The Arab Cinema Center (ACC) has announced that the recipients of its Achievement Award for Film Critics this year are Lebanese Film Critic Ibrahim Al Ariss and American Film Critic Deborah Young for their inspiring careers in film criticism in the Arab world. Al Ariss and Young will receive their awards at a ceremony that will be held on the sidelines of the upcoming edition of the Cannes Film Festival.
Film Critic Ibrahim Al Ariss, talks about his award, saying, "There is no doubt that this honoring makes me feel happy and honored, even though I've always known that, at the end of the day, every honoring just puts the honoree in a museum, announcing them as useless and only for display! However, it brings me honor and at the same time, it brings honor, through me, to my entire generation that are either gone or secluded or even those who feel disgusted by what the profession has come to, even if they have always wondered if this profession is really needed anymore! However, I would like to thank the Arab Cinema Center for selecting me this year. And perhaps I would like to sum up by saying: I won't go to a museum, but I'll stay here among you. I hope that this decision won't disappoint you. I would like to thank and salute you all."
Deborah Young, International Film Editor at The Hollywood Reporter, expresses her happiness about this honoring, saying, "I'm honored and very happy to accept the Achievement Award for International Film Criticism presented by the Arab Cinema Center. Films from Arab countries have been a passion of mine ever since I began reviewing and started attending the JCC in Tunis and the Cairo Film Festival. Another key moment in my career was writing a series of special features on the Maghreb with Variety editor Hank Werba, whose keen interest in Arab cinema helped spark my own."
"This award encourages me to continue paying attention to regional cinema and assures me that my reviews in The Hollywood Reporter make a difference." Young added.
Film Analyst Alaa Karkouti, Managing Partner of the Arab Cinema Center (ACC) and CEO of MAD Solutions, comments on the award, saying, "For the second year in a row, the Arab Cinema Center is celebrating film critics who had a great impact on the film industry in the Arab world. This year, we've added a new award presented to a non-Arab film critic, because there are many foreign critics who take interest in the Arab film industry, and it's important to cast light on them, including the distinguished Deborah Young. The ACC is also proud to honor a brilliant film critic and journalist such as Ibrahim Al Ariss."
Ibrahim Al Ariss is a renowned Lebanese film critic, researcher in cultural history, translator and journalist. He studied Film Directing in Rome, and Screenwriting and Film Criticism in London. He has been working in journalism since 1970. Al Ariss is currently Head of the Cinema Division at Al-Hayat newspaper. He has translated over 40 books from different languages, including French, English and Italian. Among his most notable books are A Journey in Arab Cinema and Martin Scorsese: A Cinematic Biography.
Based in Rome, Italy, Deborah Young is an American film critic, writer and festival director of American film festivals. She graduated with honors from Wellesley College and received an M.A. in Cinema Studies from New York University. Young 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.
By presenting the Achievement Award for Film Critics, the Arab Cinema Center (ACC) seeks to highlight the profession of film criticism by honoring one of the Arab or foreign film critics annually at the Cannes Film Festival. Last year, the ACC presented this award to Film Critic and Media Figure Youssef Cherif Rizkallah. The new issue of the Arab Cinema Magazine will dedicate an entire section covering everything about the 3rd Annual Critics Awards, including the film critics' careers.
Organized by MAD Solutions, the Arab Cinema Center (ACC) celebrates its fifth year since its inception in 2015. 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 market main wings, introduction and networking sessions for 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.
The Arab Cinema Center announced the launch of the MAD 3ARABI (Arab Flow) in Prague, Czech Republic. The festival aims to introduce the Arab culture and focus on the film and TV industry, flowing Arab entertainment and culture onto European shores, and also providing an extension for Arab filmmakers and content creators in the entertainment industry to reach new shores.