Last Update 22:51
Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Dubai festival awards Saudi feminist film 'Wadjda'

Saudi film "Wadjda" won the best Arabic feature film at the Dubai Film Festival yesterday Sunday 16 December

AFP, Monday 17 Dec 2012
Saudi actress Waad Mohammed accepts Best Actress award for "Wadjda" at Dubai Fest(Photo by AFP)
Views: 2441
Views: 2441

Saudi film "Wadjda," a tale of a girl's quest to own a bicycle in the kingdom where women are deprived of many rights, won the best Arabic feature film at the Dubai Film Festival yesterday Sunday 16 December.

Directed by Saudi Arabia's first female filmmaker, Haifaa al-Mansoor, and shot entirely in the ultra-conservative kingdom where cinemas are banned, the film won the "Muhr" award.

Ten-year-old Waad Mohammed, who plays the girl named Wadjda and who is also testing the boundaries of a woman's place in a highly conservative society where her love for Western music and fashions land her in trouble, bagged the best actress award at the festival.

"Being awarded at a festival in a Gulf country means a lot to me," said Mansoor, tears welling up in her eyes.

Born in 1974, Mansoor studied literature at the American University in Cairo and film at the University of Sydney. Mansoor was often forced to direct what was her first feature film from a van with a walkie-talkie in some of the more conservative neighbourhoods where she could not be seen in public together with male crew and cast members.

In some areas she also had to face screaming local residents who would totally block her film's shooting.

The film also shows how Wadjda's mother is challenged by restrictions, as she must hire a driver to travel in the world's only country where women are banned from driving.

The film also shows how the mother, unable to give birth to more children, must silently accept the decision of her husband, under pressure from his family, to marry a second wife in order to have a son.

Egyptian film "Chaos, Disorder", by Nadine Khan -- daughter of director Moahmmed Khan -- won the Special Jury Prize in the festival that opened on December 9.

Turkish film "Yerlati" (Inside) by Zeki Demirkubuz, meanhwile, won Muhr award for the best Asia-Africa feature film.

Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

© 2010 Ahram Online.