Emad Aleebrahim Dehkordi’s tale of brotherly ties and criminal debauchery “A Tale of Shemroon” won top honors at the Marrakech Film Festival on Saturday, closing a 19e edition that saw a robust and welcome return to in-person events after two years of pandemic-induced delays.
Dehkordi’s feature debut follows a pair of brothers drawn deeper into the drug trade as they deliver some illicit thrills to Tehran’s rich and partying youth. While it remains above all a family drama, the Marrakesh winner certainly evokes the simmering boredom felt by a young generation of Iranians, now boiling over in protest and anger on the real streets of Tehran.
Visibly moved, director Emad Aleebrahim accepted Dehkordi’s Etoile d’Or by dedicating the award to “all Iranians fighting for their freedoms, to those facing death sentences. This award is for the women and youth of Iran.”
Cristèle Alves Meira’s “Alma Viva” and Maryam Touzani’s “The Blue Caftan” shared the Jury Prize, essentially tied for second place. Both films represent their respective countries as entries to the Oscars for international feature film from Portugal and Morocco, and both premiered at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.
“Thunder,” filmmaker Carmen Jaquier’s story of female emancipation against Switzerland’s stifling religious climate at the turn of the century, won the directing award, while the acting award went to Choi Seung-Yoon for “Riceboy Sleeps” and Arswendy Bening Swara for “Autobiography ‘, contributing to an impressive overall score for Makbul Mubarak’s Indonesian thriller and Anthony Shim’s Canadian immigration drama, which together won awards in Venice, Toronto, Taipei and Vancouver.
Saturday’s closing ceremony opened with a tribute to Tilda Swinton, who had served as jury president at the previous edition of the Marrakech Festival, and who showed genuine shock when her daughter, actress Honor Swinton Byrne, made a surprise appearance to present the prize .
After Ruben Ostlund, director of ‘Triangle of Sadness’, introduced Swinton as ‘the David Bowie of cinema’, referring to her otherworldly and chameleon-like qualities, the festival honoree showed a side of herself all too rarely seen on screen. was, as her mouth dropped with shock and eyes welled up with joy as her daughter walked onto the stage.