The Moroccan Association for Cinema & Culture

In 2006, a group of young cinema enthusiasts from Ouarzazate, Morocco, got together to promote cultural inclusion through film to under-served youths from the south-east of Morocco. In 2014, the group founded the Moroccan Cinema and Culture Association, MORACC, a non governmental organization showcasing the hidden talent and overwhelming passion and creativity that flows from the local communities.

Our main goal is to open doors for young people, especially disadvantaged ones, to learn film production techniques and bring cinema into schools especially on remote areas.

Since our first project is located in an area with a majority of the population being Berber, and since the indigenous Berber culture got endangered by the lack of written and recorded material… We saw the urge of promoting it and preserving its intangible, vibrant, cultural heritage.

Through MORACC’s “The Kasbah for Film” project and its partnership with local and international organizations, we are providing a platform of tools for some of the most aspiring young creatives from the local communities to make and direct short films that speak of the local culture among other subjects.

Ouarzazate, Morocco, is the new home of international film productions. However the city doesn’t have a movie theater since the last one closed back in the nineties. Two generations nowadays have never put foot on a theater and the nearest one is withing 200 km; what is a shocking fact is that for the whole southern region (Souss – Massa – Drâa) composed of around 3 Million inhabitants, we have no single movie theater!

We aim to raise funds to build our first movie theater in the region which will serve later as a spotlight for the cultural activities in the south. The theater will host our upcoming annual event; Ouarzazate International Film Festival, with workshop activities and showing Moroccan and international films produced by cultural associations, NGOs, artist collectives, social projects and independent producers.

The concept

Why in Ourzazate? Why is it necessary? What are the benefits on a larger scale?

Ouarzazate international film festival (OIFF) showcases short films from emerging filmmakers, at local and international level and is created to present the very different and exciting part of filmmaking. The festival was founded to give visibility to young and not so young talents, in a so-called city “The Hollywood of Africa”.

Furthermore, OIFF wants to rise as a platform that supports innovative audiovisual works, and above all, where values such as diversity, tolerance, integrity and sustainability are the creative engine that inspires and provokes us.

OIFF support innovative ideas and reflection from international filmmakers to challenge and discuss intercultural world. Through its programming, by meetings and exchanges that it allows, the OIFF is a festival “of freedom and openness.”

But our offer is not limited to just inspiring, we want to be an active role of change. OIFF creates a space in which the sustainable relationships between the local population and the big film companies grow. For this, our festival organizes seminars, workshops and programs between academic institutions in the transnational area.

Cinema has always been an agglutinating tool of individual and organisational actions, then, what better place for it than in Ouarzazate, a city that has played a fundamental role in the history of cinema.

Blockbuster movies like the Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven, Hanna amongst others have been shot in the area. The setting is next to the Atlas Mountains on the doorstep to the Sahara Desert and therefore within the range of the distinctive culture and history of filmmaking location.

The Ouarzazate International Film Festival accepts only short films of all genres. Non-English language films have to be subtitled in English.

Ouarzazate needs such activities because the surrounding is well known by filmmakers. They can also attract more tourists. Not only tourists and movie makers but also local people will enjoy different kinds of short movies.

On behalf of the Committee:

The 1st edition of Ouarzazate International Film Festival presented to the national and international audience many emerging filmmakers, Moroccan and foreign, through an unique artistic programming by emphasizing the authenticity and richness of southern Morocco.

The goal is to create a dynamic cultural environment in the city of Ouarzazate and promote local cinematic potential internationally through the numbers of films and countries participating from around the world.

This also corresponds to the commitment of the association organizing the event, “The Moroccan Association for Cinema and Culture” MORACC who’s working to make the cinema culture accessible to everyone.

Rules & Regulations for Ouarzazate International Film Festival

THE ORGANISATION

  • The final selection of all films presented at the festival and their placement in the program is the responsibility of the Short Film Programmer for Ouarzazate International Film Festival the process is overseen by the festival’s Managing Director and Artistic Director. The organisation of the event and programming of all other non-competitive elements is the responsibility of the Artistic Director, Managing Director and the festival team.

