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Dakota Johnson, Elisa Sednaoui, and More Help Close the Marrakech International Film Festival

The 17th edition of the Marrakech International Film Festival came to a triumphant close on Saturday, with the Sudabeh Mortezai-directed feature Joy taking home the top prize. The Golden Star was presented to the Iranian-Austrian director by Italian model and actor Monica Bellucci, who wore a crimson, floor-trailing dress from Azzedine Alaïa for the occasion. Meanwhile, the jury prize went to Lila Avilés’ debut feature, The Chambermaid.

This year’s jury was led by American film director James Gray, and comprised of Dakota Johnson, The Alienist actor Daniel Bruhl, Lebanese film director Joana Hadjithomas, Palme d’Or winner Lynne Ramsay, Mexican film director Michel Franco, Bollywood star Ileana D’Cruz, and Moroccan director Tala Hadid.

For the lavish closing ceremony, Suspira actress Johnson had a real-life Cinderella moment wearing a slinky, icy blue Gucci gown. The romantic design featured a red sequined heart embellishment in the back, a plunging neckline, and a black, satin sash at the waist. Alessandro Michele‘s muse also stunned in a look from the Italian label for the film festival’s opening ceremony on November 30, donning a rose-colored, sequin-encrusted gown with bow-laden straps on the red carpet. Other stars in attendance included Egyptian-Italian model and philanthropist Elisa Sednaoui Dellal and French actress Isabelle Huppert who both brought their A-game to the ceremony.

The cinematic event featured a total of 80 films, kicking off with the festival opener, the Julian Schnabel-directed Van Gogh biopic At Eternity’s Gate, which was part of the Gala Screenings roster alongside Roma, Yommedine, and Nadine Labaki‘s Golden-Globe-nominated Capernaum.

The Marrakech festival is run by a foundation presided over by Morocco’s Prince Moulay Rachid, the brother of King Mohammed VI, and serves as a platform to support local cinema. After its cancellation in 2017, the festival returned this year with a new programming team led by Christoph Terhechte, the former head of the Berlin Film Festival’s Forum section.

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