What better time and place than Cannes, the annual parade of cinema’s superpowers, to reveal who in the Arab film industry has mattered most in the past twelve months? So here it is, our inaugural CANNES 100. Over the following pages you will see names of the golden hundred talents and entities – plus one extra thrown in for good measure at the end – that the world really needs to know based on our assessment of their recent business history in Arab film. They are not ranked, please note, but ordered alphabetically by first names and grouped together alongside their immediate peers. And just to be clear, for those wondering why someone like Algerian-born Sofia Boutella is not on the list just as she is making a splash on the Croisette with FAHRENHEIT 451, the names were all chosen for their recent contributions to Arab-language cinema. This also means that the emergent powers from Arab television and digital media will have to wait for future editions when we take measure of their particular contributions to Arab storytelling. Let the debates begin!
The 100 Most Important Names in the Arab Film Industry includes industry professionals that either represent themselves or entities they work for. The names were all chosen for their contributions to Arab-language cinema in the past twelve months, which is why Arab names who participated in international films/TV series are not on the list. They are ordered alphabetically by first names and grouped together alongside their immediate peers.
the DIRECTORs
AMR SALAMA
DIRECTOR & WRITER
EGYPT
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ANNEMARIE JACIR
DIRECTOR & WRITER
PALESTINE
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FERAS FAYYAD
DIRECTOR, WRITER & EDITOR
SYRIA
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HAIFAA AL-MANSOUR
DIRECTOR & WRITER
SAUDI ARABIA
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HANY ABU-ASSAD
DIRECTOR, WRITER & PRODUCER
PALESTINE
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HICHAM LASRI
DIRECTOR, WRITER & PRODUCER
MOROCCO
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KAOUTHER BEN HANIA
DIRECTOR & WRITER
TUNISIA
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MARWAN HAMED
DIRECTOR
EGYPT
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MAHDI FLEIFEL
DIRECTOR, WRITER, PRODUCER & CINEMATOGRAPHER
LEBANON-PALESTINE
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MIR-JEAN BOU CHAAYA
DIRECTOR, WRITER, PRODUCER & EDITOR
LEBANON
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MOHAMED AL DARRADJI
DIRECTOR, WRITER, PRODUCER, EDITOR & CINEMATOGRAPHER
IRAQ
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MOHAMED BEN ATTIA
DIRECTOR & WRITER
TUNISIA
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MUAYAD ALAYAN
DIRECTOR, WRITER, PRODUCER & CINEMATOGRAPHER
PALESTINE
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NABIL AYOUCH
DIRECTOR, WRITER & PRODUCER
MOROCCO
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NADINE LABAKI
DIRECTOR, ACTRESS & WRITER
LEBANON
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RAED ANDONI
DIRECTOR & PRODUCER
PALESTINE
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RASHID MASHARAWI
DIRECTOR, WRITER & PRODUCER
PALESTINE
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ZIAD DOUEIRI
DIRECTOR AND WRITER
LEBANON
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the writers
AHMED AMER
WRITER & DIRECTOR
EGYPT
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BASSEL GHANDOUR
WRITER & PRODUCER
JORDAN
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RAMI ALAYAN
WRITER & PRODUCER
PALESTINE
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the Gatekeepers
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MOHAMED BIN SALMAN
CROWN PRINCE, SAUDI ARABIA
SAUDI ARABIA
AHMED BIN AQEEL AL-KHATIB
CHAIRMAN OF THE GENERAL ENTERTAINMENT AUTHORITY
SAUDI ARABIA
NOURA AL-KAABI
MINISTER OF CULTURE & KNOWLEDGE DEVELOPMENT
U.A.E
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the Actors
ADEL KARAM
TV PRESENTER & ACTOR
LEBANON
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ALI SULIMAN
ACTOR
PALESTINE
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AMR WAKED
ACTOR
EGYPT
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MOHAMMAD BAKRI
ACTOR
PALESTINE
SALEH BAKRI
ACTOR
PALESTINE
ADAM BAKRI
ACTOR
PALESTINE
ASHRAF BARHOM
ACTOR
PALESTINE
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DIAMAND ABOU ABBOUD
ACTRESS
LEBANON
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DHAFER L’ABIDINE
ACTOR
TUNISIA - UK
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HIAM ABBASS
ACTRESS
PALESTINE
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KAMEL EL BASHA
ACTOR
PALESTINE
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MAISA ABD ELHADI
ACTRESS
PALESTINE
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MENNA SHALABY
ACTRESS
EGYPT
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SABA MUBARAK
ACTRESS & PRODUCER
JORDAN
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YASMIN RAEIS
ACTRESS
EGYPT
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the PRODUCERs
AYMAN JAMAL
PRODUCER, DIRECTOR & WRITER
SAUDI ARABIA
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DORA BOUCHOUCHA
FOUNDER & MANAGER OF NOMADIS IMAGES
TUNISIA
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GEORGES SCHOUCAIR
FOUNDER AND CEO OF ABBOUT PRODUCTIONS
LEBANON
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HABIB ATTIA
MANAGING DIRECTOR OF CINETELEFILMS
TUNISIA
read more...
