Saudi Arabia picks ‘The Perfect Candidate’ as its official Oscars submission

The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival in August. (Supplied)
Updated 06 October 2019

Saudi Arabia picks ‘The Perfect Candidate’ as its official Oscars submission

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia has submitted Haifaa Al-Mansour’s “The Perfect Candidate” as its official entry for the International Feature Film Award at the 92nd Academy Awards, with the final shortlist set to be announced by the Academy in January.

The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival in August.

Helmed by Al-Mansour, the movie has already made history as the first film supported by the Saudi Film Council, which announced its intention to back Saudi Arabian productions and expand the country’s film industry during the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.

The movie is a comedic drama about a Saudi female doctor who goes against the traditional patriarchal norms in order to run for municipal election in the Kingdom.

Al-Mansour’s films often focus on the challenges that young women face in male-dominated societies. “The Perfect Candidate” is no different.

Though it tackles serious issues, “The Perfect Candidate” is not solely a drama. It also highlights the humor of the Saudi Arabian people — something that often gets overlooked.

“We have a great sense of humor that people don’t see,” Al-Mansour told Arab News.

“In film, we can show that — it’s something people will discover. Food too. Also, how in Saudi there is a huge distinction between what is public and what is private. In private, people sing, have fun, and are fluid. Once people go out, they are reserved, because that is the way the culture is. With film, you will get a chance to see how people are in private. This is the only way that people can see who we are — by opening our heart through film.”


Birthday tributes for Halima Aden flood social media

Updated 57 min 17 sec ago

Birthday tributes for Halima Aden flood social media

DUBAI: Tributes from all over the world poured in for US-Somali model Halima Aden’s birthday this week. Models, actresses and designers have all taken to social media to wish the newly-minted 23-year-old a happy birthday. 

“Happy birthday, baby,” wrote Egyptian model and actress Salma Abu Deif on her Instagram Stories. “Love you always,” she added alongside a black-and-white snap of the two together.

Also taking to the photo-sharing platform to celebrate Aden on her big day was US designer Tommy Hilfiger, for whom the hijab-wearing catwalker recently starred in a campaign. 

Egyptian actress Salma Abu Deif wished the model a happy birthday. Instagram

American actress Larsen Thompson posted an adorable snap of the friends in an embrace, writing, “Happy birthday to my beautiful sis @Halima. You amaze me! Love and miss you!”

Meanwhile, US-Lebanese designer Eli Mizrahi posted an editorial from Aden’s instantly-iconic 2017 shoot with CR Fashion Book, captioning it: “Definition of a superstar! Happy birthday, @halima.”

“Thank you for all the birthday wishes,” posted the model on Instagram. “Alhamdulilah, 23 never felt so good.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thank you for all the birthday wishes alhamdulilah 23 never felt so good #jordanyear

A post shared by Halima (@halima) on

Many celebrities took to the comment section to share their well-wishes, including supermodels Shanina Shaik, Iman Abdulmajeed and singer Austin Mahone. 

Though Aden just turned 23, she has already achieved many career milestones.

The model, who grew up in a Kenyan refugee camp before migrating to Minnesota with her family aged seven, made headlines at the age of 19 when she was the first woman to wear a hijab in the Miss Minnesota USA Pageant, where she made the semifinals, in 2016.

Also taking to the photo-sharing platform to celebrate Aden on her big day was US designer Tommy Hilfiger. Instagram

She would go on to make her runway debut at Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 5 showcase during New York Fashion Week in 2017, becoming the first model to wear a hijab on the international runway.

 After her debut, she walked for a number of prestigious brands such as Moschino and Max Mara and was the first model to wear her hijab on the covers of major women’s magazines, such as Allure, British Vogue, Teen Vogue and Sports Illustrated. 

When she’s not turning heads on the runways or pages of renowned magazines, Aden, who was announced as a UNICEF ambassador in 2018, uses her voice and platform to advocate for children’s rights. 

But despite all of her exceptional achievements, it is clear that Aden is only getting started and is certain to be breaking boundaries for years to come.