Palestine wins big at this year's Arab Critics Awards in Cannes

The event, in its fifth year, celebrated the best Arab films that have come out of the region in the past year

The Arab Cinema Centre, a nonprofit organisation which promotes Arab films, announced the winners of the 5th Critics Awards for Arab Films on Saturday in Cannes.

Best Director went to first-time filmmaker Ameen Nayfeh for 200 Metres while Best Actor went to Ali Suliman who starred in the film.

Arab and Tarzan Nasser took home Best Feature for Gaza Mon Amour while Best Actress went to Hiam Abbas for her role in the film.

Best Screenplay was awarded to the Kaouther Ben Hania's Oscar-nominated film The Man Who Sold His Skin while Best Documentary went to Lift Like a Girl by Mayye Zayed.

"This year’s edition witnessed fierce competition among nominees that were very outstanding. What’s also remarkable about this edition is that Palestine had the greatest share in this competition, winning four awards among a total of six. This indicates the great progress that the Palestinian cinema has seen during recent years,” said ACC co-founders Alaa Karkouti and Maher Diab.

Held during the 74th Cannes Film Festival, the winners of the six main categories were selected by an international jury panel that includes 160 film critics from 63 countries.

To be nominated, the films must have premiered at international film festivals outside of the Arab world during 2020, and at least one of the production companies must be Arab, regardless of the size of its contribution to the production of the film. In addition, the films must be feature-length films whether fiction or documentary.

“Although last year was hard on everyone, Arab Cinema managed to provide a high-quality level of fiction and documentary films; making it hard to pick the nominees for this year’s Critics Awards for Arab Films. My congratulations to everyone who made it this year, and thank you to all the critics of the jury panel for their efforts,” said Deborah Young, Manager of the Critics Awards for Arab Films.

Here's the complete winners list

  • Best Documentary: Lift Like A Girl by Mayye Zayed (Egypt)
  • Best Actress: Hiam Abbas in Gaza Mon Amour (Palestine)
  • Best Actor: Ali Suliman in 200 Metres (Palestine)
  • Best Screenplay: Kaouther Ben Hania for The Man Who Sold His Skin (Tunisia)
  • Best Director: Ameen Nayfeh for 200 Metres (Palestine)
  • Best Feature Film: Gaza Mon Amour by Arab and Tarzan Nasser (Palestine)
Updated: July 11th 2021, 3:05 PM
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