The Marrakech International Film Festival has unveiled the 10 cinema figures who will participate in its In Conversation With program at its 20th edition running from November 24 to December 2.
They include Australian actor Simon Baker, French director Bertrand Bonello, U.S. actor Willem Dafoe, Indian filmmaker and producer Anurag Kashyap; Japanese director Naomi Kawase; Danish-U.S. actor and director Viggo Mortensen, U.K. actor Tilda Swinton; and Russian director and screenwriter Andrey Zvyagintsev, Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen and Moroccan director Faouzi Bensaïdi.
Baker’s was seen most recently in Toronto title Limbo and Tribeca 2022 selection Blaze, with early features including L.A. Confidential (1997), David Frankel’s The Devil Wears Prada (2006), and J. C. Chandor’s Margin Call (2011), followed by hit series The Mentalist (2008–2015).
Bensaïdi’s first feature A Thousand Months world premiered in Cannes Un Certain Regard in 2003 Subsequent films include WWW – What a Wonderful World (2006), Death for Sale (2011) and Volubilis (2017) and For Summer Days (2022). His latest feature film Deserts debuted in Cannes Directors’ Fortnight this year.
Bonello broke out internationally with second film Pornographer which played at Cannes Critics’ Week in 2021. He returned to Cannes with Tiresia (2003), On War (2008); House of Tolerance (2011), Saint Laurent (2014) Nocturama (2016) and Zombi Child (2019). More recently, Coma was in the running for the Golden Bear at the Berlinale in 2022 while his latest film Beast premiered in Competition at the Venice this year.
Iconic actor Dafoe has been Oscar nominated four times across his career: three times for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in Platoon (1986), Shadow of the Vampire (2000), and The Florida Project (2017), and one for Best Leading Actor for At Eternity’s Gate (2018). His most recent credits include Venice 2023 Golden Lion winner Poor Things and a third collaboration with director Robert Eggers in Nosferatu, slated for release in 2024.
India’s Kashyap is the acclaimed director of Gangs of Wasseypur (2012), Ugly (2013), Psycho Raman (2016), Dev.D (2009), and Black Friday (2007), and was one of the directors of Netflix’s first Indian series, Sacred Games (2018–2019). His most recent film, Kennedy (2023) premiered in Cannes Midnight section.
Combining elements of documentary and fiction, much of Kawase’s work is set in her home city of Nara. She broke out internationally with first film Suzaku, which won Cannes Caméra d’Or in 1997 and has been a regular guest there ever since. Recent films include Still the Water (2014), Radiance (2017), Vision (2018) and True Mothers (2020).
Mikkelsen got his first break Nicolas Winding Refn’s debut film,Pusher (1996). Their collaboration continued with Bleeder (1999), Pusher II: With Blood on My Hands (2004), and Valhalla Rising (2009). Later prominent Danish-language credits include Men and Chicken (2015) A Royal Affair (2012), Another Round (2020), with international credits including Casino Royale (2006), Doctor Strange (2016) and Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny.
Mortensen has clocked up a string of Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations for Best Actor on films including Green Book and Captain Fantastic. In 2020, he moved behind the camera to make Falling is preparing to unveil his second directorial work The Dead Don’t Hurt in 2024.
Swinton broke into cinema with Derek Jarman in 1985 with Caravaggio, the first of seven films together which included The Last of England (1987), Edward II (1991) and Wittgenstein (1993). Swinton has established ongoing relationships with numerous renowned directors, appearing in Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive (2013) and The Dead Don’t Die (2019); Luca Guadagnino’s I Am Love (2009), A Bigger Splash (2015), and Suspiria (2018); Joanna Hogg’s The Souvenir Parts 1 and 2 (2019, 2021) and The Eternal Daughter (2022); and Bong Joon Ho’s Snowpiercer (2013) and Okja (2017). More recent credits include George Miller’s Three Thousand Years of Longing (2022), Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City (2023), and David Fincher’s The Killer (2023).
Zvyagintsev broke internationally with debut feature The Return, which won the Golden Lion and the Lion of the Future at the Venice International Film Festival. His second film The Banishment (2007) debuted in Competition in Cannes, where actor Konstantin Lavronenko was named Best Actor, a first for a Russian artist. Subsequent films include Leviathan (2014) and Loveless (2017), which both played in Competition at Cannes.