release date April 24 2018
The Arab Cinema Center Reveals the 2nd Annual Critics Awards' Nominations
In a video featuring six of the most esteemed names in the Arab film industry, the
Arab Cinema Center (ACC) has announced the final list of nominees, who come from eight Arab countries, for the 2nd Annual Critics Awards that was voted on by 62 film critics from 28 countries around the world. The critics viewed the Arab films (features and documentaries) produced in 2017 on the digital platform of Festival Scope, a partner of the Arab Cinema Center. The winners are slated to be announced during the 71st Cannes Film Festival (May 8-19).

The final list of nominees for the 2nd Annual Critics Awards:

Tunisian Star Dhafer L’Abidine Announced the Nominees for Best Actor:
Adel Karam | The Insult | Lebanon
Amr Saad | Mawlana | Egypt
Mohammad Bakri | Wajib | Palestine

Jordanian Star Saba Mubarak Announced the Nominees for Best Actress:
Zahraa Ghandour | The Journey | Iraq
Sondos Belhassen | Benzine | Tunisia
Mariam Al Ferjani | Beauty and the Dogs | Tunisia

Egyptian Director and Screenwriter Mohamed Diab Announced the Nominees for Best Screenplay:
Ali, the Goat and Ibrahim | Ahmed Amer | Egypt
The Insult | Ziad Doueiri and Joelle Touma | Lebanon
Wajib | Annemarie Jacir | Palestine

Iraq Filmmaker Intishal Al Timimi, Director of El Gouna Film Festival, Announced the Nominees for Best Director:
Ziad Doueiri | The Insult | Lebanon
Sofia Djama | The Blessed (Les Bienheureux) | Algeria
Hicham Lasri | Headbang Lullaby | Morocco

Egyptian Producer and Director Marianne Khoury, President of the Panorama of the European Film, Announced the Nominees for Best Documentary Film:
Last Men in Aleppo | Feras Fayyad | Syria
Ghost Hunting | Raed Andoni | Palestine
Taste of Cement | Ziad Kalthoum | Lebanon, Syria

Egyptian Producer and Screenwriter Mohamed Hefzy, President of the Cairo International Film Festival, Announced the Nominees for Best Feature Film:
The Insult | Ziad Doueiri | Lebanon
Wajib | Annemarie Jacir | Palestine
Volubilis| Faouzi Bensaïdi | Morocco

Film Analyst Alaa Karkouti, Co-founder of the Arab Cinema Center (ACC) and CEO of MAD Solutions, commented, "It is a great achievement to bring together 62 film critics from across 28 countries to view dozens of the finest home-grown films that the Arab cinema has to offer and to end up with a list of nominees from across eight Arab countries. This comes as a good indicator that many Arab countries have been taking the right steps to boost the Arab filmmaking industry."

Maher Diab, Creative Director and Co-founder of the Arab Cinema Center (ACC) and MAD Solutions, said, 2017 is one of the best years for Arab cinema, which made following the updates of the Annual Critics Awards nominations exciting and entertaining for me. Many Arab films and filmmakers deserve to reach this semi-final stage. I would like to congratulate all the nominees, especially those in the new category of the Best Documentary Film, for which films are made in a region with never-ending events.”

Film Critic Ahmed Shawky, Manager of the Critics Awards, said, “The expansion that was witnessed by the jury of the Critics Awards' jury has enriched the voting experience, making it more competitive. Interestingly, the different backgrounds of the jury members have resulted in a similar diversity of the nominations, which included nominees from 13 films from across eight different countries, this year, which reflects the powerful diversity of distinguished Arab films produced during 2017.”

The 1st Annual Critics Awards was first launched within the 70th Cannes Film Festival. The awards are given to the best Arab film productions every year in the following categories: Best Film (feature and documentary), Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actress and Best Actor. This year, the Critics Awards' jury brings together 62 of the most prominent Arab and international film critics from 28 countries from all over the world for the first time in the history of the Arab cinema.

The final list of nominees for the 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 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 dedicate a section on the 2nd Annual Critics Awards, covering the entire list of the film critics, the film nominations and their makers with key info about them.

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

Abdelkarim Ouakrim | Morocco, Abdelkarim Kadri | Algeria, Abdul Sattar Naji | Kuwait, Ahmed Shawky | Egypt, 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, Deborah Young | USA, Dragan Rubesa | Croatia, Emad El Nouwairy | Kuwait, Erfan Rashid | Iraq, Italy, Fionnuala Haligan |UK, Gautaman Bhaskaran | India, Giona A. Nazzaro | Switzerland, Hammadi Gueroum | Morocco, Harri Römpötti | Finland, Hassan Haddad | Bahrain, Hassouna Mansouri | Tunisia, Hauvick Habéchian | Lebanon, Houda Ibrahim | Lebanon, France, Husam Asi | Palestine, UK, Ibrahim Alariss | Lebanon, Ikbal Zalila | Tunisia, Jay Weissberg | USA, Jim Quilty | Canada/Beirut, Kadhum Saloom | Iraq, Kais Kassem | Iraq, Sweden, Kaleem Aftab | UK, Khaled Mahmoud | Egypt, Khalid Ali | Sudan/UK, Khalil Demmoun | Morocco, Kiva Reardon | Canada, Magdy Eltayeb | Egypt, Mahmoud Mahdy | Egypt, Massimo Lechi | Italy, Mohamed Atef | Egypt, Mohamed Hashem Abdelsalam | Egypt, Mohamed Benaziz | Morocco, Mohammed Boughalleb | Tunisia, Mohammed Chouika | Morocco, Mohammed Rouda | Lebanon/UK, Nabil Hadji | Algeria, Nadim Jarjoura | Lebanon, Nageh Hassan | Jordan, Ola Kamel Al-Sheikh | Palestine, UAE, Ola Shafey | Egypt, Olivier Barlet | France, Ossama Abdel Fattah | Egypt, Pamela Biénzobas | Chile/France, Ramy Abd El Razek | Egypt, Rasha Hosny | Egypt, Ronnit Hasson | Sweden, Safaa Jibara Al-saleh | Iraq, UK, Sydney J. Levine | USA, Tarek Ben Chaabane | Tunisia, Tarek El Shinnawi | Egypt, Youssef Cherif Rizkallah | Egypt, Ziad Khuzai | Iraq, UK.

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.