This yearly ceremony, held since 2015 alongside Cannes Film Festival, is organized by Mad Solutions with support from International Emerging Film Talent Association and Arab Cinema Center.
Ahmed Yassin Aldaradji
Hanging Gardens secured the prestigious Best Film award. Directed by Ahmed Yassin Aldaradji. In the heart of Baghdad, young Asaad's life takes an unexpected turn when he discovers a forgotten doll in a landfill. As he safeguards Salwa, their bond becomes a symbol of resilience amidst a turbulent world.
Adam Bessa earned the Best Actor prize for his exceptional performance in Harka. As a French-Tunisian actor, Bessa has garnered acclaim at numerous film festivals, including Cannes and the Red Sea Film Festival, for his representation of a street seller facing terrible loneliness and misery due to the Tunisian system.
Lubna Azabal received the Best Actress award for her remarkable role in The Blue Caftan, which was Morocco's entry for the International Feature Film category at the 2023 Oscars. The film revolves around a couple who manage a caftan store in Sale's medina. Their lives are disrupted when a handsome apprentice arrives.
The Blue Caftan, directed by Maryam Touzani and co-written by Nabil Ayouch, was also honored with the Best Screenplay award. Additionally, Virginie Surdej, the film's cinematographer, was recognized for her outstanding contribution to cinematography.
Jumana Manna andYoussef Chebbi
Youssef Chebbi, a Tunisian filmmaker, was presented with the Best Director award for his work in Ashkal. The film delves into an investigation surrounding the death of a caretaker whose charred remains are discovered in the midst of a construction site within the Carthage gardens. This cinematic exploration depicts the contrast between new buildings and abandoned spaces in the area. Valentin Feron was acknowledged for Best Editing in Ashkal.
Foragers, a documentary by Palestinian filmmaker Jumana Manna, secured the Best Documentary award. The film sheds light on the practice of foraging for wild edible plants in Palestine and the impact of Israeli nature laws on this ancient practice.
Amine Bouhafa, a French-Tunisian composer, was honored with the Best Music prize for his work in Under the Fig Tree. Directed by Erige Sehiri, the film portrays the relationships that develop among a group of men and women during the summer harvest.
This year, the Arab Cinema Center's partner Festival Scope internet platform was used by the international jury panel, which was made up of 193 film critics from 72 different countries, to assess the nominated films.
The Arab Cinema Center has introduced an Arab Cinema Guide in English on its website. This extensive tool offers filmmakers a wealth of information and resources about Arab cinema. Its purpose is to help filmmakers access global markets and aid industry experts in recognizing Arab film projects.