Flemish culture sector on mission to Morocco
Arts organisations in Flanders and Brussels are in Morocco this week with culture minister Sven Gatz to make contacts and formalise agreements, especially where the film industry is concerned
‘Countless Moroccan artists’
Several arts and culture organisations are represented on the trip – which takes in Casablanca and Rabat – including from the dance, film, design and music sectors. “We hope to open up even more avenues for co-operation at a higher level in Morocco,” said Gatz. “And in particular we’re looking to encourage and formalise more co-operations within the film sector.”
Monthly film screenings
The film industry is looking to build on the success of Adil El Arbi and Bilal Fallah, Flemish directors of Moroccan descent. They are the directing duo behind the award-winning films Image, Black and Patser.
It’s also good timing for the film When Arabs Danced, which premieres this week and is the work of Belgian-Moroccan director Jawad Rhalib. Other Belgians film directors of Moroccan descent have been supported by the Moroccan film industry, including Brahim Chkiri (Road to Kabul) and Mohamed Amin Benamraoui (Adios Carmen). The former has even started a production house in Morocco.
Co-operations between the two film industries, including between production houses, festivals and cinemas, will be more formalised during Gatz’s trip. One of these is a new monthly programme in Brussels’ Cinéma Palace that features films made by Belgian filmmakers of Moroccan descent. That programme starts next month.
“Flanders and Brussels has a substantial Moroccan community,” said Mehdi Marechal of Darna. “And among them are countless artists – filmmaker, musicians, fine artists, actors and organisations. They personify the strong cultural band between Flanders and Morocco.”
Photo: Sven Gatz (left) and Moroccan artist Youness Atbane, who lives and works in Casablanca and Berlin