by Helen Barlow

The highlight of the Marrakech International Film Festival awards night was that Toby Wallace from Babyteeth won the best actor prize, building on his Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best New Talent in Venice.

Babyteeth supporting player Ben Mendelsohn accepted the award on his behalf from presenter Radha Mitchell who ultimately had to drag Mendelsohn off stage as he was enjoying mugging for the camera a bit too much.

“Toby is a spectacular young actor,” Mendelsohn told the crowd. “He does an extraordinary job in his role as a drug addict. With that kind of role there are many holes to fall into, but he floats above it in a sublime way.”

Overall 14 films competed for the major gong, L’Étoile d’Or (or Gold Star) and the prize, voted unanimously by the jury, went to Valley of Souls by Colombian-Belgian director Nicolás Rincón Gille.

“Maybe not everyone knows what is happening in Colombia, the chaos, but through the film we try to transmit what I know about it,” Gille told the crowd.

Simon Baker presented the actress prize, referencing the acting Method of Stanislavski, “If you don’t find it in yourself, find it in the person in front of you.”

Ultimately the actress prize was given to the co-stars from Lynn + Lucy actors Nichola Burley and Roxanne Scrimshaw. As jury head Tilda Swinton put it, “It takes two to tango”.

The Jury Prize was awarded to Last Visit by Saudi Abdulmohsen Aldhabaan and Mosaic Portrait by Chinese director Zhai Yixiang.


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