With the aim to discover the Arab world, EFP and the ACC launched the Arab Critics' Award for European Films in 2019 dedicated to European cinema.
A total of 26 European films will compete for the Arab Critics’ Award for European Films, which is being jointly announced by European Film Promotion (EFP) and the Arab Cinema Center (ACC) for the third edition.
This year, 71 of the most prominent and influential Arab film critics from 15 Arab-speaking countries – 13 more than last year – will first decide on their top three favourites from nominations submitted by the European national film institutions – EFP’s member organisations – before announcing the winning film during the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF), which will take place from November 26 to December 5.
The jurors will evaluate the nominated films using the Festival Scope digital platform, which is a partner of the ACC.
The Arab Critics’ Awards for European Films is a spin-off from the ACC’s now well-established Critics’ Awards to boost film diversity in the region and raise the interest of sales and industry for outstanding European films. This initiative also aims to cast light on the distinguished film critics from 15 Arab-speaking countries and their important role in opening up new perspectives and bridging cultural idiosyncrasies.
Speaking about the nominations, Sonja Heinen, EFP’s Managing Director, said: “This year’s Arab Critics’ Awards for European Film will be presented by 71 renowned film critics from 15 Arab countries at the Cairo International Film Festival. We are so grateful for this opportunity given to our partners to gain visibility for European films in the Arab world. We are delighted to present a slew of outstanding films that have been to 2021’s key international film festivals, such as Sundance, Rotterdam, Berlin, Cannes, Annecy, Locarno, Venice and San Sebastián, by even more Arab film critics. It is a great honour for us.”
Maher Diab and Alaa Karkouti, Founders of Arab Cinema Center, added: “In its third year, the Arab Critics’ Awards for European Film established itself as a pivotal event for European films in the Arab world. It brings to light the contributions and creative writings of Arab cinema critics, which is one of the primary objectives of the Arab Critics’ Awards for European Film.”
Mohamed Hefzy, Producer, Screenwriter, and President of Cairo International Film Festival, commented: “We were pleased to present the Arab Critics’ Awards for European Films during the Cairo International Film Festival in prior years. It’s our pleasure to continue for the third consecutive year, as it aligns with one of the festival’s primary objectives, which is to introduce the audience to the best of international cinema production.”
Ola Al-Sheikh, Film Critic and Manager of Arab Critics’ Awards for European Films, remarked: “This year, we welcomed new film critics to the third edition of the Arab Critics’ Awards for European Films, which introduced us to fresh western works. This is the role of film; it bridges cultural divides. We get to know one another better via Arab cinema, which has become an integral part of our self-definition. We closely follow European films and have a viewpoint about them, even more so now that such films are screening in Arab Film Festivals following their international tours. We welcome our new colleagues from around the Arab World and look forward to seeing everyone.”
The selected film include107 Mothers by Peter Kerekes, Slovak Republic; After The Winter by Ivan Bakrač, Montenegro; Ali and Ava by Clio Barnard, UK; As Far As I Can Walk by Stefan Arsenijevic, Serbia; Blue Moon by Alina Grigore, Romania; The Gravedigger´s Wife by Khadar Ayderus Ahmed, Finland; Hinterland by Stefan Ruzowitzky, Austria; Hive by Blerta Basholli, Kosovo; I’m Your Man by Maria Schrader, Germany; Inventory by Darko Sinko, Slovenia; Lamb by Valdimar Jóhannsson; Iceland; The Last Ones by Veiko Õunpuu, Estonia; Libertad by Clara Roquet, Spain; Moon 66 Questions by Jacqueline Lentzou, Greece; The Most Beautiful Boy In The World by Kristina Lindström and Kristian Petri, Sweden; My Sunny Maad by Michaela Pavlatova, Czech Republic; Natural Light by Dénes Nagy, Hungary; Neighbours by Mano Khalil, Switzerland; Patchwork by Petros Charalambous, Cyprus; The Pilgrims by Laurynas Bareiša, Lithuania; Sisterhood by Dina Duma, North Macedonia; The Staffroom by Sonja Tarokic, Croatia; This Town by Mariusz Wilczyński, Poland; Three Minutes – A Lengthening by Bianca Stigter, The Netherlands; The White Fortress by Drljača Igor Bosnia and Herzegovina; The Year Before The War by Dāvis Sīmanis, Latvia.
The list of newly joined film critics in the Arab Critics’ Awards for European Films include Ahmed Abo El Fadl (Egypt), Amged Gamal (Egypt), Azz El Deen El Ouafi (Morocco), Dalia Said Mostafa (Egypt), Huda Jafar (Yamen), Lama Tayara (Syria), Marwa Abueish (Egypt), Omnia Adel (Egypt), Samira Dami (Tunisia), Samya Ayish (Palestine), Selim ElBak (Palestine), Shaimaa Selim (Egypt), and Sherif Thabet (Egypt).