Saudi Director Haifa Al Mansour’s ‘The Perfect Candidate’ Makes Waves at Venice Film Festival

05 August 2019
Haifa Al Mansour, The Perfect Candidate, Venice Film Festival

After her ground-breaking hit, Wadjda, Al Mansour is back with an ambitious new project

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