Martin Scorsese praised brave Netflix for ''taking risks'' on independent films.

The 76-year-old director has credited the streaming service with taking a chance on funding his upcoming new movie 'The Irishman', which is a biographical crime drama looking at labor union leader and alleged Bufalino crime family hitman Frank Sheeran.

Speaking at the Marrakech Film Festival over the weekend, he said: ''People such as Netflix are taking risks. 'The Irishman' is a risky film.

''No one else wanted to fund the pic for five to seven years. And of course we're all getting older. Netflix took the risk.''

The movie - which is based on Charles Brandt's book 'I Heard You Paint Houses' - stars Robert De Niro as Sheeran, with the stellar cast also featuring the likes of Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and Ray Romano.

It will be the ninth time Scorsese has collaborated with De Niro, while the actor has worked with co-star Pacino three times before - but it will be the first time the iconic filmmaker has directed the latter performer.

The script has been penned by 'Schindler's List' writer Steven Zaillian, and the movie is set to be released on Netflix next year.

Meanwhile, Scorsese also explained that despite technological advances and huge changes in the film industry, some of the rituals and on-set experiences remain the same - and he described it as ''sacred''.

As reported by Variety, he added: ''The process of making a movie is sacred. For example when the sound engineer records what's called the 'wild track' to get the ambient sound.

''We all have to stand there in silence for around two minutes. Everyone is in the room. Inevitably they all start meditating. That's enough. It's a sacred moment.''