release date February 16 2018
The Annual Critics Awards Jury More than Doubled to 62 Critics from across the World
Getting ready to announce the winners of the 2nd Annual Critics Awards during the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, 62 film critics from all over the world are currently viewing Arab feature and documentary films produced in 2017. The films are being viewed on the digital platform Festival Scope, a partner of the Arab Cinema Center (ACC), the organizer of the annual Critics Awards.

Film Analyst Alaa Karkouti, Co-founder of the Arab Cinema Center (ACC) and CEO and Co-founder of MAD Solutions, talks about this year’s edition, saying, "The 2nd Critics Awards witnesses a new record for the Arab film industry, as 62 critics from 28 countries from all over the world came together to view the best Arab film productions in 2017. The films are being viewed from an international critical perspective, which matches our goal of promoting Arab films and establishing an Arab and international critical ground for these films."

Film Critic Ahmed Shawky, Manager of the Critics Awards, says, “The expansion of the 2nd Critics Awards is a proof of the seriousness of the initiative and its sincere endeavors to express the opinions of the largest number of film critics interested in the Arab film industry and its latest trends. It will also help Arab cinema reach top writers, intellectuals and opinion leaders from countries where Arab films rarely screened.”

The 1st Annual Critics Awards was held within the 70th Cannes Film Festival. The awards are given to the best Arab film productions every year in the following categories: Best Feature Film, Best Director, Best Writer, Best Actress and Best Actor, in addition to the new category, the Best Documentary Film. For the first time in the Arab cinema history, the jury committee brings together 62 of the most prominent Arab and international critics from 28 countries from all over the world this year. Egyptian film critic Ahmed Shawky serves as Manager of the Critics Awards.

The list of the qualified contenders for the Critics Awards are selected according to the following criteria: the films must have been premiered at international film festivals outside of the Arab world during 2017, and at least one of the production companies must be Arab (regardless of the size of its contribution in the production of the film), in addition to that the films must be feature-length films (fiction or documentary).

The new issue of the Arab Cinema Magazine, published by the Arab Cinema Center (ACC), is going to feature an article on the 2nd Annual Critics Awards covering information about the film critics on board.

The 1st Annual Critics Awards jury committee included Egyptian film critic Samir Farid and Palestinian film critic Bashar Ibrahim, who passed away in early 2017 after they have contributed to the selection of films and filmmakers nominated for this year’s awards.

List of critics appointed for nominating and selecting the winners of the 1st Critics’ Awards (in alphabetical order):

Abdul Sattar Naji | Kuwait, Ahmed Shawky | Egypt, Deborah Young | USA, Dragan Rubesa | Croatia, Erfan Rashid | Iraq/ Italy, Fionnuala Halligan |UK, Hamadi Geroum | Morocco, Hauvick Habéchian | Lebanon, Houda Ibrahim | Lebanon/ France , Husam Sam Asi | Palestine/ UK, Ibrahim Al Ariss | Lebanon, Jay Weissberg | USA Kais Kassem | Iraq/ Sweden, Khalil Demmon | Morocco, Mohammed Bougalleb | Tunisia, Mohammed Rouda | Lebanon, Nabil Hadji | Algeria, Nadim Jarjoura | Lebanon, Ola Al-Sheikh | Palestine/ UAE, Olivier Barlet | France, Ossama Abdel Fattah | Egypt, Sydney Levine | USA, Tarek El-Shenawy | Egypt, Ziad Khuzai | Iraq/ UK.

List of critics appointed for nominating and selecting the winners this year (in alphabetical order):

Abdelkarim Ouakrim | Morocco, Abdelkarim Qadri | Algeria, Ali Wajeeh | Syria, Alin TAŞÇIYAN | Turkey, Amber Wilkinson | UK, Andrew Mohsen | Egypt, Ásgeir H. Ingólfsson | Iceland/ Czech Republic, Carmen Gray | New Zealand, Chris Newbould | UK, Emad El Nouwairy | Kuwait, Gautaman Bhaskaran | India, Giona A. Nazzaro | Switzerland, Harri Römpötti | Finland, Hassan Haddad | Bahrain, Hassouna Mansouri | Tunisia, Iqbal Zalila | Tunisia, Jim Quilty | Canada/Beirut, Kadhum Saloom | Iraq, Kaleem Aftab | UK, Khaled Mahmoud | Egypt, Khalid Ali | Sudan/ UK, Kiva Reardon | Canada, Magdy Eltayeb | Egypt, Mahmoud Mahdi | Egypt, Massimo Lechi | Italy, Mohamed Atef | Egypt, Mohamed Benaziz | Morocco, Mohammed Chouika | Morocco, Mohamed Hashem Abdelsalam | Egypt, Najeh Hassan | Jordan, Ola Shafey | Egypt, Pamela Biénzobas | Chile France, Ramy Abdel Razek | Egypt, Rasha Hosny | Egypt, Ronnit Hasson | Sweden, Safaa Abusadeer | Iraq/ UK, Tarek Ben Chaabane | Tunisia, Youssef Cherif Rizkallah | Egypt.

Organized by MAD Solutions in 2015, the 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. The ACC also provides networking opportunities with representatives of companies and institutions specialized in co-production and international distribution, among others. The Center's activities vary between film market main wings, introduction and networking sessions for 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 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.