Controversial director Oliver Stone has received a lifetime achievement award in Morocco, where he's currently filming historical epic Alexander.

The Natural Born Killers film-maker was honoured yesterday (06OCT03) with the GOLDEN STAR award during the third edition of the MARRAKECH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL.

Festival organisers also screened Stone's controversial documentary, COMANDANTE, about Cuban leader Fidel Castro, which has drawn the scorn of some Cuban expatriate groups in Florida.

Morocco has sought to build its movie industry, but after five deadly terrorist attacks in Casablanca in May (03), some Hollywood studios have opted against filming there.

Stone praised Moritz Borman, the producer of Alexander, for "real personal courage" in holding to plans to film in Morocco after the 16 May (03) bombings that left 45 people dead.

With a budget of nearly $200 million (GBP125 million), Alexander is being partially filmed near Marrakech in one of the largest film projects ever in this north African kingdom.

Colin Farrell plays Alexander, with Val Kilmer, SIR Anthony Hopkins and Angelina Jolie co-starring.

07/10/2003 21:56