Chiraz Latiri, former General Director of the Centre National du Cinema et de l’Image (CNCI), received the Arab Cinema Personality of The Year award in recognition of her contributions to the Tunisian film industry.
The award was presented by The Hollywood Reporter, an American digital and print magazine and website, during a reception held by the Arab Cinema Centre (ACC) at the Berlin International Film Festival.
“I believe that this award, which I am honoured to receive from the ACC, is a mark of success in my mission, as well as my appointment as Minister of Culture in my beloved country Tunisia. It is a challenge I hope I can really meet,” she said over Skybe.
Latiri has been recently appointed as the Tunisian Minister of Culture, which prevented her from attending the award reception. However, she delivered a speech and interacted with the attendees through Skype.
It`s the first time for a woman to receive such an award, notably the ACC and The Hollywod Reporter presented the Arab Cinema Personality of The Year award last year to Screenwriter and Producer Mohamed Hefzy. In 2018, the award went to Abdulhamid Juma, Chairperson of the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), and Masoud Amralla, Artistic Director of the DIFF. The award is part of the ACC’s strategy of promoting the Arab film industry internationally and supporting Arab filmmakers.
“It’s a wonderful thing that the Arab Cinema Personality of The Year award is going to be awarded to a woman, but that’s not the reason why it’s really exciting, it’s because Latiri has done such a courageous job of supporting the Tunisian film industry, and even when it was difficult pursuing her beliefs. And that is why I think that it’s a wonderful idea to give Chiraz the award this year,” Film Critic Deborah Young, International Film Editor at The Hollywood Reporter, said.
The Arab Cinema Personality of The Year award aims to shed light on the effective role played by Arab filmmakers in developing the local and international film industry. Those who’ve made a true and significant impact, but didn’t get the recognition they deserve, Film Analyst Alaa Karkouti, Managing Partner of the ACC and CEO of MAD Solutions, said.