It was an Australian success story that the biggest room of Palais des Congrès has witnessed on Tuesday night December 5th. The heroes were the 22-person delegation of actors, directors, and producers present for the Marrakech Film Festival’s country tribute.
Australia has been at the forefront of the fest’s 18th edition – Australian actor Naomi Watts officially opened the festival and British actor Tilda Swinton, this year’s jury president, has a family link to the country since her mother was born in New South Wales.
Swinton introduced the delegation with a passionate speech “We have the blessed opportunity in Marrakech this week to celebrate the particular contribution to our world of cinema of our compadres from pretty much the furthest reach we could span. A formidable and magnificent band of filmmakers from Australia has rolled into town, bearing a generous sampling of their bounty.”
On stage, the 22 Aussie filmmakers – including Gillian Armstrong, Abbie Cornish, Simon Baker, Ben Mendelsohn, David Michôd, Geoffrey Rush,…– received a standing ovation, from a good-spirited and jovial audience.
Director Gillian Armstrong spoke on behalf of her colleagues, thanking the festival foundation and then added jokingly “If you give them a free ticket, they’ll go anywhere.”
She highlighted the achievement of building an Australian film industry over the last 50 years. And listed key talents in the Australian film industry, including women filmmakers, an increasing central force in the industry.
The delegation then received a trophy before exiting the stage. The screening of George Miller’s “Mad Max” then followed.