Arts, Culture & Media

'Wadjda': Saudi Arabia's First Feature Film and Female Filmmaker

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Credit: Photo: courtesy of Sony Picture Classics

"Wadjda."

A young girl falls in love with an expensive green bicycle.

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(This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the audio to hear it.)

She dreams of buying that bike and racing the neighborhood boy.

Except that little girl named Wadjda is the character is a new film with the same title, which takes place in Saudi Arabia and girls in Saudi Arabia are not supposed to ride bicycles, not to mention mix with men outside of their immediate family.

Wadjda is the first feature length film to be shot in Saudi Arabia.

And the director, Haifaa Al Mansour is the first Saudi woman ever to direct a feature film in her restrictive homeland.

Wadjda has been making the rounds at film festivals around the globe and recently it was selected by Saudi Arabia as their entry for the foreign film category of the Academy Awards.

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