L-R Ayoub Elaid, Kamal Lazraq, Abdellatif Masstouri won the Jury Prize for the movie "Hounds" Photo: Getty Images 

By Charles Mgbolu

The 2023 Marrakech International Film Festival in Morocco has ended with the announcement of winners for its prestigious award categories at a star-studded closing ceremony over the weekend.

The first prize, the Etoile d'Or award, was awarded to Moroccan filmmaker Asmae El Moudir for her work in ‘’Mother of all the Lies."

Asmae El Moudir was the first prize winner at the festival. Photo: Getty Images 

The documentary film follows the story of a woman searching desperately for the truth of her family history.

It premiered at the 76th Cannes Film Festival, where El Moudir won the Best Documentary Award with Tunisian filmmaker Kaouther Ben Hania.

It was also selected as the Moroccan entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 96th Academy Awards.

The festival went ahead as a sign of resilience in the face of a devastating earthquake. Photo: Getty Images 

The jury prize was given to the second and third place winners, "Bye Bye Tiberius" by Palestinian director Lina Soualem and "Hounds" by Moroccan director Kamal Lazrak.

French-Senegalese director Ramata-Toulaye Sy walked away with the Best Director award for her film Banel & Adama.

Ramata-Toulaye Sy (middle), won the the Best Directing Prize for the movie "Banel & Adama"  Photo: Getty Images 

Asja Zara Lagumdzija won Best Actress for the Bosnian drama Excursion, written and directed by Una Gunjak, and Doga Karakas won Best Actor for the Turkish film Dormitory by Nehir Tuna.

The festival was seen as a sign of resilience as Morocco tries to overcome the devastating impact of an earthquake that struck mountain communities surrounding Marrakech in September.

TRT Afrika