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DANIEL ZISKIND
FILM CLINIC REPRESENTATIVE IN EUROPE
FRANCE
MOHAMED HEFZY
Writer, Producer, Festival President of CIFF & FOUNDER MANAGER OF FILM CLINIC
EGYPT
HANI OSAMA
CO-FOUNDER & MANAGING DIRECTOR OF THE PRODUCERS
EGYPT
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ROMAN PAUL
CO-FOUNDER OF RAZOR FILM PRODUKTION
GERMANY
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RULA NASSER
FOUNDER OF THE IMAGINARIUM FILMS
JORDAN - CANADA
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TALAL AL-MUHANNA
FOUNDER AND MANAGER OF LINKED PRODUCTIONS
KUWAIT
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the festivals
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ABDULHAMID JUMA
PRESIDENT OF DUBAI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (DIFF)
U.A.E
MASOUD AMRALLA AL ALI
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF DUBAI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (DIFF)
U.A.E
SHIVANI PANDYA
MANAGING DIRECTOR OF DUBAI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (DIFF)
U.A.E
ANTOINE KHALIFE
DIRECTOR OF ARAB PROGRAMMING AT DUBAI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (DIFF)
LEBANON
ELIAS KHLAT
PRODUCER & FOUNDER OF TRIPOLI FILM FESTIVAL
LEBANON
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JAD ABI KHALIL
DIRECTOR OF BEIRUT CINEMA PLATFORM
LEBANON
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MAMDOUH SALEM
CEO OF ROWAD MEDIA & CINEMA 70
SAUDI ARABIA
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MOHAMED KEBLAWI
DIRECTOR OF MALMO ARAB FILM FESTIVAL & ARAB CINEMA IN SWEDEN
PALESTINE-SWEDEN
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NAGUIB SAWIRES
FOUNDER OF EL GOUNA FILM FESTIVAL & IPRODUCTIONS
EGYPT
INTISHAL AL-TAMIMI
MANAGER OF EL GOUNA FILM FESTIVAL
IRAQ
NAJIB AYAD
DIRECTOR OF CARTHAGE FILM FESTIVAL
TUNISIA
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ORWA NYRABIA
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL AMSTERDAM (IDFA)
SYRIA
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ROSH ABDELFATAH
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF ROTTERDAM ARAB FILM FESTIVAL
SYRIA
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SERGE BAKALIAN
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF ARAB FILM FESTIVAL & ARAB FILM AND MEDIA INSTITUTE
LEBANON - U.S.A
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SHIRIN GHAREEB
DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF WASHINGTON DC INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL & FESTIVAL DIRECTOR OF ARABIAN SIGHTS
U.S.A
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YOUSSEF CHERIF RIZKALLAH
FILM CRITIC & ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF CAIRO FILM FESTIVAL (CIFF)
EGYPT
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the exhibitors and distributors
Ahmad Golchin
Founder and Director of Phars Film
U.A.E
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Hania Mroue
Founder and Director of Metropolis and CEO of MC Distribution
LEBANON
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Alaa Karkouti
Co-Founder and Managing Partner of MAD Solutions
SYRIA - EGYPT
Maher Diab
Co-founder and Managing Partner
LEBANON - CANADA
Colin Brown
Managing Partner-International
U.S.A
Abdallah Al-Shami
Managing Partner-GCC
LEBANON - U.A.E
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Cameron Mitchell
CEO of VOX Cinemas
U.A.E
Jacques Kruger
General Manager
U.A.E
Toni Massih
Director of Film Content and Distribution
U.A.E
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Hisham Al-Ghanim
Chairman and CEO of International Film Distributor
KUWAIT
Gianluca Chakra
Managing Partner of Front Row
LEBANON
Mario G. Haddad
CEO of Empire International
LEBANON
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Marianne Khoury
Producer, Director, Distributor and Exhibitor
EGYPT
Youssef Shazli
Managing Director of Zawya Cinema
EGYPT
Selim Ramia
Chairman of Selim Ramia & Co. Holding
LEBANON
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Selim Aazar
CEO of Gulf Film
QATAR
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Zaid Fadel
CEO of Iraqi Cinemas
IRAQ
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the Platforms
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Al Waleed bin Talal
Owner of Rotana Media Group
SAUDI ARABIA
Turki Al-Shabana
CEO of Rotana
SAUDI ARABIA
Hadeel Kamel
Managing Director of ART
SAUDI ARABIA
