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five years of arab critics’ awards for european films

The Arab Critics' Awards, initiated by European Film Promotion and the Arab Film Center, is now in its fifth round. 85 of the most prominent and influential Arab film critics from 15 Arab-speaking countries are currently viewing the 25 nominated recent European films. In a first step, they will choose their three favourites for the shortlist and finally the winning film. Since the Cairo International Film Festival as hitherto host of the award ceremony has been postponed indefinitely, the official announcement of the winning film will be re-considered.

All of the 25 films nominated by national film promotion institutes from throughout Europe (EFP‘s member organisations), have been premiered or screened at leading international film festivals, and have won awards. They include films like Omen by Baloji from Belgium (New Voice Prize/Cannes Film Festival, Un Certain Regard), Lost Country by Vladimr Perisič from Serbia (Louis Roederer Foundation Rising Star Award/Cannes Film Festival; Best actor, Sarajevo Film Festival), Bad Living by João Canijo from Portugal (Silver Bear, Berlinale) or the two animation films, Four Souls of Coyote by Áron Gauder from Hungary (Jury Award, Annecy Film Festival) and Tony, Shelly And the Magic Light by Filip Pošivač from Slovak Republic (Contrechamp Jury Award/Annecy Film Festival). A large number of the nominated films have now been entered for the Academy Awards in the Best International Feature Film category, e.g. Traces by Dubravka Turić (Croatia), Excursion by Una Gunjak (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Fallen Leaves by Aki Kaurismäki (Finland), The Taste of Things by Trần Anh Hùng (France), The Teachers‘ Lounge by Ilker Çatak (Germany), Citizen Saintby Tinatin Kajrishvili (Georgia), Io Capitano by Matteo Garrone (Italy), The Last Ashes by Loïc Tanson (Luxembourg), Sirin by Senad Šahmanović (Montenegro), Sweet Dreams by Ena Sendijarević and Bad Livingby João Canijo (Portugal).

Click here for the full list of nominated films

85 of the most prominent and influential Arab film critics from 15 Arab-speaking countries will first decide on their top three favourites before announcing the winning film in a setting to be announced.

"Since our launch in 2019, the number of critics has doubled. Their well-versed and experienced approach to the selected European films makes a considerable contribution towards the circulation of European cinema in the Arab world. At the same time, the jury's verdict is also a quality seal for distributors and festival programmers based in the Arab world, which can help to ensure that local but universal stories from Europe find an audience in this region”, said EFP Managing Director Sonja Heinen.

"For its fifth edition, the Arab Critics' Awards for European Films will be renewing its eternal commitment to supporting the global cinema industry and providing a chance for the untold stories of the world to get their time in the limelight. It will also highlight the most prominent Arab critics on the jury, which is comprised of 85 critics from 15 Arab countries, all of whom have carved a name for themselves in the European cinema industry," said the co-founders of the Arab Cinema Center Alaa Karkouti and Maher Diab.

The Arab film critics in alphabetical order:

Abdelkarim Ouakrim (Morocco), Abdelkrim Kadri (Algeria), Abdul Sattar Naji (Kuwait), Ahmed Abo El Fadl(Egypt), Ahmed Ezzat (Egypt), Ahmed Gasmi (Egypt), Ahmed Sami (Egypt), Ahmed Al Ayyad (Saudi Arabia), Ahmed Al Khateb (Egypt), Aliaa Talaat (Egypt), Ali Wajeeh (Syria), Amal Magdy (Egypt) Amged Gamal(Egypt), Andrew Mohsen (Egypt), Areej Gamal (Egypt), Arwa Tag Eldeen (Egypt), Ayah Tantawy (Egypt), Azz El Deen (Morocco), Chafic Tabbara (Lebanon), Dalia Said Mostafa (Egypt), Diaa Mostafa (Egypt), Doha Elwardaney (Egypt), Erfan Rashid (Iraq), Essam Zakaria (Egypt), Fahad Alestsa (Saudi Arabia), Fayçal Chibani(Algeria), Feras Almadi (Algeria), Hammadi Gueroum (Morocco), Hassan Haddad (Bahrain), Hassouna Mansouri (Tunisia), Haytham Mofed (Egypt), Henda Haouala (Tunisia), Hind Mezaina (UAE), Houda Ibrahim(Lebanon), Hossam Sayed (Egypt), Huda Jafar (Yemen), Husam Asi (Palestine), Ibrahim Haj Abdi (Syria), Ikbal Zalila (Tunisia), Kadhum El Saloum (Iraq), Kais Kassem (Iraq), Khaled Mahmoud (Egypt), Khalid Ali (Sudan), Khalil Demmoun (Morocco), Lama Tayara (Syria), Lamia Guiga (Tunisia), Magda Khirallah (Egypt), Mahdi Abbas (Iraq), Marwa Abueish (Egypt), Mohamed Allal (Algeria), Mohamed Atef (Egypt), Mohamed Sayed Abdelrehim (Egypt), Mohamed Elseginy (Egypt), Mohamed Kamal (Egypt), Mohamed Tarek (Egypt), Mohamed Benaziz (Morocco), Mohammed Chouika (Morocco), Mohammed Rouda (Lebanon), Nabil Hadji(Algeria), Nada Azhari (Syria), Nadim Jarjoura (Lebanon), Nageh Hassan (Jordan), Narjes Torchani (Tunisia), Nidal Queshha (Syria), Ola Kamel Al-Sheikh (Palestine, Head of Jury), Ola Shafey (Egypt), Omnia Adel (Egypt), Ossama Abdel Fattah (Egypt), Rachid Naim (Morocco), Rahma El Haddad (Egypt), Rami El-Metwaly(Egypt), Rasha Hosny (Egypt), Ramy Abd el Razek (Egypt), Safaa Elaisy (Egypt), Safaa Jibara Al-Saleh (Iraq), Samira Dami (Tunisia), Samya Ayish (Palestine), Selim Elbak (Palestine), Shaimaa Selim (Egypt), Sherif Thabet (Egypt), Taher Alwan (Iraq), Tarek Ben Chaabane (Tunisia), Tarek El Shinnawi (Egypt), Yousra Chikhawi (Tunisia), Ziad Khuzai (Iraq).

Click here for the full list of the Arab film critics according to country

The Arab Critics’ Awards for European Films was launched in 2019 by EFP and ACC. It is a spin-off from the ACC’s now well-established Critics' Awards to boost film diversity in the region and raise the interest of sales companies and the industry for outstanding European films. This initiative also aims to cast a spotlight on the distinguished film critics from 15 Arab-speaking countries and their important role in opening up new perspectives and bridging cultural idiosyncrasies. The previous four winners were God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunya by Teona Strugar Mitevska (2019), Undine by Christian Petzold (2020), 107 Mothers by Peter Kerekes (2021) and EO by Jerzy Skolimowski (2022).

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