Mon Nov 04,2013

The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) today announced a second recipient of this year’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award, presented each year to recognize film professionals for their exceptional contributions to cinema, would be veteran Egyptian film critic Samir Farid. 

Farid will be presented with the award during the festival’s landmark 10th edition, to run December 6 to 14, in the presence of his peers in the Arab and international film community.

It is the first time that the festival has awarded the honour to a film critic; DIFF Chairman Abdulhamid Juma explained the choice: “Samir Farid is a giant in his field, and has been tireless in promoting cinema, both within the Arab world and beyond, for fifty years. The Lifetime Achievement Award honours his passion for Arab cinema, which we at DIFF hold as part of our core ethos.”

He continued, “Critics play an important part in the cinema world, as they analyze, interpret and preserve films for the general public. They are historians and archivists of cinema. People may remember films that have an impact on them personally, but it takes a critic, particularly a writer with as long and distinguished a career as Samir Farid, to identify trends and movements. Only someone with this analytical gift can articulate the characteristics of a national cinema, define the oeuvre of a director, or ensure that a small gem that may not have had much box office success will be remembered for its artistic merit alone.”

Samir Farid expressed his happiness upon receiving the news of winning the Lifetime Achievement Award from Dubai International Film Festival, and said: “It’s a great honor from a great festival that was a turning point in the region towards the cinema as an expression of modernity, and an expression of Dubai’s pivotal role in the regionally and internationally.”

Samir Farid has been writing about Arab cinema since 1965, when he became film critic of Cairo’s Al-Gomhoreya daily, where he served for 38 years. He also founded the National Festival of Short and Documentary Films (1970), the National Festival of Feature Films (1971), and two unions for film critics. He has served on international film juries since 1972 and has been a member of the FIPRESCI international critics’ union since 1971.

Previous Lifetime Achievement honoree’s at DIFF include Omar Sharif, Faten Hamamah, Adel Imam, Jameel Rateb, Sabah, Morgan Freeman, Sean Penn, Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Daoud Abdel Sayed, Youssef Chahine, Rachid Bouchareb, Souleymane Cisse, Nabil El-Maleh, Oliver Stone, Danny Glover, Terry Gilliam, Yash Chopra, Subhash Ghai, Michael Apted and Mahmoud Abdel Aziz.

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