Oscar nominee Al-Mansour returns with The Wedding Singer’s Daughter

Saudi Arabian director Haifaa Al-Mansour says the storyline was a deliberate choice as ‘weddings are the actual mirror of society in Saudi Arabia.’ (AFP)
Updated 03 September 2018
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Oscar nominee Al-Mansour returns with The Wedding Singer’s Daughter

  • Her film is the latest installment from Miu Miu’s ‘Women’s Tales’ series
  • It will premiere at the Venice Film Festival which ends on September 8

DUBAI: Oscar-nominated Saudi Arabian director Haifaa Al-Mansour is back with “The Wedding Singer’s Daughter” — a short film which will premiere at the ongoing Venice Film Festival ending on September 8.
Set in 1980s Riyadh, the film narrates the story of a singer and her daughter at a wedding party. Al-Mansour says the storyline was a deliberate choice as “weddings are the actual mirror of society in Saudi Arabia”, Vogue Arabia reported.
Saudi singer Rotana Tarabzouni has directed the film’s music and also stars in the film — the latest installment in Italian fashion house Miu Miu’s “Women’s Tales”.
The initiative, launched by the label in 2011, is a platform for women directors to showcase their work.
Al-Mansour, talking from Los Angeles where she is currently based, said that the Miu project is significant for her as a filmmaker as “it’s very important for women to tell their stories”.
‘Wadjda’ — about a Saudi girl who dreams of owning a bicycle — propelled Al-Mansour to the international stage by being the first Oscar entry from Saudi Arabia, directed by its first woman filmmaker.
Next up on the Saudi director’s to-do list is “The Perfect Candidate”, a feature film where she will work with the new national Saudi Film Council. The film, which will be shot in Riyadh, explores the story of a young woman physician fighting to fulfill her political ambitions in a male-dominated society.
Optimistic about the growing support of cinema in her home country, Al-Mansour said that it’s “wonderful to be part of the revolution of film in the country”.


Startup of the Week: Sketching one’s own path to success

Updated 13 November 2018
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Startup of the Week: Sketching one’s own path to success

  • Turkistany used the Moshkhmt character to draw a full graphic novel that was exclusive to Comic Con Dubai 2018 and will be published soon in the Middle East

JEDDAH: When people attain a high level of creativity and are able to dive into their imaginations, they tend to create their own world and maybe their own creatures in their head. This is how a creative young Saudi artist defined her brand, Moshkhmt.
The word “Moshkhmt” is Saudi slang meaning pencil scribble. As the name suggests, it is all about one’s power of imagination. It is all about one’s unique perception of the world and to express it through a simple sketch without uttering a word.
Haneen Turkistany, 24, the founder of the brand, explained: “Fear was the main motive for me to start and create the character Moshkhmt.”
Turkistany used the Moshkhmt character to draw a full graphic novel that was exclusive to Comic Con Dubai 2018 and will be published soon in the Middle East.
The brand offers products such as sketchbooks, notebooks, pins, stickers and wrapping sheets with creative signs and logos using the character Moshkhmt. It also focuses on the moon, stars and the outer space. All products are available at @crate.ksa.
Explaining the basic concept and aim of Moshkhmt, Turkistany said: “Moshkhmt is there in each one of us, young and old. It is there in our memories and dreams, our joy and pain. It could be a loved one or a target we aspire to achieve. Moshkhmt is not just a brand. It is a story in every heartbeat, and I can say that life is mainly my audience.’’
Such startups encourage the creative side of all talented Saudi youths, as they make them realize the ultimate goal in life is not just material well-being or to run after wealth. With the right attitude and using one’s talent in a positive manner, wealth and success follow. This is what Turkistany believed in and launched her brand in July 2017.
She is not only an artist but also an intellectual with a message to convey to the world. “All I wish for is that people should stop underestimating the power of their feelings (and ideas),” she said.
Turkistany is working on getting her brand recognized for its main concept and plans to continue developing her sketches and character to achieve international recognition.