Saudi Director Haifa Al Mansour’s ‘The Perfect Candidate’ Makes Waves at Venice Film Festival
Similar to Cannes in reputation, Venice Film Festival is a serious affair and any submission should be (as is) considered worthy. The Perfect Candidate by Haifa Al Mansour is set to be the only film born of Arab origin to make the screening from the list of 21 entries.
The film is about a young Saudi female doctor who runs for office in a municipal election, standing up to patriarchal restrictions in a stiff society. Starring Mila Alzahrani, Nourah Al Awad, Dhae Al Hilali, the film is perfectly poised to hold its own in contention for the Golden Lion Award.
The movie will be up against some notable titles. Those announced include Roman Polanski’s J’accus. Joker starring Joaquin Phoenix and Robert De Nero, Ad Astra with Brad Pitt and Tommy Lee Jones among others. The festival runs from August 28 – September 7 and will be opened by The Truth, directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda. Giuseppe Captondi’s The Burnt Orange will close the festival.
Al Mansour is no stranger to film festival circuit. In 2012 her film Wadjda became the first film of Saudi origin to be entered at the Oscars.
Other films screened at Venice Film Festival include:
The Truth (JAP/FRA) by Hirokazu Kore-eda
The Perfect Candidate (SAU/GER) by Haifaa Al-Mansour
About Endlessness (SWE/GER/NOR) by Roy Andersson
Wasp Network (FRA/BEL) by Olivier Assayas
Marriage Story (USA) by Noah Baumbach
Guest Of Honour (CAN) by Atom Egoyan
Ad Astra (USA) by James Gray
A Herdade (POR/FRA) by Tiago Guedes
Gloria Mundi (FRA/ITA) by Robert Guéndiguian
Waiting For The Barbarians (ITA) by Ciro Guerra
Ema (CHILE) by Pablo Larrain
Saturday Fiction (CHI) by Lou Ye
Martin Eden (ITA/FRA) by Pietro Marcello
La Mafia Non E Piu Quella Di Una Volta (ITA) by Franco Maresco
The Painted Bird (CZE/UKR/SLO) by Vaclav Marhoul
Il Sindaco Del Rione Sanita (ITA) by Mario Martone
Babyteeth (AUS) by Shannon Murphy
Joker (USA) by Todd Phillips
J’Accuse (FRA/ITA) by Roman Polanski
The Laundromat (USA) by Steven Soderbergh
No. 7 Cherry Lane (HONG KONG) by Yonfan