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The Nominations For the Critics Awards For Arab Films Are Here

The winners will be announced on May 18

Saudi Arabia-based film Hajjan directed by Egyptian filmmaker Abu Bakr Shawky, is nominated for six categories at the eighth Critics Awards for Arab Films.The movie is competing in the best feature film, best screenplay, best actor, best music, best cinematography, and best editing categories. 

Hajjan tells a poignant coming-of-age tale deeply rooted in Saudi Arabia’s cultural heritage. The story follows young Matter, portrayed by Omar Alatawi, as he navigates through the desert, finding solace in camel racing amidst personal tragedy.

The movie is a co-production between the Kingdom’s King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, or Ithra, and Egyptian producer Mohamed Hefzy’s Film Clinic. Saudi’s Ithra is fast becoming a powerhouse of regional filmmaking, nurturing home-grown talents and encouraging growth in the local film industry. Since 2018, Ithra has produced 23 films, showcasing them at 72 film festivals around the world. 

 The Critics Awards, an initiative created by the Arab Cinema Center (ACC), will bring together a panel of 209 of the finest film critics representing 72 countries to select the best Arab films every year in the following categories: Best Film, Best Director, Best Writer, Best Actress, Best Actor, and Best Documentary. The ceremony is slated to take place at the Cannes Film Festival on May 18, where the winners will be announced. 

Commenting on the fast-approaching awards, Deborah Young, Manager of the Critics Awards for Arab Films, said, “Another year, another Critics Awards for Arab Films that’s bigger than the last one! For the eighth version of this most auspicious event, we’re celebrating films from all over the region, including Sudan, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Yemen, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon, along with an exciting Arab story from France this time around as well.”

Sudanese director Mohamed Kordofani’s inaugural feature film, Goodbye Julia, and Tunisian filmmaker Kaouther Ben Hania’s Oscar-nominated documentary, Four Daughters, scored nominations in seven categories, leading the nominations at the upcoming awards ceremony. 

Jordanian filmmaker Amjad Al-Rasheed’s Inshallah A Boy and Palestinian-British director Farah Nabulsi’s The Teacher have six nominations each.

The first Critics Awards for Arab Films was held on the margins of the 70th Cannes Film Festival. 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 international film festivals outside of the Arab World during 2023, at least one of the production companies must be Arab (regardless of the size of its contribution to the production of the film).

 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.

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