By Karima Rhanem | Morocco TIMES 7/19/2005 | 4:26 pm
Eight festive days, more than 500 artists, 40 concerts, and 60 film projections. At last Casablanca holds it first festival from July 16 to 23.
A total of 120.000 spectators attended the opening ceremony of the first edition of the Casablanca festival. The opening was a great success.
The Parade Transhumance inspired Casablanca with a dream journey which attracted thousands of spectators on both sides of Hassan II Avenue, between United Nations Square and Saint Exupéry crossroads.
"Transhumance", as its creators define it, is “a metaphor, an allegory, a tribute to the travelling entertainers, to the hawkers of history and other poets." The colourful parade took the audience towards an imaginary world of fantastic animals, mythical birds, and men living in a bygone time.
By the magic of art, the Casablanca city centre was transformed into a gigantic square of a village of the Middle Ages. Fire-spitters, fortune-tellers, animal-tamers, enchanted the public with the sound of bagpipes and drums.
Organized by the Wilaya of Casablanca and the council of the city and region of Casablanca, this event marks the beginning of a new era for Casablanca. The show is now on the street.
Organizers said that the eight-day festival will feature more than 500 artists, 40 concerts, and 60 films. These movies will be presented in three locations in the city, two of which in open air and the third in Lynx Movie Theatre. The estimated budget will exceed MAD 15 million.
Artists of virtually all tastes will be present in the festival, including Chaabi, Reggae, Rai, Pop music, Hip Hop and rock.
”The rationale behind organizing such a festival is to cater for most tastes. But above all it is intended to bring the people of Casablanca together, regardless of their gender, age, ethnic, intellectual and social backgrounds,” organizers said.
The people of Casablanca attended in thousands three concerts on Saturday. These included Hoba Hoba Spirit on the Rachidi Square; Steel pulse in El Hank, and Hajib and Stati in the Sidi Bernoussi Stadium.
Film projections were also scheduled on Saturday. 'Plume le petit ours', 'Les bandits' were screened at Hermitage Park and 'Contes persans 'in Lalla Meriem beach.
Throughout the 8 days, the festival will feature other films from different countries including France, Russia, Germany, USA, Italy, Israel, Lebanon, Japan, Egypt, Iran and others.
Other artists included the H-Kayne (Moroccan Hip Hop band), Darga (Fusion World, Morocco), Rouicha (Moroccan band of popular music), Pascal of Bollywood (Hindi Pop from France), King Barra (Ragga, Senegal), Jil Jilala and Nass El Ghiwane (popular music from Morocco), Cheb Bilal (Rai, Algeria).
The closing ceremony will feature “Le Voyage de lumière" by 'F - Plage Sidi Abderrahmane' Group ¬ on July 23 at midnight.