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Unveiling the 8th Critics Awards for Arab Films: Celebrating Excellence in Pan-Arab Cinema

Unveiling the 8th Critics Awards for Arab Films: Celebrating Excellence in Pan-Arab Cinema

Unveiling the 8th Critics Awards for Arab Films: Celebrating Excellence in Pan-Arab Cinema. The Arab Cinema Center (ACC) has unveiled the final list of nominees for the 8th Critics Awards for Arab Films, with the winners set to be announced at a special ceremony during this year’s Cannes Film Festival on May 18th.

This year’s nominees were chosen from Arab films produced and premiered outside of the Arab World in 2023. They will be judged by an unprecedented jury committee consisting of 209 critics from 72 countries worldwide.

Adding to the excitement, a new category for Best Short Film has been introduced this year, joining existing categories such as Best Feature Film, Best Documentary, Best Director, Best Screenwriter, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Editing, Best Cinematography, and Best Music.

Deborah Young, Manager of the Critics Awards for Arab Films, expressed her anticipation for the upcoming awards, stating, “Another year, another Critics Awards for Arab Films that’s bigger than the last one! For the eighth version of this most auspicious event, we’re celebrating films from all over the region, including Sudan, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Yemen, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and an exciting Arab story from France this time around as well!”

“As usual, these films are the cream of the crop and have made waves in the festival circuit throughout last year, with some continuing to gain traction this year. We’re also introducing yet another category, Best Short Film, in our ongoing effort to recognize the breadth of talent in the pan-Arab cinema industry. Once again, I extend my gratitude to our jury members for their dedication to these awards, and we eagerly anticipate working with them again next year,” she added.

Echoing the excitement, ACC Co-Founders Alaa Karkouti and Maher Diab expressed their appreciation for the success of the Critics Awards for Arab Films and its impact on promoting Arab cinema globally.

“We are thrilled to announce the inclusion of the long-awaited Best Short Film Award, which is a welcome addition to our lineup. With each edition of these awards, we aim to broaden their scope to encompass every facet of this cherished industry that we are committed to championing,” they added.

The final list of nominees includes:

Best Feature Film:

  • GOODBYE JULIA | Mohamed Kordofani | Sudan
  • INSHALLAH A BOY | Amjad Al-Rasheed | Jordan
  • HAJJAN | Abu Bakr Shawky | Saudi Arabia
  • THE TEACHER | Farah Nabulsi | Palestine
  • THE BURDENED | Amr Gamal | Yemen

Best Director:

  • Mohamed Kordofani | GOODBYE JULIA | Sudan
  • Kaouther Ben Hania | FOUR DAUGHTERS | Tunisia
  • Karim Bensalah | SIX FEET OVER | France
  • Asmae ElMoudir | THE MOTHER OF ALL LIES | Morocco
  • Amjad Al-Rasheed | INSHALLAH A BOY | Jordan

Best Screenplay:

  • Mohamed Kordofani | GOODBYE JULIA | Sudan
  • Amr Gamal, Mazen Refaat | THE BURDENED | Yemen
  • Kamal Al-Azrak | HOUNDS | Morocco
  • Delphine Agut, Rula Nasser, Amjad Al-Rasheed | INSHALLAH A BOY | Jordan
  • Omar Shama, Mufarrij Almajfel, Abu Bakr Shawky | HAJJAN | Saudi Arabia

Best Actress:

  • Mouna Hawa | INSHALLAH A BOY | Jordan
  • Eiman Yousif | GOODBYE JULIA | Sudan
  • Hend Sabry | KIRA & EL GIN | Egypt
  • Hend Sabry | FOUR DAUGHTERS | Tunisia
  • Adwa Bader | NAGA | Saudi Arabia

Best Actor:

  • Ibrahim Al-Hasawi | HAJJAN | Saudi Arabia
  • Majd Mastoura | FOUR DAUGHTERS | Tunisia
  • Ayoub Elaid | HOUNDS | Morocco
  • Saleh Bakri | THE TEACHER | Palestine
  • Nazar Goma | GOODBYE JULIA | Sudan

Best Documentary:

  • FOUR DAUGHTERS | Kaouther Ben Hania | Tunisia
  • THE MOTHER OF ALL LIES | Asmae ElMoudir | Morocco
  • Q | Jude Chehab | Lebanon
  • UNDER THE SKY OF DAMASCUS | Talal Derki, Heba Khaled, Ali Wajeeh | Syria
  • LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL | Mohamed Jabaly | Palestine

Best Short Film:

  • I PROMISE YOU PARADISE | Morad Mostafa | Egypt
  • LES CHENILLES | Noel Keserwany, Michelle Keserwany | Lebanon
  • THE RED SEA MAKES ME WANNA CRY | Faris Alrjoob | Jordan
  • SEA SALT | Leila Basma | Lebanon
  • THE KEY | Rakan Mayasi | Palestine

Best Music:

  • Amine Bouhafa | HAJJAN | Saudi Arabia
  • Amine Bouhafa | FOUR DAUGHTERS | Tunisia
  • Mazen Hamid | GOODBYE JULIA | Sudan
  • Omar Fadel | NAGA | Saudi Arabia
  • Alex Baranowski | THE TEACHER | Palestine

Best Cinematography:

  • Farouk Laâridh | FOUR DAUGHTERS | Tunisia
  • Kanamé Onoyama | INSHALLAH A BOY | Jordan
  • Gilles Porte | THE TEACHER | Palestine
  • Gerry Vasbenter | HAJJAN | Saudi Arabia
  • Ahmad Al Morsy | KIRA & EL GIN | Egypt

Best Editing:

  • Ahmed Hafez | INSHALLAH A BOY | Jordan
  • Heba Othman | GOODBYE JULIA | Sudan
  • Fahd Ahmed | Q | Lebanon
  • Sarah Peczek | HAJJAN | Saudi Arabia
  • Qutaiba Barhamji | FOUR DAUGHTERS | Tunisia

The first Critics Awards for Arab Films was held on the sidelines of the 70th Cannes Film Festival. The final list of nominees for the Critics Awards for Arab Films was curated according to the following criteria: The films must have premiered at international film festivals outside of the Arab World during 2023, with at least one of the production companies being Arab.

Established by MAD Solutions in 2015, the ACC is a nonprofit organization registered in Amsterdam and serves as an international promotional platform for Arab cinema. It provides the Arab filmmaking industry with professional opportunities to connect with counterparts worldwide through various organized events. These include film markets, stands, and pavilions, networking sessions, one-on-one meetings, welcome parties, as well as interactions with international organizations and festivals. The ACC also publishes the Arab Cinema Magazine, distributed at leading international film festivals and markets.

Additionally, the ACC offers a newsletter subscription on its website, providing users with digital copies of the Arab Cinema Magazine, updates on ACC activities, notifications of grant application dates, festival announcements, educational and training opportunities, updates on Arab films participating in festivals, news on the Arab Cinema LAB, and highlights from ACC partners and their upcoming projects.

The ACC has also launched an English-language Arab Cinema Guide on its website, serving as a comprehensive cinematic resource for filmmakers inside and outside the Arab world. It aims to facilitate access to international markets for filmmakers and assist industry representatives in identifying Arab film productions easily.


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