release date May 21 2017
The Arab Cinema Center Reveals the Winners of the Annual Critics Awards
The Arab Cinema Center (ACC) has unveiled the list of winners in the first Annual Critics Awards bestowed on the best achievements in Arab cinema in 2016. the ACC will hold the award ceremony on Sunday night, May 21st, within the 70th Cannes Film Festival.

The winners are:
Best Actor: Majd Mastoura | Hedi | Tunisia
Best Actress: Heba Ali | Withered Green | Egypt
Best Screenplay: Clash |Khaled Diab and Mohamed Diab| Egypt
Best Director: Mohamed Diab | Clash | Egypt
Best Film: In the Last Days of the City | Egypt, UAE

Film Analyst Alaa Karkouti, Co-founder of the ACC and CEO of MAD Solutions; the company in charge of organizing ACC, commented following the announcement of the winners, “The Arab Cinema Center, through the Annual Critics Awards, continues to support and promote Arab cinema on the Arab and international levels. This initiative is part of the methods we employ to achieve that goal, and more initiatives will be launched to help disseminate Arab cinema and establish its presence.”

Maher Diab, Art Director and Co-founder of MAD Solutions and Co-founder of the ACC, adds, “The Annual Critics Awards will continue to be held at the Cannes Film Festival with the participation of some of the best Arab and foreign critics who are avid followers of Arab cinema. We seek to expand the committee to include more critics from different countries and cultures.”

Film critic Ahmed Shawky, Manager of the Critics Awards, comments, “What the awards have achieved from the interaction between the critics to the crystallization of their views is represented in the nominated and winning films, is in itself a worthy goal. And if we add to it the role of the prizes in supporting Arab cinema and promoting its best films, the first edition of the Critics Awards will largely succeed in achieving the goals for which the initiative was launched.”

The Critics Awards are awarded annually to the best achievements in the Arab film industry, specifically in the categories of Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, and Best Actress. The initiative brings together 24 jury members from among the most distinguished Arab and foreign critics from 15 countries around the world, for the first time in the history of Arab cinema. The final list of nominations was selected according to criteria which stipulated that the films had to have 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), and they must be feature films (fiction or documentary).

The jury had also included Egyptian critic Samir Farid and Palestinian critic Bashar Ibrahim, both of whom have passed away earlier this year, and have both been an integral part in the selection of the films for the awards' inaugural edition.

List of participating critics in nominating and selecting the Critics Awards winners (in alphabetical order):

Abdul Sattar Naji | Kuwait
Ahmed Shawky | Egypt
Deborah Young | USA
Dragan Rubesa | Croatia
Erfan Rashid | Iraq, Italy
Finn Halligan | UK
Hamadi Keroum | Morocco
Hauvick Habéchian | Lebanon
Houda Ibrahim | Lebanon, France
Hussam Assi | Palestine, UK
Ibrahim Al-Arees | 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
Osama Abd El-Fatah | Egypt
Sydney Levine | USA
Tarek El-Shinnawi | Egypt
Ziad Khouzaie | Iraq, UK