Bill Murray was awarded a lifetime achievement award
Marrakech - AFP
US actor Bill Murray said as he received a lifetime achievement award at the 15th Marrakesh Film Festival that he had a "heavy heart" because of the deadly attacks in France and California.
The star of "Groundhog Day" and "Lost in Translation" said Friday he was "honoured to be honoured", but that the attacks that killed 130 people in Paris last month and left 14 dead in San Bernardino on Wednesday had put a damper on the tribute.
My heart is heavy because of the events in Paris," Murray, an onscreen funnyman, said at the Moroccan festival's opening ceremony. "My heart is heavy because of the events in San Bernardino."
Fifteen feature films are running in the official competition this year, with award-winning American filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola heading the jury.
The director of "The Godfather" and "Apocalypse Now" and his team will pick the best film among a selection including Mexican migration thriller "Desierto" and Canadian coming-of-age story "Closet Monster".
A total of 93 films from some 30 countries are screening at this year's edition of the festival which runs until next Saturday.
Murray stars in the festival's opening film "Rock the Kasbah" as a music promoter in war-torn Kabul, who discovers a talented teenager who dreams of becoming the first woman to compete in Afghanistan’s version of "American Idol."
The non-competing film is helmed by Barry Levinson, the Oscar-winning director of "Rain Man" and political satire "Wag the Dog".
The festival this year is shining a spotlight on Canadian cinema and honouring Canadian auteur filmmaker Atom Egoyan whose "Captives" competed in Cannes last year.
The Canadian line-up includes directing prodigy Xavier Dolan's "Mommy", which last year picked up Cannes' Jury Prize.