Some festivals double as markets -- where films without distribution come to be seen and purchased -- and make up in quantity what they may lack in quality. Marrakech is more about the movies themselves, and offers a limited slate of titles.
Sitting in a courtyard on the grounds of La Mamounia Hotel in Marrakech, filmmaker Ritesh Batra admits that one of the best parts of being a member of the jury for the competition at the Marrakech International Film Festival is actually getting the chance to watch movies.
Here's the best thing about attending an event like the Marrakech International Film Festival: It's one of the rare opportunities that a critic has to truly walk into a screening knowing absolutely nothing about a film.
In a sentence, if they were both cakes made with culture instead of flour, Marrakech's other main ingredients are fun, color and exuberance, while Fes is flavored with history, mystery and its own serious brand of medieval mayhem.
The three-day trip was a whirlwind, but I managed to capture some initial impressions of the fantastical North African city whose crimson and ochre hues and purple haze inspired the likes of Yves Saint Laurent.
With a fanbase of literally billions, Shah Rukh Khan, King Khan or SRK to his fans, shook the city at a special event to honor the Indian film star opening night at the 11th annual Marrakesh International Film Festival.
"When I finally boarded my last connecting flight in Hong Kong, I thought was en route to LA, but we landed in Seoul. Being that I was only 13 and the next flight to Los Angeles was completely sold out, I started to cry."
Morocco is famous in tourist circles -- primarily for Marrakech, and rightly so. With bustling souks, boutique riads and a medina full of storytellers and snake charmers, Marrakech is a true East-meets-West city.