Al Arabiya TV reports that a Saudi film portraying the situation of women in Saudi Arabia won top honors at the Dubai Film Festival as “Best Arabic Feature Film”. The film’s 10-year-old lead actress took the award for “Best Actress”. This is quite a coup. The irony of a film made in a country that prohibits cinemas, by and about women in a country that severely limits women’s freedom, is more than apparent.
Saudi movie “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 on Sunday.
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.