Over 21 full-length films and 40 short ones officially competed in the festivals, displaying the creativity of young filmmakers. It was also an opportunity for the exchange of ideas and experiences between professionals and young pioneers in the field.
Moroccan cinema has been recognized in many international festivals, where Moroccan productions have been awarded prizes.
The most awarded film is undoubtedly “L'enfant endormi” (The Sleeping Child), which won has been granted over 22 prizes.
"The Sleeping Child" was awarded First Prize during the National Film Festival in Tangiers, Best Film Prize at Bos'Art Film Festival in France on Aug. 30, the Public Prize at the French-speaking 19th International Film Festival of Namur, Belgium (2004), and the "European Best Film" distinction at the Mostra of Venice (2004) given by the international art and essay confederation (CICAE).
‘Le Grand voyage', Ismail Ferroukhi's film, had a similar success. It has been screened during several international cinema meetings.
The director of the Moroccan Cinematographic Centre (CCM) has asserted on several occasions that the participation of Moroccan productions in international events is a recognition of Morocco's progress in the field.
“The year 2005 was marked by the 5th edition of The Marrakech Film Festival (FIFM)” said Sayel, adding that “the presidency of HRH Prince Moulay Rachid has contributed to the success of the event.”
For the director of CCM, the year 2005 stressed Morocco's willingness to improve its cinema.
Morocco, in collaboration with Italy, has implemented a project ,the "Dino De Laurentiis-Cinecitta" studios, which include two shooting sets, of 2,357 square metres each, four workshops for set decorations of 2,400 square metres each, three production workshops, a site for costumes and dresses and a restaurant with a capacity of 200 meals per hour.
The studios cost MAD 70 million, including MAD 20 million for equipment.
In an article entitled “Ouarzazate, New Hollywood”, the French weekly magazine “Voici” said that the most famous directors go to the southern Moroccan city to profit from many advantages, including good infrastructure, skillful carftsmen, cheap extras and natural decors.
The city, known among professionals as "Hollywood at the gates of the desert", has housed many international productions, including "Babel" which was directed by Mexican Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and Tony Scott's ‘Spy Game'.
“Morocco still represents an interesting destination for foreign directors, and the success of Ouarzazate's studios will not stop at this level. It will be improving through 2006, considering the number of shooting applications that the CCM received,” said Sayel.