAF, addressed the audience and reflected on the ten years of HAF’s community-driven development work in Morocco, and presented the organization’s 2011 projects.
We were delighted that Ahmed El Maanouni, Director of Burned Hearts, and Izza Génini, Director of the short documentary Moussem joined us on Friday evening to do a Q&A session with guests that was moderated by actress Soumaya Akaaboune, best known for her most recent role in the international hit film Green Zone. Hakim Belabbes, Director of In Pieces, and Younes Abouyoub, advisor to I love Hip Hop in Morocco, were both present on Saturday to do Q&A for their films.
A special thank you to all of the first’s festival partners and sponsors: Le Centre Cinématographique Marocain (CCM), Ecole Supérieure des Arts Visuels de Marrakech, Moroccan American Center Cultural Center, Moroccan National Tourist Office, Screen International, Sofitel Hotel New York, Vogue magazine, and Western Union. Please view coverage of the festival by 2M (beginning at minute 15:50).
For the second film festival on October 28th-29th, 2011 HAF is seeking sponsoring support of $100,000 in order to stage another highly memorable and celebratory festival event, bring exposure of Moroccan filmmakers to the United States, and raise awareness and critical support to meet community development needs in Morocco, including in clean drinking water, fruit tree agriculture, women and youth empowerment initiatives, and training in participatory planning and management.
As an event sponsor, you will not only support and be associated with HAF’s development efforts that are national examples of local sustainability in Morocco, but also caring institutions and individuals in the United States and Morocco will recognize your concern and participation. HAF events and projects receive extensive media coverage, including articles in American and Moroccan press, television interviews, such as New York’s WNBC-TV, NY1, and hundreds of electronic distributors operating in the U.S. and Morocco.
To download the invitation to sponsor the 2011 Moroccan Film festival, please click here. To become a volunteer for the festival event, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you.