World's 100 Most Powerful Arabs 2014
Wed 26 Mar 2014 03:56 PM
Haifa Al Mansour

Designation: Film Director

Country: Saudi Arabia

Haifa Al Mansour has done more than most to give the planet a glimpse into the conservative world of Saudi Arabia.

Last year, her film Wadjda was the first Saudi movie to be entered into the Oscars, as Best Foreign Language Film. Although Wadjda did not win, the film won numerous awards, including three prizes at the 2012 Venice Film Festival.

Wadjda tells the story of a rebellious girl who dreams of owning a green bicycle. Al Mansour was forced to direct her first film from a van with a walkie-talkie in some areas where she could not be seen in public. Despite the fact that she was regularly heckled during filming, she felt the responsibility to tell a story often ignored by the world’s media. “I tried to be very close to my roots and show things that were very intimate about Saudi women away from what we see in the news,” she said.

Showing the way

Al Mansour is Saudi Arabia’s first female film director. lacepudam