Wadjda– a film by the first Saudi Arabian female director

After the Venetian Mostra, the intriguing film Wadjda, directed by Haifaa al Mansur, the first female director in Saudi Arabia, arrives to our screens. Her previous short-film work uncompromisingly inspires discussion and speaks about taboos in local culture.

Although she lives in a conservative world, Wadjda likes fun, she is active and always moving the boundaries of what is allowed.

Haifaa al Mansur is the first woman director in Saudi Arabia and is considered one of the most renowned filmmakers in the kingdom. She graduated in literature at the American University in Cairo and holds an MA in directing from the University of Sydney. The success of her three short films, as well as international merits for the award-winning documentary Women without a Shadow (2005) influenced a number of emerging Saudi filmmakers and brought the topic of opening cinemas across the country to the cover pages.

Back home her work has been equally praised and slandered because it provokes discussion about what is mostly considered taboo topics – tolerance, dangers of religious bias and the need for Saudis to reflect critically on their traditional and strict culture. Vadzda is her first feature-length film.