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”.


Saudi novelist receives Naguib Mahfouz medal

Omaima Al-Khamis, a Saudi writer receives Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature for her novel at the American University (AUC) in Cairo, Egypt December 11, 2018. (REUTERS)
Updated 13 December 2018
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Saudi novelist receives Naguib Mahfouz medal

  • Al-Khamis, born in 1966 in Riyadh, studied Arabic literature at the King Saud University and was listed for the Arabic Booker Prize in 2010

JEDDAH: Saudi novelist Umaima Al-Khamis has received the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature 2018 for her latest novel “Masra Al-Gharaniq fi Mudub Al-Aqiq” (Voyage of the Cranes in the Cities of Agate).
The American University in Cairo Press (AUC) made the announcement on Wednesday. The awards are announced annually on the birth anniversary of the Egyptian Nobel laureate. Al-Khamis, born in 1966 in Riyadh, studied Arabic literature at the King Saud University and was listed for the Arabic Booker Prize in 2010.
In her acceptance speech, Al-Khamis paid tribute to Naguib Mahfouz and described him as a great writer who taught the “magic and craft of” storytelling.