Social Media Icons

Top Nav

Marrakech Film Festival: Redefining a Career with Camille Cottin and Zar Amir Ebrahimi


Marrakech Film Festival - Camille Cottin and Zar Amir Ebrahimi
Both Camille Cottin and Zar Amir Ebrahimi are leading actresses who refused to be pigeonholed and chose to own their narratives. The Iranian actress took French lessons and debuted a European career after leaving Iran and decades of work behind. While Camille Cottin, who is one of France’s favorite comedians, has been able to break out of the comedy box and transition to dramatic roles outside of the French territory.

We spoke to the jury members of this year's edition of the Marrakesh International Film Festival about their common fate.

AM: How was your experience at the Marrakesh Film Festival?
ZAE: I am a big fan of the festival, it’s my first time here and I really enjoyed it. Probably one of the best festivals I've been to; the organization, the art direction and the participants are all top-notch. You have good movies, people and diversity. The Atelier Atlas is very fascinating as well, it’s there where you witness all the fantastic projects that are coming to life.

CC: It’s also very moving for directors and the crew to show their movies on the African continent after touring the world’s festivals. It’s a hub for talents to promote their works. One director mentioned to me how important it is for African cinema to be showcased here. Not only is the selection great, but it's meaningful to spread cinema in the country and to discover Moroccan films.

AM: Camille as an actress, do you feel like you gain a wider insight when you share the panel with directors, producers and screen-writers?
CC: It’s very interesting to hear the comments and understand the jury's sensibility and some of their technical criticism and remarks. But overall, we tried to balance between the technical dimension and the emotional aspect of a film. One doesn't go without the other. In our daily life we never have enough time to spend a full day watching a movie and discussing every aspect of it, so it’s really enriching to me.

AM: Can we talk about the female dominance in the jury that is headed by Jessica Chastain?
ZAE: I think we should ask the men how they feel about being part of a female-driven jury. But it’s quite inspiring how more and more film festivals are choosing a diverse cast for their juries.

AM: Something that you share is that you both had a turning point in your careers. How important is change in an actor’s life?
ZAE: It’s challenging and I like challenge. I learned a lot and I grew with it. I prefer to live this rather than being just an Iranian or French actress. That's why maybe I do lots of other things because I don't feel satisfied by being an actress only, I need other means of creativity. I feel very honored to be working with Camille because she broke the taboo from being a person who makes us laugh, to a person who makes us cry. She worked really hard and is now establishing a career in Hollywood.

CC: I have an immense admiration for Zar. She really started from scratch in France, she didn't speak any French, had no friends nor connections and managed to succeed.

AM: Both stylish personas, in your opinion, why is fashion so intertwined with cinema?
CC: Fashion is about dreaming, a lot of time I go to shows like for Dior and I see references to history, art and music. I think it's a craft that that compels a lot of art. And it's true that when we're at a festival and we get to be on stage we like to feel glamorous.

ZAE: I also admire brands like Chanel who support artists and invest money to give back to the creative community.