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.”