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Martin Stuart
CEO of OSN
U.A.E
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Waleed bin Ibrahim Al Ibrahim
Founder and Chairman of MBC
SAUDI ARABIA
Raya Abirached
TV Presenter
LEBANON
Husam Sam Asi
Member of Golden Globes and TV Presenter on BBC Arabic
PALESTINE - UK
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Lana Al Jundi
TV Presenter in Sky News Arabia
SYRIA - U.A.E
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the funders
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Fatma Al Remaihi
CEO of Doha Film Institute
QATAR
Khalil Benkirane
Head of Grant Unit of DFI
QATAR
Abdel Muttalib Al Hammadi
Deputy Chairman of the Ministry of Interior’s Cinema Awards (MOICA)
U.A.E
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Rima Mismar
Director of AFAC (The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture)
LEBANON
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Vincenzo Bugno
Project Manager of World Cinema Fund
GERMANY
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Frank Albers
Head of Film Prize of Robert Bosch Stiftung
GERMANY
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Alessandra Speciale
Head of Final Cut in Venice
ITALY
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michel merkt
Producer, KNM Productions
SWITZERLAND - MONACO
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the Commissions
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Jamal Al-Sharif
Chairman of Dubai Studio City and Dubai Film Commission
U.A.E
Jassim Al Nowais
Manager of Abu Dhabi Film Commission
U.A.E
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Princess Rym Ali
Commissioner, Royal Film Commission of Jordan
JORDAN
George David
Managing Director of RFC
JORDAN
Nada Doumani
Communication and Culture Programing of RFC
LEBANON
Sarim Fassi Fihri
Director of Moroccan Cinema Center (CCM)
MOROCCO
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the internationals Sales
Eric Lagesse
CEO of Pyramide
FRANCE
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Francois Morisset
Head of Salaud Morisset
FRANCE AND GERMANY
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Frederic Corvez
President and Founder of Urban Distribution International
FRANCE
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Hedi Zardi
CEO of Luxbox
FRANCE
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Sarah Chazelle
Co-Owner of Jour2Fete
FRANCE
Etienne Ollangier
Co-Owner of Jour2Fete
FRANCE
Ida Martins
CEO of Media Luna
GERMANY
read more...
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Vincent Grimond
CEO of Wild Bunch
FRANCE
Vincent Maraval
Chief Content Officer of Wild Bunch
FRANCE
the Organizations
Chiraz Latiri
General Director of CNCI (The National Center of Cinema and Image) 
TUNISIA
read more...
Huda Kanoo
Founder of ADMAF (Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation
U.A.E
read more...
Hanna Atallah
Artistic Director of FilmLab: Palestine
PALESTINE
read more...
Maryam Al-Mheiri
CEO of Media Zone Authority - Abu Dhabi and twofour54
U.A.E
read more...
Sawsan Darwaza
creative director of Al Ma3mal 612 Think Factory
JORDAN
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Talal Afifi
Curator of Sudan Film Factory and President of Sudan Film Festival 
SUDAN
read more...
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Sam Lahoud
Founding Director and Artistic Director of NDU International Film Festival
LEBANON
Nicolas Khabbaz
Founding Director and Artistic Director of NDU International Film Festival
LEBANON
read more...
Mohamed Al Mubarak
Chairman, Image Nation Abu Dhabi
U.A.E
Michael Garin
CEO
U.A.E
Ben Ross
Head of Narrative Film and Television
U.A.E
Zeina Sfeir
Co-Founder of Beirut DC and Artistic Director of Beirut Cinema Days
LEBANON
read more...
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Edgardo Bechara El Khoury
Executive Director
ARGENTINA
Christian Mouroux
Managing Director of Latin-Arab Film Festival and Latin Arab Co-Production Forum
ARGENTINA
the Pathfinder
The brainchild of MAD Solutions (see above), the ACC was created as an umbrella presence at film events to advocate – and where necessary agitate - on behalf of Arab cinema and culture the world over. This very magazine is one visible expression of that commitment, and so also are all the new avenues that are opening for Arab projects and filmmakers in countries where not so long ago they were invisible.