The Arab Cinema Center (ACC) has recently revealed its highly anticipated list of the 101 Most Influential Personalities in the Arab Film Industry, known as the Golden 101. This prestigious list celebrates the exceptional talent and significant contributions of individuals within the filmmaking industry. The announcement took place during the annual Cannes edition of the Arab Cinema (AC) Magazine.
The Golden 101 encompasses a diverse range of artists, filmmakers, and film-related institutions that have made a profound impact on the industry over the past year. This year's list comprises 21 directors, 12 producers, 12 actors, seven crew members, 21 distributors, 12 influential figures in Arab governmental institutions, 10 platform managers, two presenters, 13 festival directors and managers, and seven fund managers. These professionals hail from 24 countries, including 15 Arab and nine non-Arab nations.
Leading the list are Egypt and Lebanon, each with 23 prominent names, followed by Saudi Arabia with 17, Jordan with 11, Tunisia with nine, Syria with five, and the UAE with four. Additionally, Sudan, Kuwait, Morocco, Iraq, Qatar, and Yemen each have representation with three, two, two, two, one, and one name respectively.
Among the non-Arab entries, the United States takes the lead with four names, followed by the United Kingdom with three, and France, Italy, Canada, India, Monaco, and South Africa with one name each.
The Golden 101 features esteemed figures from Egypt, such as Yousra, Tamer Hosni, Ahmed Malek, Hussein Fahmy, Marwan Hamed, Ahmed Mourad, Ahmad Al-Morsy, Ahmed Hafez, Heba Othman, Amir Ramses, Mohamed Hefzy, and Sally El-Husseini. The list also includes renowned music composer Hisham Nazih, esteemed producers Marianne Khoury and Shahinaz El-Akkad, and respected distributors Gaby Khoury and Ramzi Khoury.
Lebanon's representation includes the talented Razane Jammal, accomplished filmmakers Wissam Sharaf, Noel, and Michelle Kesrouani, celebrated sound designer Rana Eid, renowned TV presenter Raya Abirached, and notable industry professionals such as George Choucair, Sawsan Asfari, and Joe Kawkabani.
The list further highlights Tony Saab, Vice President of Starzplay Arabia, Hania Mroué, Founder and Director of Metropolis Art Cinema, Jad Abi Khalil, Director of Beirut Cinema Platform, Elias Khlat, Founder and Director of the Tripoli Film Festival, Antoine Khalife, Director of the Red Sea International Film Festival's Arab Program, Rima Mismar, Executive Director at the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, Mario Haddad Sr., CEO of Empire International, Mario Haddad Jr., President of Empire International, Selim El-Azar, CEO of Gulf Film, Gianluca Chakra, Founder and CEO of Front Row, Ignace Lahoud, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim for Entertainment, Toni Al-Masih, Managing Director of VOX Cinemas, Hammad Atassi, President and Founder of Prime Cinemas/Empire Cinema and Cinema City, and Selim Ramia, Chairperson of the Selim Ramia Company.
The list also showcases notable individuals from Saudi Arabia, including Abdulelah Alqurashi, Fatima Al-Banawi, Zeinab Abu Alsamh, Alaa Yousef Fadan, Waleed bin Ibrahim Al-Ibrahim, Hadeel Kamel, Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, Mohammed Al-Turki, Abdullah Al-Rashid, Turki Al-Sheikh, Abdullah Al-Qahtani, Faisal Baltyuor, Sultan Al-Hokair, Mamdouh Salem, and Abdullah Al-Dawood.
Additionally, seven influential non-Arab individuals are featured in the list, including Sam Barnett, Executive Director of MBC Group, Natasha Matos Hemingway, Head of Commercial and Marketing at Shahid, Charlene Dillion, Executive Director of Al-Ula Film, Wayne Borg, Managing Director for Media, Entertainment, Culture, and Fashion Industries at NEOM, Adon Quinn, CEO of Muvi Cinemas, Hans Fryken, Chairperson of the Abu Dhabi Film Commission, and Mark Whitehead, Executive Director of Image Nation Abu Dhabi.
The Emirati representation on the list includes Maaz Sheikh, CEO and Co-Founder of STARZPLAY ARABIA, Butheina Kazim, screenwriter and Founder of Cinema Akil, Majed Al-Suwaidi, Managing Director of Dubai Media City, Dubai Studio City, and Dubai Production City, and Mohamed Al-Mubarak, Chairperson of Image Nation.
Lastly, the list acknowledges Abdullah Al-Arak, the Kuwaiti director, Sheikha Dana Nasser Al-Sabah, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of OSN, and Hisham Al-Ghanim, Executive Director of Front Row.
This comprehensive list showcases the diverse talents and significant contributions of individuals within the Arab film industry. The ACC and Arab Cinema Magazine are proud to recognize and celebrate the exceptional achievements of these influential personalities.