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French Animation Director Ocelot to Feature Morocco in Upcoming Film

26 Mar 2019

Award-winning French director Michel Ocelot is working on an animated film featuring Morocco and Turkey, reported UK-based news outlet Middle East Online (MEO) on Sunday.

“The starting point is Morocco … in the 18th century,” Ocelot told Middle East Online at the Meknes International Festival of Animated Cinema (FICAM) taking place from March 22 to 27.

The film “depicts… a female doctor who has been listening to tales orated by female storytellers in the palaces where she has been working,” he explained.

Ocelot said that cinema can be a powerful inspiration for good or bad.

“The guy who committed the massacre in New Zealand did a cinema. The cult of weapons is also a cinema art. I’m sure that when we make a violent movie, it inspires people to kill,” said Ocelot.

“People, however, become noble” when they watch “noble” movies, he added.

Ocelot said that animated cinema in Morocco needs some work to make it appeal to a global audience while preserving local taste.

“The danger is to try to sell Moroccan animated cinema abroad and lose the identity. You have to be both Moroccan and international,” he said.

Ocelot is a self-taught director who kick-started his career in animation movies with the 1998 animation film “Kirikou and the Sorceress.”

Last month, Michel Ocelot won the Cesar for Best Animated Film for his film “Dilili in Paris” at the 44th Cesar Award ceremony. Ocelot will present the film at FICAM 2019.

“Dilili in Paris” shows the exploitation and enslavement of women at the turn of the 20th century Belle Epoque. “The harm men do to women is worse than wars. We should talk about this taboo,” Ocelot said.

FICAM was founded in 2001 and has been under the patronage of King Mohammed VI since 2018. The Aicha Foundation is responsible for its production and the French Institute of Meknes provides artistic direction.

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