A general view taken on March 13, 2014 shows part of the Tifoultout Kasbah cinema set near Ouarzazate in southern Morocco. AFP PHOTO/FADEL SENNA
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Ouarzazate in southern Morocco was once dubbed the "Mecca" of the film industry for its studio facilities and the stark beauty of its locations, with many Hollywood blockbusters shot there.All of them feature scenes shot at Ouarzazate, which lies at the foot of the scenic High Atlas Mountains.Ouarzazate is known for attracting big-budget historic epics with large casts, and already Nicole Kidman and Tom Hanks have visited since the beginning of the year.With a decrepit wall as a backdrop, Soussou looks up at the ceiling of a half-destroyed dome that was used for David Betty's TV movie "The Bible Project" in 2009 .Ouarzazate's fortunes contrast with the boom Morocco's own, heavily state-funded movie industry is enjoying, with 22 feature films made in the past year, compared with around five a decade ago.Like most Moroccan films, however, these are low-budget movies about the gritty realities of life in the North African country, with little need for expensive desert studios, says Semmar, the film critic.
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