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Film Critic and Media Figure Youssef Cherif Rizkallah Receives the Achievement Award for Film Critics

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Arab Cinema Magazine Described Him As 'A Walking Cinema Encyclopedia'

Film Critic and Media Figure Youssef Cherif Rizkallah Receives the Achievement Award for Film Critics


The Arab Cinema Center (ACC) has announced film critic and media figure Youssef Cherif Rizkallah as the winner of the Achievement Award for Film Critics. Rizkallah is going to receive his award at an honoring ceremony held on the sidelines of the 71st Cannes Film Festival (May 8-19). During the ceremony, the winners of the 2nd Annual Critics Awards are going to be announced and given their awards.

Film Analyst Alaa Karkouti, Co-founder of the Arab Cinema Center (ACC) and CEO of MAD Solutions, commented on the award, saying, "There are only a few people with exceptional personalities who can contribute to the shaping of the awareness of generations about cinema culture and leaving an indelible impact on them. Youssef Cherif Rizkallah is the role model in doing so; he is a perfect example of these personalities. He is a fighter who took the responsibility of becoming a continuously nurturing source for cinema culture at a time when getting information wasn't as easy as it is today. He used to travel to attend film festivals and record interviews to pave the way to those who are keen on understanding cinema culture. The Achievement Award for Film Critics is a humble gesture of honoring such man with such extensive and important career in the film industry."

By presenting the Achievement Award for Film Critics, the Arab Cinema Center (ACC) seeks to highlight the profession of film criticism by honoring one of the Arab or foreign film critics annually at the Cannes Film Festival.

In its new issue, the Arab Cinema Magazine haspaid tribute to such a prominent media figure through dedicating a full article about Youssef Cherif Rizkallah covering his great contributions to film criticism and media industry, being the main source for an entire generation of Egyptian and Arab audiences to know about the international film industry. At a time when there was no internet, Rizkallah brought to Egyptian audiences news, about entertainment in particular, for three decades, through his TV programs and articles in newspapers and magazines, which makes him a walking cinema encyclopedia.

Youssef Cherif Rizkallah cannot be introduced only as a film critic, a prominent media figure, the President or Artistic Director of some of Egypt's major film festivals, or even as an expert in international film cooperation; Rizkallah has left a profound impact on several generations of young filmmakers and mainstream audiences through his continuous efforts to create opportunities for them to savor all kinds of cinemas from all over the world.

Rizkallah penned down numerous articles that were published in various regional and international newspapers and magazines. He created Cinema Club and Oscar TV programs for the official Egyptian television channel in 1975 and 1980 respectively. Later on, he started his career as a TV presenter for TV programs that throw light on the global film scene, such as Telecinema (1981-1995), Star (1986-1994), Cinema ├Ś Cinema (1994-2004), The Magic Lantern (2008-2010) and Rizkallah Cinema (2008-2010).

Rizkallah served as a jury member for various film festivals around the world including Strasbourg 1978, Milano 1993, Rotterdam 2006 and Montpellier 2012. He has been attending a plethora of film festivals at his own expense since the late 60s, including Berlin, Moscow, Karlovy Vary, San Sebastian, Montreal, Venice, Nantes, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and many others.

Aside from his cinematic experience, Rizkallah obtained a degree in Communication Planning and Strategy from Cornell University, New York, as well as a certificate in Management Communication Development from Management-Communication Associates of East Lansing, Michigan, in 1984. He took part in the Preparatory Programme for Holding Higher Leadership Positions at the Ministry of Administrative Development in 2001.

Organized by MAD Solutions in 2015, the Arab Cinema Center (ACC) is an international promotional platform for Arab cinema as it provides the filmmaking industry with a professional window to connect with their counterparts from all over the world through a number of events that it organizes. The ACC also provides networking opportunities with representatives of companies and institutions specialized in co-production and international distribution, among others. The Center's activities vary between film market main wings, introduction and networking sessions for Arab and foreign filmmakers, welcome parties, as well as meetings with international organizations and festivals, and the issuance of the Arab Cinema Magazine to be distributed at the leading international film festivals and markets.

Furthermore, newsletter subscription is now available on the ACC's website, allowing users to obtain digital copies of the Arab Cinema Magazine, as well as news on the ACC's activities, notifications of application dates for grants, festivals and offers from educational and training institutions, updates on Arab films participating at festivals, exclusive news on the Arab Cinema LAB, and highlights from the ACC partners and their future projects.

The ACC also launched an English-language Arab Cinema Guide, available on its website, which is a comprehensive cinematic guide that comprises a variety of tools presented collectively for the first time to offer information on Arab cinema to filmmakers inside and outside of the Arab world. It also aims to facilitate filmmakers' access to international markets and help film industry representatives to easily identify Arab film productions.