Raya Abirached Reveals Final List of Nominations for Critics Awards for Arab Films

Raya Abirached Reveals Final List of Nominations for Critics Awards for Arab Films

16 June 2020
Renowned TV personality Raya Abirached revealed the final nominees for the Critics Awards for Arab Films. Organized by the Arab Cinema Center (ACC), the event is the first-of-its-kind in the Arab world, bringing together 142 film critics from 57 countries in under its jury committee. The critics have viewed Arab feature and documentary films produced in 2019 on Festival Scope. The jury committee is currently voting to select the best in each category. The winners will be announced during the upcoming edition of the Virtual Cannes Market (June 22-26).

Check the following link to watch the announcement video: https://youtu.be/Ht0mDtzBPuU

This year, the Arab Cinema Center announced that American film critic Deborah Young is the newly assigned Manager of the Critics' Awards for Arab Films. Based in Italy, Young graduated with honors from Wellesley College and received an M.A. in Cinema Studies from New York University. She served as the Artistic Director of the Taormina Film Festival for five years before leaving to become the International Film Editor of the Hollywood Reporter. Last year, Deborah received the Achievement Award for Film Critics in recognition of her inspiring career in film criticism.

Co-founders of ACC, Alaa Karkouti and Maher Diab, commented, "We're proud to announce the fourth edition of the Critics' Awards for Arab Films. Although we won't be able to hold the reception in Cannes as usual, however we're happy that it shall continue as part of the festival in its virtual edition this year."

"We are also thrilled to announce Deborah Young as the newly appointed Manager of the Critics Awards for Arab Films for the next two years, before another film critic takes over for another two-year term. We would like to thank TV personality Raya Abirached for adding her unique touch to this year's Critics' Awards for Arab Films by revealing its final nominees." Karkouti and Diab said.

Deborah Young said, "I am honored to be nominated and to play a role in the Critics Awards for Arab Films. They are already off to a strong start with 141 critics currently voting, and they signal the year's outstanding Arab films to audiences and film professionals throughout the world. I hope my contribution can help make the Arab Cinema Center's prestigious award even more relevant."

The Final List of Nominees are:

Best Documentary:

143 Rue Du Desert | Directed by Hassen Ferhani | Algeria
Talking About Trees | Directed by Suhaib Gasmelbari | Sudan
For Sama | Directed by Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts| Syria

Best Actress:

Lubna Azabal | Adam | Morocco
Nissrine Erradi | Adam | Morocco
Hend Sabry | Noura's Dream | Tunisia

Best Actor:

Elia Suleiman | It Must Be Heaven | Palestine
Sami Bouajila | A Son | Tunisia
Abdullah Miniawy | Tlamess | Egypt

Best Screenplay:

Amjad Abu Alala, Yousef Ibrahim | You Will Die At Twenty | Sudan
Elia Suleiman | It Must Be Heaven | Palestine
Mehdi Barsaoui | A Son | Tunisia

Best Director:

Elia Suleiman | It Must Be Heaven | Palestine
Ala Eddine Slim | Tlamess | Tunisia
Maryam Touzani | Adam | Morocco

Best Film:

Adam | Director: Maryam Touzani | Morocco
It Must Be Heaven | Director: Elia Suleiman | Palestine
You Will Die At Twenty | Director: Amjad Abu Alala | Sudan

The 1st Critics Awards for Arab Films was held 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 history of Arab cinema, the jury committee brings together 142 of the most prominent Arab and international film critics from 57 countries from all over the world this year.

The final list of the nominees for the Critics Awards for Arab Films 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).

Organized by MAD Solutions in 2015, the Arab Cinema Center (ACC) is 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 markets, stands, and pavilions, networking sessions and one-on-one meetings bringing together 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.