ROME – The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) will honour Egyptian film critic Samir Farid with a Lifetime Achievement Award, in recognition of his longstanding passion and support for Arab cinema.
Farid, who reviewed films for Variety out of Cairo between 1981 and 1985, has been writing about Arab cinema since 1965, when he became film critic for Cairo’s Al-Gomhoreya daily, where he worked for 38 years. During that time, he also founded Egypt’s National Festival of Short and Documentary Films in 1970, started the country’s National Festival of Feature Films in 1971, and formed two Egyptian film critics’ unions. Farid has been on the jury at several international film fests, most recently in Taormina in 2010. He is a member of the FIPRESCI international critics’ union since 1971.
Farid joins Martin Sheen as the second lifetime achievement honouree to be feted during Dubai’s upcoming edition. But he is the the first film critic ever picked by the fest for this nod. DIFF Chairman Abdulhamid Juma explained the choice by calling Farid “a giant in his field,” praising his “tireless” effort in promoting Arab cinema within the Arab world and beyond for fifty years.
Previous DIFF lifetime achievement honourees include Omar Sharif, Sean Penn, Oliver Stone, Danny Glover, Terry Gilliam, and Michael Apted.
The 10th edition of the fest runs Dec. 6-14.