Haifaa al-Mansour will return to Saudi Arabia to direct 'The Perfect Candidate', a film about a young Saudi female doctor who decides to run for office in a municipal election.
Haifaa al-Mansour has announced plans to return to her native Saudi Arabia next month for a new film project. In an interview to AFP, the 43-year-old director said that her next project is titled The Perfect Candidate, about a young Saudi female doctor who decides to run for office in a municipal election.
Mansour was the first woman to shoot a film in the country, the critically acclaimed Wadjda from 2012 about a girl who dreams of riding her own bike. She has since directed Mary Shelley, the biopic of the 19th-century author of the horror classic Frankenstein.
Mansour who now lives in Los Angeles with her American husband and children recalled the time she shot her first film in 2005.
“When my first short came out, people didn’t believe in cinema in Saudi Arabia. Films were illegal, the country was very segregated, so it was like ‘a woman making films, oh!’,” the director told AFP in the interview.
During the filming of Wadjda, she often had to direct her team via walkie-talkie while keeping out of sight in a van, since she could not be seen in public alongside male actors and crew members.
Late last year a decades-old ban on cinemas was lifted as part of a push to modernise the country. Saudi Arabia this year made its first official appearance at the Cannes film festival with its submission of a series of short films.
Mansour believes the reforms will have a far-reaching impact on young professional women in Saudi Arabia.