Haifaa Al Mansour President of the International Jury for the “Luigi De Laurentiis” Award for a Debut Film< Back
first female director in Saudi Arabia
07 | 10 | 2013
her feature debut Wadjda was launched at the 2012 Venice Film Festival
Haifaa Al Mansour, the first female director in Saudi Arabia and author of Wadjda, a film presented to great acclaim at the 2012 Venice Film Festival, will be president of the International Jury for the “Luigi De Laurentiis” Venice Award for a Debut Film at the 70th Venice International Film Festival.
The 70th Venice Film Festival will take place from 28 August to 7 September 2013 at the Lido, directed by Alberto Barbera and organized by the Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta.
Haifaa Al Mansour is the first female filmmaker to emerge in Saudi Arabia and is regarded as one of its most significant cinematic figures. Her feature debut Wadjda, the first film shot in the Kingdom, was launched at the 2012 Venice International Film Festival to wide critical acclaim and continues to generate momentum from enthusiastic audiences and numerous international awards. Al Mansour studied comparative literature at the American University in Cairo and completed a Master’s degree in Film Studies at the University of Sydney. The success of her short films, and her groundbreaking 2005 documentary Women Without Shadows, influenced a new wave of Saudi filmmakers and made the issue of opening movie theatres in the Kingdom front-page news. Inside Saudi Arabia her work is both praised and vilified for encouraging discussion on taboo issues and for penetrating the wall of silence surrounding the sequestered lives of Saudi women. The international success of Wadjda led Variety to name Al Mansour as one of the “10 Director’s to Watch” in 2013 and brought a new excitement and focus to films coming from the Arab region.
The International Jury of the “Luigi De Laurentiis” Venice Award for a Debut Film, composed of 7 leading figures in the cinema and culture of different countries, including a producer, will award to one of the debut feature-length films in the various competitive sections of the Venice Film Festival (Official selection and Independent and Parallel Sections), the Lion of the Future – “Luigi De Laurentiis” Venice Award for a Debut Film, and a cash prize of 100,000 USD offered by Filmauro di Aurelio e Luigi De Laurentiis which will be divided equally between the director and the producer. No joint winners are allowed.
In recent years the Venice Award for a Debut Film was conferred to: Le grand voyage by Ismael Ferroukhi (2004), 13 - Tzameti by Gela Babluani (2005), Khadak by Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth (2006), La zona by Rodrigo Plá (2007), Pranzo di ferragosto (Mid August Lunch) by Gianni Di Gregorio (2008), Engkwentro (Clash) by Pepe Diokno (2009), Cogunluk (Majority) by Seren Yuce (2010), Là-Bas (Là-bas: A Criminal Education) by Guido Lombardi (2011), and Küf (Mold) by Ali Aydin (2012).