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Maryam Touzani: A Moroccan Filmmaker Shining on the International Stage

Maryam Touzani, born in 1980 in Tangier, is a Moroccan filmmaker whose talent and commitment make her a prominent figure in the contemporary film landscape. Starting her career as a journalist specializing in cinema, she quickly turned to writing and directing short films and documentaries, exploring complex social and political themes.

In 2011, Maryam Touzani directed her first short film titled "When They Sleep," a cinematic work that captivated the attention of critics and audiences alike. With subtlety, she addresses universal issues such as isolation, alienation, and loneliness.

In 2014, she created a striking documentary called "Under My Old Skin," which delves into the issue of prostitution in Morocco. With remarkable sensitivity, Maryam Touzani gives a voice to these marginalized and often stigmatized women, offering a fresh and nuanced perspective on this complex social reality.

The following year, in 2015, Maryam Touzani collaborated on the screenplay for the film "Much Loved," directed by Nabil Ayouch, which also deals with prostitution in Morocco. Despite its undeniable artistic quality, the film sparked controversy and was banned from theaters by the authorities in the country. This event testifies to the strength and boldness of Maryam Touzani's work, as she fearlessly tackles taboo subjects and provokes important social debates through her creations.

In 2015, Maryam Touzani directed her second short film titled "Aya Goes to the Beach," shedding light on the exploitation of young children as domestic workers. She exposes the injustices and inequalities faced by these vulnerable children, offering a sensitive perspective on this often overlooked reality.

The filmmaker took on her first acting role in 2017 in the film "Razzia," co-written with her husband and director Nabil Ayouch. In this feature film, she portrays the character of Salima, one of the main roles. This experience showcases her artistic versatility and ability to constantly reinvent herself.

In 2019, Maryam Touzani directed her first feature film titled "Adam," which tells the poignant story of a pregnant woman and a young widow whose lives intersect in the medina of Casablanca. The film was selected for the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard section, where it received critical acclaim and won multiple awards worldwide. Through this remarkable achievement, Maryam Touzani became the first Moroccan woman to compete for the Oscars.

Selected for the 2022 Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard section, "The Blue of the Caftan" is a film that depicts the difficult existence of a married homosexual man in a repressive Moroccan society. The film was awarded the FIPRESCI prize.

Overall, Maryam Touzani's work as a filmmaker has garnered international recognition and praise for its compelling storytelling, social commentary, and thought-provoking exploration of complex issues. Her dedication to shedding light on marginalized voices and pushing societal boundaries has established her as a visionary artist in the Moroccan film industry.

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