Ceremony in Berlin for Mohannat Al-Bakri, Chairman of the Jordanian Film Commission

Jordanian Royal Film Commission Executive Director Mohannat Al-Bakri will be honored with the Arab Cinema Personality of the Year Award by the Arab Cinema Center at the Berlin Film Festival.

„The award honors key industry figures who have helped elevate the Arab film industry in the eyes of the international filmmaking community,” a statement said. The Arab Cinema Center – celebrating its 10th anniversary this year – is an umbrella group that acts as a catalyst for the Arab industry at top festivals and film markets around the world.

Al-Bakri started as a capacity-building manager at Jordan's RFC in 2007 and quickly rose to executive director in 2009. Since then, he has led the Commission's funding and training programs and built local workforce capacity. Inauguration of Jordan's first dedicated film studio complex, Olivewood Film Studios, officially opened for business in 2023 in Amman, the Kingdom's capital.

Hollywood movies partially shot in Jordan under al-Bakri's RFC watch include Ridley Scott's „The Martian” and, more recently, „Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” and two installments of „Dune.” A Middle East regional premiere of „Toon: Part Two” is expected to take place at Olivewood Film Studios in late February.

Al-Bakri, however, has been instrumental in helping local filmmakers gain traction, with Arab Cinema Center co-founders Alaa Gargouti and Maher Diab praising his „significant efforts to advance the Jordanian film industry.” They cite as evidence the success of Jordanian director Amjad Al Rashid's tense social drama „Inshallah a Boy,” which won critical acclaim and prizes at the 2023 Cannes Critics' Week and traveled extensively on the festival circuit.

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