Saudi Arabia

  • Faris Godus – Shams Al-Ma’arif (2020)

    2011-2020ComedyDramaFaris GodusSaudi Arabia
    Shams Al Ma'arif (2020)
    Shams Al Ma’arif (2020)

    Shams Al-Ma’arif is a 2020 Saudi comedy film directed by Faris Godus. It premiered on July 22, 2020, in Jeddah, then in Riyadh. It was widely released in Saudi Arabia on July 31, 2020. The film was supposed to premiere in the Red Sea International Film Festival but it got delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.Read More »

  • Haifaa Al-Mansour – Almurashahat almuthalia AKA The Perfect Candidate (2019)

    Haifaa Al-Mansour2011-2020DramaSaudi Arabia

    Frustrated with the limits placed upon her because of her gender, a small-town Saudi doctor takes matters into her own hands and runs for local council, in this family drama from Haifaa Al-Mansour (Wadjda, Mary Shelley).

    After her debut feature Wadjda (2012) broke new ground as the first-ever film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia — and the first made by a Saudi woman — director Haifaa Al-Mansour shifted to Hollywood with the TIFF-selected biopic Mary Shelley (2017) and Netflix’s Nappily Ever After (2018). Now, she returns to the kingdom with The Perfect Candidate, a tale of one woman’s quest to challenge not only the system but also herself.Read More »

  • Shahad Ameen – Sayyedat al-Bahr (2019)

    2011-2020DramaMysterySaudi ArabiaShahad Ameen

    Set in a dystopian landscape, SCALES is the story of a young strong-willed girl, Hayat, who lives in a poor fishing village governed by a dark tradition in which every family must give one daughter to the sea creatures who inhabit the waters nearby. In turn the sea creatures are hunted by the men of the village. Saved from this fate by her father, Hayat is considered a curse on the village and grows up an outcast. Nevertheless, she does not surrender to this fate and fights for a place within her village. After her mother gives birth to a baby boy, Hayat must accept the brutal custom of giving herself to the sea creatures or finding a way to escape.Read More »

  • Haifaa Al-Mansour – Wadjda [+commentary] (2012)

    2011-2020DramaHaifaa Al-MansourSaudi Arabia

    Slant Magazine wrote:
    Wadjda, a film about the oppression and long-imposed inferiority of women in Saudi Arabia, even begins with a downward-tilted, condescending gaze, offering an opening shot of school girls’ feet. One pair is notably different from the others, sporting purple-laced Chuck Taylors instead of the uniform-y patent-leather slip-ons. These, of course, are the feet of the 10-year-old title character (Waad Mohammed), whose rebellious nature is immediately, ham-handedly underlined as a rally cry for all Saudi women. Reluctant to sing in a choral-type lesson among her tuneful classmates, Wadjda is quiet and unengaged, to which an instructor reacts with, “What’s the matter, Wadjda? You don’t want us to hear your voice?” Cut to Wadjda inside her bedroom full of Western-pop-culture décor, listening to Grouplove’s “Tongue Tied.”Read More »

  • Mahmoud Sabbagh – Barakah yoqabil Barakah AKA Barakah Meets Barakah (2016)

    2011-2020ComedyMahmoud SabbaghRomanceSaudi Arabia


    A guy from the middle class meets a girl from a wealthy family and they start a romance in a country that frowns upon it.

    This film was the official submission of Saudi Arabia for the ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ category of the 89th Academy Awards in 2017.

    The leading actor Hisham Fageeh is probably best known for his 2013 music video No Woman, No Drive which amassed more than 14 million views on YouTube: link

    The Arabic title of the film is بركة يقابل بركة‎.
    Read More »

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