Crossing Boundaries with the Al Akhawayn Short Film Festival
Al Akhawayn University recently hosted the third edition of its Short Film Festival, from April 18 – 21, 2017. The Short Film Festival, an annual cultural event organized by students, is comprised of three activities: a national student short film competition, screening and discussion sessions by famous Moroccan filmmakers, and filmmaking workshops. This year, the Short Film Festival challenged artistic, social, and cultural boundaries with its theme, “Across Boundaries.”
Mohammed Abderrahmane Tazi and Raja Saddiki were the honorary guests of the Short Film Festival, sharing their films on the challenging paths to tolerance and sharing through screenings on Wednesday, April 19th and Thursday, April 20th in the City of Ifrane Conference Room.
The festival also rewarded the talent and creativity of students across the country in short film fictions, documentaries, music videos, and advertisements. Twenty-four students’ teams from ten different schools across Morocco competed to win the title of best student filmmaker of the year in their category. The winners of each category received a 2300MAD voucher for an electronic store, a trophy and a certificate signed by Mohammed Abderrahman Tazi, the president of the jury. The winners were announced and received their awards on Thursday April 20th with honorary guest, Mohammed Abderrahman Tazi and Bilal Marmid from Medi1TV present at the awards ceremony.
Yahya Chabane from Ecole Supérieure des Arts Visuels (ESAV) won both the documentary and ad category with his short films “A propos de Gustav Jung” and “El Kef”. Ouejdane Sabbah, Khaoula Ettaleb and Nada Allouch representing Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane won the fiction category with Lethal Melody. Finally, Echoes of Sunshine by Omar Ghiyati and Elias Harrack took away the Audience Choice Award.
Afternoons during the period of the film festival were dedicated to filmmaking workshops. The first workshop was led by ESAV, who taught the basics of filmmaking from script writing to post production. The second workshop was guided by Raja Saddiki, the director of Aji-b, and focused upon the role of storytelling in a documentary film.
Mohammed Abderrahman Tazi, honorary guest and president of the jury, expressed his surprise with “the organization, the quality of the audience, the fruitful exchanges between students and professionals, the interest expressed by students and their pertinent and interesting questions about the profession of cinema and media production.”
This edition of the Al Akhawayn Short Film Festival remained true to its theme of crossing boundaries, as it left the confines of the University’s campus and hosted screenings both in the City of Ifrane Conference Room and in Downtown Ifrane. The involvement of the community-at-large in the festival allowed for a rich dialogue with a wider range of perspectives present at the festival’s events.