Director: Haifaa Al-Mansour

Saudi Arabia, Germany, Drama, 2012, 97 min, arabic with english and lithuanian subtitles, V

Wadjda is a 10-year-old girl living in a suburb of Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. Although she lives in a conservative world, Wadjda is fun loving, entrepreneurial and always pushing the boundaries of what she can get away with. After a fight with her friend Abdullah, a neighborhood boy she shouldn't be playing with, Wadjda sees a beautiful green bicycle for sale - she wants the bicycle desperately so that she can beat Abdullah in a race. But Wadjda's mother won't allow it, fearing repercussions from a society that sees bicycles as dangerous to a girl's virtue. But Troublemaker like Wadjda, doesn’t refuses to give up, she is determined to continue fighting for her dream... “The film is a rare opportunity to peer into the private world of Saudi Arabia’s women and to understand that nothing about the country is straightforward”- Horatia Harrod, The Telegraph.


2012 – 'CinemAvvenire' Award for Best Film( Il cerchio non è rotondo Award) in Venice Film Festival (Italy)
2013 – Best First Feature Film in Durban International Film Festival (South Africa)
2013 – Audience Award in Fribourg International Film Festival (Switzerland)
2013 – Audience Award in Göteborg Film Festival (Sweden)
2013 – Audience Award in Los Angeles Film Festival (USA)
2013 – Directors to Watch in Palm Springs International Film Festival (USA)
2013 – Dioraphte Award in Rotterdam International Film Festival (Netherlands)

About the director:

Haifaa al-Mansour, Saudi Arabia’s first female film director and the first person to shoot a film entirely in Saudi Arabia. Al-Mansour began by making short films, studies of the restrictive lives of Saudi Arabian women. Ten years later, her first feature, “Wadjda” (2012), is collecting prizes at film festivals around the world. Her latest film may have a limited audience in her own country, where movie theatres are illegal, but not for international film festival audiences. “Wadjda” reaches western societies by exploring the limitations placed on women in the conservative Islamic kingdom. Director instead of saying that it is hard to be a woman in Saudi Arabia, made a film that shows to the world how strong the women in her country are.


Section: Identity

Screenplay: Haifaa Al Mansour

Dir. of Photography: Lutz Reitemeier

Music: Max Richter

Cast: Reem Abdullah, Waad Mohammed, Abdullrahman Al Gohani, Ahd, Sultan Al Assaf