With the aim to discover the Arab world, EFP (European Film Promotion) and the Arab Cinema Center (ACC) launched the Arab Critics' Award for European Films in 2019 dedicated to European cinema.
Another 13 distinguished film critics have joined the jury this year, bringing the total to 71 of the most prominent and influential Arab film critics from 15 Arab-speaking countries. Put together by ACC, the jury under the direction of Ola Kamel Al-Sheikh selected the best European film from nominations submitted by the European national film institutions – EFP's member organisations.
Qualifying films need to be from 2021 and have to have screened at major international film festivals. Current national Oscar entries were also eligible in the run-up to the award. The Arab critics screened the films at Festival Scope Pro's private screening room for a short list of three films. The lucky winner was chosen following a second round.
The nominated films in alphabetical order:
107 Mothers by Peter Kerekes, Slovak Republic; After The Winter by Ivan Bakrač, Montenegro; Ali And Ava by Clio Barnard, UK; As Far As I Can Walk by Stefan Arsenijevic, Serbia; Blue Moon by Alina Grigore, Romania; The Gravedigger´s Wife by Khadar Ayderus Ahmed, Finland; Hinterland by Stefan Ruzowitzky, Austria; Hive by Blerta Basholli, Kosovo; I'm Your Man by Maria Schrader, Germany; Inventory by Darko Sinko, Slovenia; Lamb by Valdimar Jóhannsson; Iceland; The Last Ones by Veiko Õunpuu, Estonia; Libertad by Clara Roquet, Spain; Moon 66 Questions by Jacqueline Lentzou, Greece; The Most Beautiful Boy In The World by Kristina Lindström and Kristian Petri, Sweden; My Sunny Maad by Michaela Pavlatova, Czech Republic; Natural Light by Dénes Nagy, Hungary; Neighbours by Mano Khalil, Switzerland; Patchwork by Petros Charalambous, Cyprus; The Pilgrims by Laurynas Bareiša, Lithuania; Sisterhood by Dina Duma, North Macedonia; The Staffroom by Sonja Tarokic, Croatia; This Town by Mariusz Wilczyński, Poland; Three Minutes – A Lengthening by Bianca Stigter, The Netherlands; The White Fortress by Drljača Igor Bosnia and Herzegovina; The Year Before The War by Dāvis Sīmanis, Latvia
The winner in 2021 is the Slovak-Czech-Ukrainian co-production 107 Mothers by the director Peter Kerekes. The awards ceremony was hosted at this year's edition of the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) 1 December.
In 2019, the film God Exists, Her Name is Petrunya by Teona Strugar Mitevska won the first Arab Critics’ Award for European Films. In 2020, the award was given to the film Undine by Christian Petzold.
Organized by MAD Solutions, the Arab Cinema Center (ACC) is now celebrating the fifth year since its inception in 2015. A non-profit organization registered in Amsterdam, the ACC is an international promotional platform for Arab cinema as it provides the filmmaking industry with a professional window to connect with their counterparts from all over the world through a number of its organised events. The ACC also provides networking opportunities with repre-sentatives of companies and institutions specialized in co-production and international distribution, among others.
The Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) is one of the oldest and most attended festivals in the Arab world and Africa. It is the only festival in the Arab and African region to be accorded category "A" status by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations in Paris (FIAPF).
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