14th Tetouan Mediterranean Film Festival

The sprawling city of Tetouan is considered to be the cultural center of the Tangier-Tetouan region in northern Morocco. This hub of cultural activity will be hosting the 14th Tetouan International Mediterranean Film Festival from 29 March to 4 April 2008, and film makers, film stars and audiences will be flocking to the city to enjoy this increasingly popular event.

The Tetouan International Mediterranean Film Festival first took place in 1985, and since its inception the festival has made it a priority to actively promote Mediterranean cinema. Realizing the value of the film festival to the city, in 2006 authorities created the Tetouan International Mediterranean Film Festival Foundation headed by the Minister of Communications. This step was taken to ensure that the festival would continue to take place each year.

During the seven days of the Tetouan International Mediterranean Film Festival, nearly 100 films will be screened at five different venues throughout the city. Audiences can look forward to seeing 10 feature films, 15 short films and 10 documentaries, which are competing for awards. More than 10 countries will be represented at the festival and 200 special guests have been invited. It is anticipated that at least 50,000 spectators from far and wide will be attending the festival.

The festival will highlight Tunisian cinema and the Three Continents Festival held in Nantes, France, with a retrospective based on films produced over the past 20 years. Festival events, including the “Special Youth” program, will be open to the general public. Two roundtable discussions will examine the link between literature and cinema, as well as collaboration between film exhibition, distribution and festivals.

With the goal of promoting, supporting and paying tribute to talented Moroccan writers, the 2008 Tetouan International Mediterranean Film Festival is launching a special section aimed at encouraging general public to network with filmmakers and writers. In addition to one-on-one interaction, Moroccan writers and novelists will be given the opportunity to participate in a roundtable discussion on the possibilities for film adaptations of their literary works. This will serve to make filmmakers aware of the vast talent available in Morocco, while at the same time giving writers international exposure.

There is little doubt that the 14th Tetouan International Mediterranean Film Festival will be a success. Visitors that are traveling to Morocco for this exciting event may want to take some time to explore the many places of interest in Tetouan, which include the Kasbah, a number of mosques, the royal palace and the medina – a UNESCO World Heritage Site.