FICAM 2024 pays tribute to Hamid Semlali and Bill Plympton

FICAM 2024 pays tribute to Hamid Semlali and Bill Plympton
FICAM 2024 pays tribute to Hamid Semlali and Bill Plympton
The first is Hamid Semlali, precursor of animated cinema in Morocco. “It is a beautiful moment of recognition for this man whose memory, for Moroccans, is often linked to his advertisements broadcast on the only channel of the time. That of the sardine dancing with a slice of lemon around its waist is part of the history of advertising in Morocco,” indicate the Festival organizers.

Born in 1950 in Kénitra, Hamid Semlali discovered animated cinema at a very young age. A laureate of the Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad in Iraq, he immersed himself in the world of creation by participating in production and directing courses and workshops in Prague in the former Czechoslovakia.

At the beginning of the 1980s, he made his first film “Didi the Hen” in which he tells, with very subtle humor, the story of a child who dreams of transforming into a chicken.

A professor of visual arts, he left teaching in 1985 to devote himself to his passions: animated cinema and children’s literature. The same year, he created the Al Aïn workshop, a film and advertising production company.

Hamid Semlali draws his inspiration from collective memory to raise awareness among young audiences of the value of heritage. Today, he has ten animated films to his credit: “The Polluter”, “Mohammed V”, “Bobo the Savior”, “Bobo and the Cheese”, “The Bird of the Atlas”. . and more than seventy titles of children’s books. The twenty-second FICAM also pays tribute to the American Bill Plympton.

At a time when independent cinema was rare, almost non-existent in the United States, he alone proved that it was possible to succeed in your country without going through the big studios.

Heir to Tex Avery, Chuck Jones and all the great animators of Termite Terrace and UPA, Plympton takes this path in order to practice the cinema he desires.

In 1987, his short film “Your Face” brought him worldwide recognition. In 1991, thanks to the brilliant “Push comes to shove”, he won the Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

He achieved recognition with “The Merciless Honeymoon”, his second feature film, Grand Prix at Annecy in 1998. Plympton then continued with other feature films: “Hair High”, “Idiots and Angels”, “ Space mutants”, “Duel in Monte Carlo Del Norte” presented in Official Competition at FICAM 2024.

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