Morocco's The Blue Caftan wins big at Cannes' Critics Awards for Arab Films

Ahram Online , Monday 22 May 2023

Morocco's film The Blue Caftan leads the garnered three awards at Critics Awards for Arab Films at Cannes, while Iraqi film Hanging Gardens won Best Film

The Blue Caftan



Morocco's The Blue Caftan garnered three awards at the Critics Awards for Arab Films at Cannes: Best Actress for Lubna Azabal, Best Screenplay for Maryam Touzani and Nabil Ayouch, and Best Scenography for Virginie Surdej.

The Blue Caftan follows Halim and Mina who run a traditional caftan store in one of Morocco's oldest medinas. In order to keep up with demanding customers, they hire a talented young man as an apprentice. 

The film is directed by Maryam Touzani who also sits at the panel of nine-person jury for the International Competition at the Cannes Film Festival.

The Blue Caftan was officially screened in 2022, when it was selected for Un Certain Regard of Cannes. It was also shortlisted for the Oscars.

Iraqi film Hanging Gardens by Ahmed Yassin Aldaradji won Best Film.

Directed by Ahmed Yassin Aldaradji, the film won big at the 13th Malmö Arab Film Festival which closed earlier this month. In Malmo, the film won Best Fiction Film, Best Screenplay (Ahmed Yassin Aldaradji and Margaret Glover) and Best Actor (Hussain Muhammad Jalil) awards. The film also won Best Feature Film at the 2022 edition of the Red Sea International Film Festival in Saudi Arabia.

The Critics Awards for Arab Films in Cannes awarded Adam Bessa (Tunisia) with Best Actor Award for his role in Harka.

Tunisian film Ashkal garnered two awards: Best Director for Youssef Chebbi and Best Editing for Valentin Féron.

Other awards included: Best Documentary for Forages (Palestine) by Jumana Manna and Best Music for Under the Fig Trees (Tunisia) by Amine Bouhafa.

The Critics Awards for Arab Films is organized by MAD Solutions and has been annually awarded on the sidelines of the Cannes festival since 2015. 

The finalists were selected by a jury committee comprising 193 critics from 72 countries.

They comprise Arab films that were co-produced by an Arab production company and have premiered at international film festivals outside of the Arab world during 2022.

The finalists compete for awards in various categories, including Best Feature Film, Best Documentary, Best Director, Best Scriptwriter, Best Actor, and Best Actress.

This year, the jury added three new categories: Best Editing, Best Cinematography, and Best Music.

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