During the Maghreb film festival last month held in Algiers, Moroccan films won most of the awards which reflects that the local film industry is officially entering its teens, marked by a substantial presence in the local box office and a rising presence in film festivals throughout the world.
Local films have consistently occupied the top slots in the national box office since the mid-2000s, albeit against a background of closing cinemas and sliding admissions. Moroccan films have often been a lifesaver for the country’s few remaining large picture palaces, given that buoyant audience admissions for local titles have enabled them to remain afloat.
For year 2013, Moroccan films have maintained the pattern of successful awards, but instead of comedies, the top films have been more hard-hitting dramas. Over the last 12 months, 15 local films have circulated in 45 different festivals, garnering a total of 67 prizes.
Factors considered behind increasing maturity and sophistication of Moroccan cinema includes the geographical features of the country which is one of the world’s top foreign locations;
Grand production slates of TV movies and soap operas; and the key driving force from Moroccan Cinematographic Centre (CCM) that boosted production levels to 20-25 features and 50-80 short films per year.