You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Saudi Director Haifaa Al Mansour Set for ‘The Perfect Candidate’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Saudi Arabian director Haifaa Al-Mansour, who with “Wadjda” became the first female filmmaker in her country, is set to return to Saudi Arabia to shoot “The Perfect Candidate,” a drama with comedic elements about a young female physician who maneuvers through her conservative, male-dominated society to run in the municipal council elections.

Shooting on the Arabic-language pic is expected to start in Saudi Arabia in the second half of 2018, said producers Roman Paul and Gerhard Meixner, whose Berlin-based Razor Films produced “Wadjda.”

They described “The Perfect Candidate” as a somewhat ironic look at the new developments in Saudi Arabia caused by women being able to be elected on a local political level.

The film’s Saudi protagonist is frustrated after being turned back at the airport because her travel permission from her male guardian wasn’t up to date, so she embarks on an absurd campaign, balancing strict social norms, gender segregation and the influence of her eccentric family, according to the film’s synopsis written by the director.

“It’s quite funny,” said Paul. “It has Haifaa’s sense of humor, this time a bit more [than “Wadjda”],” he added.

Plans are for the film, with a local cast, to shoot in the second half of 2018 “when it’s not too hot down there, because temperature is an issue,” the producers said.

They are in talks for a sales agent to come on board the project, which is sparking plenty of interest, they said.

“Wadjda,” about a rebellious Saudi girl who wants to ride a bicycle in her country, where that is not allowed, was released by Sony Pictures Classics in the U.S. after launching from the Venice Film Festival in 2012, and was Saudi Arabia’s first Oscar foreign-language film entry.

Since then, Al-Mansour has shot “Mary Shelley,” based on the life of “Frankenstein” author Mary Shelley, starring Elle Fanning and Douglas Booth. That English-language film is now in post and is tipped to bow in a Venice berth in September.

UTA Independent Film Group will be representing U.S. rights for “Mary Shelley” and worldwide rights for “The Perfect Candidate.”

Al-Mansour is represented by UTA, Anonymous Content and Loeb & Loeb.

 

More Film

  • Berlinale -- 2018 -- Viaplay Boards

    Berlin: Viaplay Boards ‘Tomb Raider’ Roar Uthaug's ‘Fury’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Saudi Arabian director Haifaa Al-Mansour, who with “Wadjda” became the first female filmmaker in her country, is set to return to Saudi Arabia to shoot “The Perfect Candidate,” a drama with comedic elements about a young female physician who maneuvers through her conservative, male-dominated society to run in the municipal council elections. Shooting on the […]

  • 'The Housemaid' Review: Horror Pic Exploits

    Film Review: 'The Housemaid'

    Saudi Arabian director Haifaa Al-Mansour, who with “Wadjda” became the first female filmmaker in her country, is set to return to Saudi Arabia to shoot “The Perfect Candidate,” a drama with comedic elements about a young female physician who maneuvers through her conservative, male-dominated society to run in the municipal council elections. Shooting on the […]

  • 'Curvature' Review: Science Fiction on the

    Film Review: 'Curvature'

    Saudi Arabian director Haifaa Al-Mansour, who with “Wadjda” became the first female filmmaker in her country, is set to return to Saudi Arabia to shoot “The Perfect Candidate,” a drama with comedic elements about a young female physician who maneuvers through her conservative, male-dominated society to run in the municipal council elections. Shooting on the […]

  • 'Genesis' Review

    Berlin Film Review: 'Genesis'

    Saudi Arabian director Haifaa Al-Mansour, who with “Wadjda” became the first female filmmaker in her country, is set to return to Saudi Arabia to shoot “The Perfect Candidate,” a drama with comedic elements about a young female physician who maneuvers through her conservative, male-dominated society to run in the municipal council elections. Shooting on the […]

  • 'Half Magic' Review

    Film Review: 'Half Magic'

    Saudi Arabian director Haifaa Al-Mansour, who with “Wadjda” became the first female filmmaker in her country, is set to return to Saudi Arabia to shoot “The Perfect Candidate,” a drama with comedic elements about a young female physician who maneuvers through her conservative, male-dominated society to run in the municipal council elections. Shooting on the […]

  • Jennifer Lopez

    Film News Roundup: Jennifer Lopez Romantic Comedy 'Second Act' Set for Holiday Season

    Saudi Arabian director Haifaa Al-Mansour, who with “Wadjda” became the first female filmmaker in her country, is set to return to Saudi Arabia to shoot “The Perfect Candidate,” a drama with comedic elements about a young female physician who maneuvers through her conservative, male-dominated society to run in the municipal council elections. Shooting on the […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content