release date January 31 2017
Arab Cinema Center Reveals Details on the Annual Critics' Awards
The Arab Cinema Center (ACC) has revealed its latest initiative for promoting and supporting the Arab cinema internationally; the annual Critics' Awards. The award jury members comprises 26 prominent Arab and foreign critics from 15 countries from around the world. For the first time in Arab Cinema history, the awards jury will comprise the most influential Arab and international critics aiming to work together to select the best Arab film productions every year in the following categories: Best Film, Best Director, Best Writer, Best Actress, and Best Actor. Egyptian Film Critic Ahmed Shawky has been appointed as Manager of the Critics' Awards. The award ceremony will be held within the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.

Film Analyst Alaa Karkouti, CEO of MAD Solutions; the company in charge of organizing the Arab Cinema Center events, commented on this new move saying, "The Critics' Awards marks a first-time initiative that encompasses film critics from all over the world dedicated to Arab films within the strategy of Arab Cinema Center to add initiatives and events to every large-scale international film festival around the world. This is the first new addition for Arab Cinema Center in 2017 and more is yet to come."

Film Critic Ahmed Shawky says, "I believe that the Arab cinema has been in need for such an initiative that somehow brings together the contributions of some of the finest critics, who keep an eye on Arab films and write about its latest developments, and turn it into an annual celebration of the best cinematic works."

The films nominated for the Critics' Awards will be according to the following criteria:
Premiered at international film festivals outside of the Arab world during 2016
At least one of the production companies must be Arab (regardless of the size of its contribution in the production of the film).
Must be feature films (fiction or documentary)
List of critics responsible for nominating and selecting the winners of the Critics' Awards (in alphabetical order):

Ibrahim Al Ariss | Lebanon
Ahmed Shawky | Egypt
Ossama Abdel Fattah | Egypt
Olivier Barlet | France
Bashar Ibrahim | Palestine, UAE
Deborah Young | USA
Dragan Rubesa | Croatia
Jay Weissberg | USA
Hussam Assi | Palestine, UK
Hamadi Keroum | Morocco
Khalil Demmon | Morocco
Ziad Khouzaie | Iraq, UK
Samir Farid | Egypt
Sydney Levine | USA
Tarek El-Shinnawi | Egypt
Abdul Sattar Naji | Kuwait
Erfan Rashid | Iraq, Italy
Ola Al-Sheikh | Palestine, UAE
Kais Kassem | Iraq, Sweden
Mohammed Bougalleb | Tunisia
Mohammed Rouda | Lebanon
Nabil Hadji | Algeria
Nadim Jarjoura | Lebanon
E. Nina Roth | USA, Italy
Hauvick Habéchian | Lebanon
Houda Ibrahim | Lebanon, France

The Critics' Awards annual ceremony will be held within the Cannes Film Festival in May 2017.
Arab Cinema Center (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. ACC also provides networking opportunities with representatives of companies and institutions specialized in co-production and international distribution, among others.