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08.09 — 09.09.2019
Arab Critics' Awards for European Films
The winner of the Arab Critics' Award 2020: UNDINE by Christian Petzold

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 14 distinguished film critics have joined the jury this year, bringing the total to 56 of the most prominent and influential Arab film critics from 14 Arab-speaking countries. Put together by ACC, the jury under the direction of Ola Kamel Al-Sheikh will select the best European film from nominations submitted by the European national film institutions – EFP's member organisations. The awards ceremony will be hosted at this year's edition of the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) in December.

Qualifying films need to be from 2020 and have to have screened at major international film festivals. Current national Oscar entries may also take part in the run-up to the the award. The Arab critics screen the films at Festival Scope Pro's private screening room for a short list of three films. The lucky winner is chosen following a second round.

All films nominated in 2020 listed here.

List of film critics participating in the Arab Critics' Awards for European Films (in alphabetical order):

Abdelkarim Ouakrim (Morocco), Abdelkrim Kadri (Algeria), Abdul Sattar Naji (Kuwait), Ahmed Sami (Egypt), Ahmed Shawky (Egypt), Aliaa Talaat (Egypt), Ali Wajeeh (Syria), Amal El-Gamal (Egypt), Andrew Mohsen (Egypt), Chaf Tabbara (Lebanon), Doha Elwardaney (Egypt), Erfan Rashid (Iraq), Essam Zakaria (Egypt), Fahad Alestsa (Saudi Arabia), Hammadi Gueroum (Morocco), Hassan Haddad (Bahrain), Hauvick Habéchian (Lebanon), Hind Mezaina (UAE), Houda Ibrahim (Lebanon), Husam Asi (Palestine), Ibrahim Haj Abdi (Syria), Ikbal Zalila (Tunisia), Kadhum Saloom (Iraq), Kais Kassem (Iraq), Khaled Mahmoud (Egypt), Khalid Ali (Sudan), Khalil Demmoun (Morocco), Lamia Guiga (Tunisia), Magda Khirallah (Egypt), Mahdi Abbas (Iraq), Mohamed Allal (Algeria), Mohamed Atef (Egypt), Mohamed Awad (Egypt), Mohamed Benaziz (Morocco), Mohammed Chouika (Morocco), Mohammed Rouda (Lebanon), Mohamed Sayed Abdelrehim (Egypt), Nabil Hadji (Algeria), Nada Azhari (Syria), Nadim Jarjoura (Lebanon), Nageh Hassan (Jordan), Narjes Torchani (Tunisia), Nidal Queshha (Syria), Ola Kamel Al-Sheikh (Palestine, UAE, Head of Jury), Ola Shafey (Egypt), Ossama Abdel Fattah (Egypt), Rachid Naim (Morocco), Rahma El Haddad (Egypt), Rasha Hosny (Egypt), Safaa Elaisy (Egypt), Safaa Jibara Al-saleh (Iraq, UK), Taher Alwan (Iraq), Tarek Ben Chaabane (Tunisia), Tarek El Shinnawi (Egypt), Yousra Chikhawi (Tunisia), Ziad Khuzai (Iraq).

In 2019, the film God Exists, Her Name is Petrunya by Teona Strugar Mitevska won the first Arab Critics’ Award for European Films.

event partner

Arab Cinema Center

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.

event partner

Cairo International Film Festival

The Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) is one of only 15 Festivals accorded as a category "A" status by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations FIAPF. It is the oldest and only internationally accredited cultural feature film festival in the Arab World, Africa and the Middle East.

The history of CIFF goes back to 1975, after a visit to the Berlin Film Festival the late writer-critic Kamal El Mallakh and a group of like-minded cinema critics wondered why such a world-class festival couldn't take place in Egypt. The country was still riding the crest of Egyptian cinema's golden age and contained a formidable film industry, still the biggest in the Arab world. The Cairo International Film Festival was launched in 1976.

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Markéta Santrochová
Czech Film Center

°efp Managing Director 
Sonja Heinen


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