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Waad Mohammed in Saudi Arabia Heading for the Oscars
Wadjda is the first feature-length film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia, as well as the first film written and directed by a Saudi woman. Written and directed by Haifaa Al Mansour and starring Waad Mohammed in the title role, the film has already won the Best Arabic Feature and Best Actress awards at the Dubai International Film Festival. It has also opened at Cannes, the Venice Film Festival and the Tribeca Film Festival, winning numerous awards, and has just been released in the United States.

At Cannes, Al Mansour was quoted as saying, "I'm so proud to have shot the first full-length feature ever filmed entirely inside the Kingdom (of Saudi Arabia)," Mansour said. "I come from a small town in Saudi Arabia where there are many girls like Wadjda who have big dreams, strong characters and so much potential. These girls can, and will, reshape and redefine our nation."

Wadjda is the story of a spirited, independent-minded 10 year old girl living in Riyadh. When her good friend Abdullah gets a new bicycle, Wadjda wants one, too. Mainly so she can beat Abdullah in a race. It sounds simple, but in Saudi Arabia girls don't ride bikes. There are peripheral stories here as well, and together they give you a glimpse into the rapidly evolving society in which these engaging characters dwell.

"Wadjda will represent Saudi Arabia at the Oscars, competing for the best foreign-language film, in a first for the kingdom," said Sultan al-Bazie, head of the Saudi Arabian Society for Culture and Arts.

View the official trailer:



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