File - Cairo International Film Festival.
CAIRO - 19 November 2019: After 42 film critics from 13 Arab countries had viewed 24 films from different European countries on Festival Scope, EFP (European Film Promotion) and the Arab Cinema Center (ACC) revealed the three nominated films for the Arab Critics’ Awards for European Films in a video.
The Best Film, winner of the Arab Critics’ Awards for European Films, will be announced at this year’s edition of the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF).
Mohamed Hefzy, President of the Cairo International Film Festival, said, “Hosting the first edition of the Arab Critics’ Awards for European Films at this year’s Cairo International Film Festival is very special. We were very excited when the voting results came out and we found out that we have already selected two of the three nominated films to screen within the programme of the festival’s 41st edition. This gives the festival’s audience the opportunity to watch these films, and at the same time, it confirms the festival’s unique selections.”
The festival will screen two of the three films in its International Panorama section.
The nominated films for the Arab Critics’ Awards for European Films are:
"Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles" | Director: Salvador Simó | Spain (Annecy - Official Selection, June 2019. The film will screen in the International Panorama section of the Cairo International Film Festival.
"Corpus Christi" | Director: Jan Komasa | Poland’s Official Submission to the Academy Awards (Venice Days, August 2019)
"God Exists, Her Name is Petrunya" | Director: Teona Strugar Mitevska | North Macedonia (Berlinale, February 2019. The film will screen in the International Panorama section of the Cairo International Film Festival).
Film Analyst Alaa Karkouti, co-founder of the Arab Cinema Center (ACC) and CEO of MAD Solutions, said, “The special thing about the three nominated films is that they come from different cinematic backgrounds. One of the films comes from North Macedonia, which is a country that is rarely found at festivals and doesn’t often win awards. The two other films come from Poland and Spain, which have totally different cinematic styles. The Arab Critics’ Awards for European Films is now one of the windows through which Arab film critics view European cinema.”
Sonja Heinen, managing director of EFP, said, “We are absolutely impressed by the great number of distinguished Arab film critics who followed the call of the Arab Cinema Center to join the jury. Europe and the Arab world are experiencing so many social and cultural changes and the three films selected for the shortlist reflect in very different ways on these changes. They are strong cinematic voices addressing universal topics. It is wonderful, that the Cairo International Film Festival will screen two of the films. We also hope that this award and the great interest of the Arab film critics will encourage the Arab film industry to distribute more European films."
The film critics participating in the Arab Critics’ Awards for European Films come as follows (in alphabetical order):
Abdelkarim Ouakrim (Morocco), Abdelkrim Kadri (Algeria), Abdul Sattar Naji (Kuwait), Ahmed Shawky (Egypt), Ali Wajeeh (Syria), Amal El-Gamal (Egypt), Andrew Mohsen (Egypt), Erfan Rashid (Iraq, Italy), Essam Zakaria (Egypt), Hammadi Gueroum (Morocco), Hassan Haddad (Bahrain), Hauvick Habéchian (Lebanon), Houda Ibrahim (Lebanon), Husam Asi (Palestine, UK), Ibrahim Haj Abdi (Syria), Ikbal Zalila (Tunisia), Kadhum Saloom (Iraq), Kais Kassem (Iraq, Sweden), Khaled Mahmoud (Egypt), Khalid Ali (Sudan/UK), Khalil Demmoun (Morocco), Lamia Guiga (Tunisia), Magda Khirallah (Egypt), Mahdi Abbas (Iraq), Mohamed Atef (Egypt), Mohamed Benaziz (Morocco), Mohammed Chouika (Morocco), Mohammed Rouda (Lebanon, UK), Nabil Hadji (Algeria), Nada Azhari (Syria), Nadim Jarjoura (Lebanon), Nageh Hassan (Jordan), Ola Kamel Al-Sheikh (Palestine, UAE), Ola Shafey (Egypt), Ossama Abdel Fattah (Egypt), Rachid Naim (Morocco), Rasha Hosny (Egypt), Safaa Elaisy (Egypt), Safaa Jibara Al-saleh (Iraq, UK), Tarek Ben Chaabane (Tunisia), Tarek El Shinnawi (Egypt), Ziad Khuzai (Iraq).
EFP (European Film Promotion) is an international network of film promotion institutes from 37 countries from throughout Europe, each representing their national films and talent abroad. Under the EFP flag, these organizations come together to promote the diversity and spirit of European cinema and talent at key film festivals and markets, in particular outside of Europe. EFP is financially supported by the Creative Europe – MEDIA Programme of the European Union and by its member organizations.
The Hamburg-based office is backed by the German Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, the Film Fund Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein and the Ministry of Culture of the City of Hamburg.
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