🎙️ Arab Cinema Center to Celebrate 10th Anniversary with Five High-Profile Events in Cannes

The Arab Cinema Center (ACC) is proud to announce its continued collaboration with the Marché du Film, alongside MAD Celebrity, for an enticing lineup of panel discussions and prestigious events, set to enrich this year’s market edition at the 77th Festival de Cannes, from 14 to 25 May. This marks a momentous occasion as ACC celebrates its 10th year anniversary since its inception by MAD Solutions in 2015.

With a particular focus on Arab creative talent, this year’s ACC activities are designed to draw international attention to the wealth of storytelling expertise and artistry on both sides of the camera, which have helped usher in a new Golden Age of Arab Cinema across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

This year’s ACC program will comprise a total of four separate panel sessions, in addition to the ACC’s highly anticipated annual beach-side ceremony for the Critics Awards for Arab Films. All events will take place at the prestigious Plage des Palmes — the official beachside venue shared by the Festival de Cannes and Marché du Film.

These panels always attract a huge crowd in Cannes, which speaks volumes about the international demand to both see more Arab films in the global arena and to collaborate with talents and changemakers in the region to make sure more exciting, entertaining and relevant stories see the light of day,” commented ACC Co-Founders Alaa Karkouti and Maher Diab. “We are forever thankful to the Cannes Film Festival, their incredible team at the Marché du Film, and all our partners and collaborators for giving us the space to keep elevating the pan-Arab film industry in the eyes of the global community.”

The festivities will commence with the star-studded, three-hour event collectively bannered as “Talent Hotbed: How Arab Artists & Artisans are Conquering the Entertainment World” (15:00-17:00, 17 May) which will be presented by ACC, and MAD Celebrity and consist of two celebrity-filled panels, followed by an hour-long invite-only reception.

The first panel, “The Arab New Wave: The Actors,” moderated by Melanie Goodfellow of Deadline, will spotlight Arab cinema’s rising stars in a joint discussion about the opportunities and challenges they face in breaking into the international marketplace. Following this, “The Arab New Wave: The Artists and Artisans,” moderated by Michael Rosser of Screen International, will celebrate the work of the newest generation of talents working behind the camera. This session will dive into their international career paths, shedding light on the necessary steps for more of these exceptional artists to garner recognition beyond the MENA region.

On the following day, 18 May, ACC, MAD Solutions, IEFTA (International Emerging Film Talent Association) and NEFT Emerging Film Talent International Competition will host the annual ceremony for the Critics Awards for Arab Films (17:00-19:00). Launched in 2017 by the ACC at the Festival de Cannes, this special awards ceremony provides a platform for a glittering jury of more than 200 prominent international film critics to select and honor the best of recent Arab cinema across numerous awards categories.

Finally, on 20 May, ACC — in collaboration with IEFTA and UNHCR — will be presenting a pressingly timely panel titled “Displacement: Cinematic Perspectives” (9:30-11:00). Journalist Hadley Gamble will lead a thought-provoking discussion with a UNHCR goodwill ambassador, accompanied by Princess Grace Award Winner & IEFTA selected filmmaker, Daniela Repas. This moderated panel will shed light on the power of cinema in portraying and addressing the challenges of displacement.

This will be followed by ACC’s final event, “Jordan: A Case Study in Sustainable Growth,” a high-profile panel moderated by Nick Vivarelli from Variety, that will bring together many of the leading lights of the Jordanian film industry who have turned their country into a global model for how to build a local storytelling infrastructure for long-term sustained success.

Guillaume Esmiol, Executive Director of the Marché du Film, expressed his enthusiasm for this year’s renewed partnership and compelling lineup for this year’s events, “The Arab Cinema Center’s commitment to highlighting Arab talent perfectly mirrors the spirit of diversity and creativity that Cannes represents. We are thrilled to collaborate once again with ACC, especially as they celebrate their remarkable 10th year anniversary at our prestigious Plage des Palmes venue. Together, we will foster engaging discussions and, unequivocally, celebrate the vibrancy of the Arab film industry in all its brilliance.