During a ceremony held during the 76th Cannes Film Festival in partnership with the IEFTA, the Arab Cinema Center (ACC) announced the winners of the seventh Critics Awards for Arab Films, which highlighted the top Arab films released in 2022.
This year, the international jury panel, which encompassed 193 film critics from 72 countries, evaluated the nominated films using the Festival Scope digital platform — a partner of the ACC.
And the winners are:
● Best Film: HANGING GARDENS | Director: Ahmed Yassin Aldaradji| Iraq
● Best Actor: Adam Bessa | HARKA| Tunisia
● Best Actress: Lubna Azabal | THE BLUE CAFTAN| Morocco
● Best Director: Youssef Chebbi | ASHKAL| Tunisia
● Best Screenplay: Maryam Touzani & Nabil Ayouch | THE BLUE CAFTAN | Morocco
● Best Cinematography: Virginie Surdej | THE BLUE CAFTAN | Poland
● Best Editing: Valentin Féron | ASHKAL
● Best Documentary: FORAGERS | Director: Jumana Manna | Palestine
● Best Music: Amine Bouhafa| UNDER THE FIG TREES| Tunisia
The first 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, along with the recently added Best Editing, Best Cinematography, and Best Music categories.
The final list of the nominees for the Critics Awards for Arab Films was curated according to the following criteria: The films must have premiered at an international film festival outside of the Arab world in 2022, and at least one of the production companies must be Arab (regardless of the size of its contribution to the production of the film).
Additionally, the films must be feature-length (fiction or documentary).
Organized by MAD Solutions in 2015, the ACC is a nonprofit organization registered in Amsterdam and is an international promotional platform for Arab cinema, providing the Arab filmmaking industry with a professional window to connect with its 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, a 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 provides a variety of tools presented collectively for the first time to offer information on Arab cinema to filmmakers inside and outside the Arab world.
It also aims to facilitate filmmakers' access to international markets and help film industry representatives easily identify Arab film productions.