release date May 20 2019
The Arab Cinema Center Announces Winners of Its 3rd Annual Critics Awards
During a ceremony held on the sidelines of the 72nd Cannes Film Festival attended by a large number of the Festival's guests, the Arab Cinema Center (ACC) has announced the winners of its 3rd Annual Critics Awards, which were selected by 75 film critics from 34 countries from all over the world. The critics viewed the Arab feature and documentary films produced in 2018 on Festival Scope.

Winners of the 3rd Annual Critics Awards:

Best Actress |Maha Alemi | Sofia | Morocco
Best Actor |Mohamed Dhrif | Weldi | Tunisia
Best Screenplay |Meryem Benm'Barek | Sofia | Morocco
Best Documentary | Of Fathers and Sons | Director: Talal Derki | Syria
Best Director |Nadine Labaki | Capernaum | Lebanon
Best Film | Yomeddine | Director: Abu Bakr Shawky | Egypt

Watch the announcement ceremony here:

Film Analyst Alaa Karkouti, Co-founder of the Arab Cinema Center (ACC) and CEO of MAD Solutions, says, "The winners of this year's edition of the Annual Critics Awards show diversity that reflects the growing Arab film industry in the past few years, which explains the huge Arab presence in most of the competitions of this year's Cannes Film Festival. This is an indication that the development curve is on the rise."

Film Critic Ahmed Shawky,Manager of the Critics Awards, says, "With the increase of the number of the member film critics in the 3rd edition, the variety of points of view has increased and the competition has become stronger. Most nominees were nearly neck-and-neck in most categories, which gives selections more credibility and suggests the ever-growing interest of film critics in Arab cinema."

The Annual Critics Awards announcement ceremony is sponsored by Iraqi Cinema, ART, Film Clinic and MAD Solutions. During the event, the ACC presented its Achievement Award for Film Critics to Lebanese Film Critic Ibrahim Al Ariss and American Film Critic Deborah Young, through whichthe ACC honors Arab and international film critics who have a great impact on the Arab film industry.

The 1st Annual Critics Awards was launched on the margins of 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 Documentary Film, Best Director, Best Writer, Best Actress and Best Actor. For the first time in the Arab cinema history, the jury committee brings together 75 of the most prominent Arab and international film critics from 34 countries from all over the world this year.

The final list of the nominees for the Annual Critics Awards were selected according to the following criteria: the films must have been premiered at international film festivals outside of the Arab world during 2018, and at least one of the production companies must be Arab (regardless of the size of its contribution to the production of the film), in addition, the films must be feature-length films (fiction or documentary).

The partners accompanying the ACC to the Cannes Film Festival in 2019 are (in alphabetical order): Arab Radio & Television (ART) (Saudi Arabia), Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) (Egypt), Centre National du Cinéma et de l'Image (CNCI) (Tunisia), Festival Ciné Palestine (FCP) (France), Film Clinic (Egypt), FilmLab: Palestine (FLP) (Palestine), Iraqi Cinema (Iraq), Lagoonie Film Production (Egypt), Ma3aml 612 Think Factory (Jordan), MAD Solutions (Egypt, UAE), Malmö Arab Film Festival (MAFF) (Sweden), Rotana Group (Saudi Arabia, Egypt), The Imaginarium Films (Jordan), The Royal Film Commission-Jordan (RFC) (Jordan), and Tripoli Film Festival (Lebanon).

Organized by MAD Solutions, the Arab Cinema Center (ACC) celebrates its fifth year since its inception in 2015. A nonprofit 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 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 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'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.