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Sat 15 Dec 2018 01:28 AM

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Saudi female film director wins top award for cultural leadership

Haifaa Al-Mansour has been named as one of three recipients of the 25th Annual Crystal Award

Saudi female film director wins top award for cultural leadership
Al-Mansour has been honoured for her leadership in cultural transformation in the Arab world.

Saudi film director Haifaa Al-Mansour has been named as one of the recipients of the 25th Annual Crystal Award, which celebrates the achievements of leading artists and cultural figures.

Conductor Marin Alsop and broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough were the other recipients, the World Economic Forum announced.

The winners will be honoured in the opening session of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2019 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, on January 21.

“Any new architecture for ‘Globalization 4.0’ will need to be both inclusive and sustainable. The remarkable achievements of the recipients of the 25th Annual Crystal Award inspire us to see beyond the limits of convention to find solutions for the current issues the world faces,” said Hilde Schwab, chairwoman and co-founder of the World Economic Forum’s World Arts Forum, which hosts the awards.

Al-Mansour has been honoured for her leadership in cultural transformation in the Arab world, the Forum said in a statement.

She is the first female filmmaker in Saudi Arabia and Wadjda, her feature debut, was the first feature film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia and the first by a female director.

The success of her 2005 documentary Women Without Shadows was a breakthrough that was followed by a new wave of Saudi filmmakers and front-page headlines of Saudi Arabia finally opening cinemas in the kingdom.

She was recently appointed to the board of the General Authority for Culture to advise on the development of the cultural and arts sectors in Saudi Arabia.

She recently released Mary Shelly starring Elle Fanning, and Nappily Ever After starring Sanaa Lathan. Al Mansour is also the first artist from the Arabian Gulf region to be invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Marin Alsop, music director of the Baltimore Symphony since 2007, is one of the greatest conductors of our time. Earlier this year she was the first woman to be appointed chief conductor of the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra and, in 2013, was the first woman in 118 years to conduct the BBC’s Last Night of the Proms.

Sir David Attenborough’s broadcasting career spans more than six decades during which he has played an extraordinary role both reinventing and developing the medium of television and connecting people to the wonders of the natural world, bringing distant peoples, animals and habitats into living rooms across the planet.