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Special Awards

|  Koiné Award

Foto Tahar Ben Jelloun Tahar Ben Jelloun

Tahar Ben Jelloun was born in Fès (Morocco) in 1944. He is a Moroccan poet and writer. After first having attended the local Coranic school, he switched to the bilingual (French- Moroccan) primary school the age of 6. In 1955 he moved to Tangier where, together with his brother, he attended the strait’s primary school and passed his courses. In 1956 he entered the Ibn Al Khatib High School, then switched to the French Regnault High School where he obtained the baccalaureate in 1963.
He studied Philosophy in Rabat. In 1965, during the student demonstrations in larger Moroccan cities, Jelloun was sent to a disciplinary camp run by the army together with 94 other students suspected of having organized the March 65 demonstrations. In 1968 he was liberated and returned to university.
In 1968 he published his first poem “L’aube des dalles” in the magazine “Souffles”. In 1970 the publishing house Atalantes published his first volume of poetry, “Hommes sous linceul de silence”.
In 1971, a statement of the Interior Ministry announced that philosophy teaching was to be arabized as of the new school year. Not being trained for it, he decided to leave for Paris and prepare a PhD in psychology. He started publishing articles for “Le Monde”. “La plus haute des solitudes” (1975) was met with an unexpected success; “Hospitalité française” (1984) was an essay on racism in France. Between 1975 and 2009 he published several novels as “L’enfant de sable” (1984), “La nuit sacrée” (1987), “La remontée des cendres” (1991) and “Le racisme expliqué à ma fille” (1998).
Jelloun has strongly supported the fight against racism and discrimination through his smooth writing style; he has promoted the search for African Maghreb roots, related tales, legends, myths and rituals; he has analyzed multiple levels of ideas about the African post-colonial condition and Islamic fundamentalism. After having written for “Il Corriere della Sera” and “Panorama”, he wrote for Italian newspapers as “La Repubblica” and “L’Espresso” about Arab and Muslim topics, writing on immigration and various other subjects.

|  New Talents Award

Sanaa Alaoui Sanaa Alaoui

Sanaa Alaoui is a very talented Moroccan actress that has stared in Moroccan, French, Mexican and Spanish movies.
She has starred in television series as Les Rimaquois (2006), Famille d’accueil (2008) and Duval et Moretti (2008).
She worked with directors as Rachid Benhadj (El khoubz el hafi, 2005), Abdelkader Lagtaâ (Yasmine et les Hommes, 2007), Irene Cardona (A Fiancé for Yasmina - Un novio para Yasmina, 2008, Audience Award at Festival du Cinéma Méditerranéen de Montpellier and Best Movie at Nantes Film Festival), Silvia Munt (Under the Same Sky - Bajo el mismo cielo, 2008) and Lahcen Zinoun (Oud l’Ward - La beauté éparpillée, 2008), for which she won the Best Actress Award at Tangier Film Festival.

|  Creativity and Innovation Award

Francesco Cuomo Francesco Cuomo

Francesco Cuomo, a young artist born in Eboli in 1973, but currently living in Florence. His career commenced in 1996, when he began to “write and paint just for the love of it.” His art knows no boundaries; his paintings are accompanied by verses and fabrics.
His art is both global and tactile, so that one may enjoy it spiritually and physically. His personal exhibitions, like the one in the World’s Artists in Rome, are a fun and irreverent parody of modern life. Cuomo is one of the few Italian artists to exhibit permanently at the Galleria del Palazzo Enrico Coveri in Florence. The collaboration with the Maison Coveri led to the creation of a collection inspired by the work “Narcissus”.
With a vein of irony and mockery, Cuomo’s canvases explode with joy and imagination, in a blaze of positivity that catches one off guard, because it is effective and provocative. Francesco Cuomo has exhibited in the most important art fairs in Italy and abroad, including Verona, Genoa, Bergamo, Padova, Shanghai and Stockholm.
Among his latest efforts, the “Mirabilia - Art of Living”, for which he creates bright totems and bizarre leather bags.


Winners MFF09

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