ELIGIBILITY

  • The festival is open to short films of all production techniques, including animation, documentary, drama, experimental or artist film and hybrid work from low to high budgets.
  • The primary contact completing the submission process must be authorised to submit the film for consideration including permission from a distributor or sales agent representing the film and must have obtained necessary permissions for the inclusion of copyrighted music and/or images within the films. With this submission, the applicant confirms that they possess all rights necessary for the screening of the submitted film at this film festival.
  • Films must have a maximum duration of 26 minutes including credits.
  • OIFF does not require any premiere status.

REGISTRATION AND DATA PROTECTION

  • Before you can submit your film you will be asked to register your contact and film details. These details will only be shared with Ouarzazate International Film Festival. OIFF ensures this information will NEVER be used for anything other than direct contact from the festival or one of the festival’s submission partners and will NEVER be shared with anyone else.

DIGITAL SUBMISSIONS

  • The Ouarzazate International Film Festival accepts Short Films (up to 26 min) of all genres. Films must be submitted via online screener (Vimeo, YouTube, or FilmFreeway Screener).
  • All non-English language films must be subtitled in English.
  • Please ensure that the digital video file you’re entering is the highest quality copy of your film, if your film is selected you will be contacted to confirm this.
  • OIFF do not accept entries by post.
  • Films that are submitted on unreadable files will not be considered for selection, it is up to the applicant to ensure that the preview copy is in full working order.

SELECTION PROCESS

  • A film’s success is dependent not on its budget or length, but on its core vision, the creativity and storytelling.
  • Successful entrants will be notified of their inclusion in the festival. Those entrants who have not been successful will also receive email notification at this time.
  • After selection, notification letters will be sent electronically; please provide an email address that is checked regularly and ensure that the user account info@ioff.info is permitted to email you.
  • The festival is unable to give feedback for unsuccessful entries.

FESTIVAL SCREENINGS

  • There are no fees for participating in the festival. Participants are not entitled to claim rental or other fees for the screenings of their films at the festival.

PUBLICITY

  • In addition to the reproduction of stills and clips of selected films (under 1 minute) for all Ouarzazate Film Festival publications, festival trailer, press and TV coverage, they may also be screened as part of preview screenings to promote the event.

SUBMISSION AGREEMENT

  • Within your submission you will be asked if you have read and agreed with the Terms and Conditions laid out in this document. By agreeing to proceed with your submission you are agreeing to these Terms and Conditions and your application can then be processed. Entry of a film is binding and implies acceptance of these regulations.
  • In the event of disagreement concerning the interpretation of the regulations, the interpretation of the festival will take precedence.
  • Failure to comply with these Terms and Conditions may result in the submission being disqualified.
  • These regulations are subject to change without prior notice.
  • A film that has been selected to screen may subsequently be removed from the schedule prior to the event for the following reasons:
    1. Any unresolved dispute as to the films ownership causing potential problems.
    2. Falsification of information on entry form.

Press kit

Our non-profit organization the Moroccan Association for Cinema and Culture, MORACC is organizing the Ouarzazate International Film Festival (OIFF). MORACC’s goal is to promote film culture through a 6 days International Film Festival in Ouarzazate. It will be a cultural event for many thousand of local people and it will bring international and Moroccan filmmakers and invitees to Ouarzazate. 

OIFF has ambitions of being a yearly event in Morocco. We are very well prepared organizing the second edition and are currently looking for more press partners to join us on this exciting journey.  Bellow, you will find all our publications and a press kit with our logos and different media.

Ouarzazate International Film Festival 2017: Report

Ouarzazate International Film Festival 2017: Brochure

Ouarzazate International Film Festival 2016: Rapport d’activités

Ouarzazate International Film Festival 2016: Brochure

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