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Fallen Leaves wins the Arab Critics' Awards for European Film

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- The prize presented for the fifth time by European Film Promotion and Arab Cinema Center has crowned Aki Kaurismäki's film as its winner

Fallen Leaves wins the Arab Critics' Awards for European Film
Fallen Leaves by Aki Kaurismäki

Aki Kaurismäki's Fallen Leaves [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
has won this year’s Arab Critics' Awards for European Films, which is being presented for the fifth time by European Film Promotion (EFP) and Arab Cinema Center (ACC). Due to the cancellation of the Cairo International Film Festival, the Finnish-German co-production was announced as this year’s winning film on the evening of 16th December at the El Gouna Film Festival which will be running until 21 December.

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The Finnish director, who could not attend the festival in person, sent greetings to El Gouna: "Ladies and gentlemen, dear film critics and other colleagues, I sincerely thank you for this honour. Unfortunately, I can´t be there, but I wish you all a pleasant evening in these otherwise sad times."

The Finnish-German co-production tells the story of two lonely people who meet each other by chance in the Helsinki night and try to find the first, only, and ultimate love of their lives. Fallen Leaves was nominated in five categories for the European Film Awards and is Finland's entry for the 96th Academy Awards. "In this film", multi-award-winning master of Finnish cinema Aki Kaurismäki says, "I casually tip my too-small hat to my household gods Bresson, Ozu and Chaplin, but I am still solely responsible for this catastrophic failure." The tragicomedy, which screened in competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and was awarded the Jury Prize, is the fourth part of Kaurismäki’s working-class trilogy (Shadows in Paradise, Ariel and The Match Factory Girl).

The Arab Critics’ Awards for European Films was launched in 2019 by EFP and ACC. It is a spin-off from the ACC’s now well-established Critics' Awards to boost film diversity in the region and raise the interest of sales companies and the industry for outstanding European films. This initiative also aims to cast a spotlight on the distinguished film critics from 15 Arab-speaking countries and their important role in opening up new perspectives and bridging cultural idiosyncrasies. The previous four winners were God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunya [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Labina Mitevska
interview: Teona Strugar Mitevska
film profile
]
by Teona Strugar Mitevska (2019), Undine [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Christian Petzold
film profile
]
by Christian Petzold (2020), 107 Mothers [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Peter Kerekes
film profile
]
by Péter Kerekes (2021) and EO [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Jerzy Skolimowski (2022).

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