Arab Cinema Center Launches ACC Talks on Instagram

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Ola Al-Sheikh Talks to the Oscar-Nominee Hany Abu-Assad

Arab Cinema Center Launches ACC Talks on Instagram

The Arab Cinema Center (ACC) announced the launch of its ACC Talks on Instagram, a series of live interviews where each time a jury member from the Critics' Awards for Arab Films and Arab Critics' Awards for European Films hosts an in-depth interview with a salient filmmaker from the Arab world and beyond. The interviews will be streamed live through the ACC's official page on Instagram.

The first episode is scheduled to stream on Thursday, May 7 at 1:00 PM (GMT), where film critic Ola Al-Sheikh will host an interview with two-time Academy Award nominee, and Golden Globe winner, Palestinian director Hany Abu-Assad. The audience will be able to interact with the discussion and ask their questions through Instagram and Facebook comments.

The episode will be streamed at: 1:00 PM Morocco time (GMT), 2:00 PM Tunisia time (GMT+1), 3:00 PM Egypt time (GMT+2), 4:00 PM, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia time (GMT+3), 5:00 PM UAE time (GMT+4).

Held on a weekly basis, ACC Talks features a jury member from the Critics' Awards for Arab Films and Arab Critics' Awards for European Films who will host an in-depth interview with key international filmmakers. These interviews will be available in Arabic or English subtitles on the ACC's official social media pages and website:

Alaa Karkouti and Maher Diab, Co-founders of Arab Cinema Center, say "We feel it is time to give attention to such content. As the world is taking a break, it is a great opportunity to observe, discuss and reflect on the experience of key international filmmakers and get an insightful look into their latest updates. These talks will be run by the ACC's prominent list of Arab and international film critics. And, we feel so proud to reveal that Hany Abu Assad is our first guest filmmaker in this series of ACC Talks.''

Palestinian director Hany Abo Assad received two Academy Awards nominations for his films: Paradise Now (2006), winner of The Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film and Omar (2013), winner of the Special Jury Prize-Un Certain Regard Prize at Cannes Film Festival.

Born in Nazareth, Palestine, Abu Assad made his cinematic breakthrough as a producer for the feature film Curfew (1994) by director Rashid Masharawi.

In 1998 he directed his first film, The Fourteenth Chick, and in 2002 he directed his second feature film Rana's Wedding, which won him international recognition. The film was selected for screening at the Critics Week at Cannes Film Festival 2002, and received several awards at Montpellier Mediterranean Film Festival, Marrakech International Film Festival, Bastia Italian Film Festival, and Cologne Mediterranean Film Festival.

His repertoire includes: The Mountain Between Us (2017), starring Kate Winslet and Idris Elba,The Idol (2015) that was inspired by the real-life journey of artist Mohammed Assaf, The courier (2012), starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Mickey Rourke, and the documentary film Ford Transit (2002).

Based in the UAE, Ola Al-Sheikh is a Palestinian film critic and jury member of the Critics' Awards for Arab Films and Arab Critics' Awards for European Films. Al-Sheikh has been in charge of the Cinema pages in the prestigious Emirates Today newspaper for five years, and she also writes film reviews for the Al-Hayat newspaper. A member of "Critics Without Borders" in Sweden, she has been part of the selection committee for MAFF Development Funding, the Malmo Arab Film Festival initiative that supports projects which focus on issues that concern Arab culture, identity and exile or are co-produced by Swedish and Arab producers.

Organized by MAD Solutions, the Arab Cinema Center (ACC) is a nonprofit organization registered in Amsterdam since its inception in 2015. 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 events that it organizes. The ACC also provides networking opportunities with representatives of companies and institutions specialized in co-production and international distribution, among others. The ACC's activities vary between film markets, stands, and pavilions, networking sessions and one-on-one meetings bringing together Arab and foreign filmmakers, welcome parties, as well as meetings with international organizations and festivals, and the issuance of the Arab Cinema Magazine to be distributed at the leading international film festivals and markets.

Furthermore, newsletter subscription is now available on the ACC's website, allowing users to obtain digital copies of the Arab Cinema Magazine, as well as news on the ACC's activities, notifications of application dates for grants, festivals and offers from educational and training institutions, updates on Arab films participating at festivals, exclusive news on the Arab Cinema LAB, and highlights from the ACC's partners and their future projects.

The ACC also launched an English-language Arab Cinema Guide, available on its website, which is a comprehensive cinematic guide that comprises a variety of tools presented collectively for the first time to offer information on Arab cinema to filmmakers inside and outside of the Arab world. It also aims to facilitate filmmakers' access to international markets and help film industry representatives to easily identify Arab film productions.

The Arab Cinema Center announced the launch of the MAD 3ARABI (Arab Flow) in Prague, Czech Republic. The festival aims to introduce the Arab culture and focus on the film and TV industry, flowing Arab entertainment and culture onto European shores, and also providing an extension for Arab filmmakers and content creators in the entertainment industry to reach new shores.