The aims of the Arab Film Awards are:

– To honor yearly the latest work of Arab cinema talent
– To invite and encourage new audiences to watch and discover Arab films
– To promote and foster Arab culture

The Legal entity of the Arab Film Awards is the Arab Film Institute. The executive entity is the Arab Film Institute Board.

The First Arab Film Awards will be presented by the Arab Film Institute on 16 th March 2018.

The Arab Film Institute presents the Arab Film Awards in the following 18 categories:

– Narrative film (the award goes to Producer)
– Non-Fiction Film (the award goes to Producer)
– Director Narrative
– Director Non-Fiction
– Actor
– Actress
– Screenwriter
– Editor
– Production Designer
– Costume Designer
– Hair Dresser
– Make-up Artist
– Composer
– Director of Photography
– Sound Design
– Short Film
– Student Film
– Lifetime Achievement Award

The submitted films will imply the unconditional acceptance of the regulations of the AFI Awards and the permission to make the film available to the AFI members’ online video platform for the votes.

Producers and/or rights holder of films receiving a nomination or an award in any of the categories will agree to use the nomination or the award in all future promotion campaigns (posters, magazine, press kit, newspaper, internet and trailers).

All nominees will receive a certificate All award winners from all categories will receive a certificate and a statuette.


Films participating in the Arab Film Awards 2018 must have had their first official screening (be it a festival or at a regular cinema release) after 1st August 2016 until 31st August 2017.

Submission deadline is 30th September 2017.

Film projects must have a Director being a native Arab or with Arab origin.

Candidates for the individual categories must be an Arab origin or bearer of an Arab passport.


Film owners and official organizations are eligible to submit films. Film owners are defined as principal producer; authorized distributor, copyright holder and/or other authorized person that owns the film.

Producers, Distributors, Arab Film Institutions and individuals should be member of the Arab Film Institute in order to submit films for the Arab Film Awards or for any other individual category of the awards.

In order to submit your film on time, we encourage you to register to our membership program before the deadline to complete your submissions.

We encourage film professionals to register to our membership program.

Early bird registration for membership at 50% discount. Membership fee 40 US$ until 31st August 2017.

The memberships fees are set for all categories except for the student films.

Unlimited number of films from the same country can be selected or nominated.

There is no limitation to the number of films submitted every year. The submitted films should be in their original language version with English subtitles.

To submit a film entry, you must complete a full online entry form along with the link to the film by 30 September 2017. Any submission and/or material received after the deadline will not be accepted, unless otherwise agreed by the Institute. If you are unable to submit using the online entry form, please write us on 

Film screeners must be in the original language with English subtitle.

Details provided would be deemed to be final and no request to change details will be considered at any stage.


Eligible for the Arab Film Awards are feature length films all define a feature as a film with a running time surpassing the duration of 60 minutes or longer.

The submitted film version should be in the original language with English subtitles.

Once all films are submitted, they will then be submitted to the AFI members for voting to select the 5 nominated films and move on to the second round of voting to select the winning film.

The nominations will be announced one month prior to the Arab Film Awards Ceremony on 15th of February 2018.


The Best Non-Fiction Film Award is organized by the Arab Film Institute.

Once all films are submitted, they will then be submitted to the AFI members for voting to select the 5 nominated films and move on to the second round of voting and select the winning film.

Non-Fiction Films should be at least of 58 minutes running time or longer.


The Arab Film Institute organizes the Best Short Film Award.

Once all films are presented, they will then be submitted to the AFI Young members for voting to select the 3 nominated films.

Once a film is nominated it will be again submitted to the AFI Young members for voting to select the winning film.

The short films should have a running time below the duration of 30 minutes.

AFI young professional members will vote for the winning film.


The Arab Film Institute organizes the Best Student Film Award. Film schools and universities with a film program from the Arab world are eligible and can submit their students’ film to this category.

Any number of films can be submitted from the same university.

The films should have a running time below 40 minutes.

Three nominated films will compete for the title.

AFI young professional members will vote for the winning film.


All submitted films will be available on our online video platform to allow members to vote.

The online voting of the first round will be open on November 1st and it will be closed on 15th of January.

The Institute will host a press conference to announce the list of nominations and will share the list with the public through the website and social media platforms of the Institute on February 15th.


The members of the Arab Film Institute will vote for the winners in each of the below categories unless specified:

Five nominations for these categories

Narrative Film
Non-Fiction Film
Director narrative
Director non-fiction

Three nominations for these categories

Student Film
Arab Director of Photography
Arab Editor
Arab Composer
Arab Production Designer
Arab Costume Designer
Arab Hair Dresser
Make-up Artist
Arab Sound Designer


Every year, the Arab Film Institute Board of Directors presents a Lifetime Achievement Award for an outstanding contribution to Arab Cinema.

The winner of this award is expected to attend the awards ceremony.

This Award will only be announced the night of the event.


Voting for the Arab Film Awards is guided through two ballots done secretly via an e-voting platform.

The first vote is to determine nominations per each category (three to five nominees), and the second vote to pick the final winners.

Voters are expected to commit in seeing all the films assigned to them.

The Institute will be sending invitation letter to members requesting their participation for voting.

Young members will receive invitations requesting their participation for voting on the short films and Student films categories.

Some categories might have less nominations depending on the quality and number of films produced yearly.


Voters should inform AFI team if they have an interest in certain films.

Conflicted voters will still vote, but they will be asked not to vote for films, which they have an interest in.


The Arab Film Awards eligible countries are the member states of the Arab League:
Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, State of Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

Disclaimer: the AFA Board of Directors will be reviewing the rules and regulations criteria, once consulting with Arab Film professionals and other concerned parties from the Region.

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