This Saudi Film Is Now An Oscar Contender

BY Brian Timmer / Oct 9 2019 / 11:58 AM

Haifaa Al-Mansour's 'The Perfect Candidate' is the first Saudi Oscar submission in decades

This Saudi Film Is Now An Oscar Contender
Mila al-Zahrani is The Perfect Candidate

Haifaa Al-Mansour, the first-ever female Saudi feature film director has just made history once again with her critically-acclaimed film The Perfect Candidate becoming the Saudi Arabia's first Oscar contender in decades. Produced by Los Angeles based Al-Mansour and Brad Niemann, the movie is the first to be supported by the Saudi Film Council and is set to compete for the title of Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Academy Awards. 

As Saudi Arabia continues to make strides in its progressive evolution, the occasion of the country's Oscar submission is yet another major milestone in its cultural advancements. The contemporary film, shot in Al Mansour's beloved homeland of Saudia Arabia was submitted for an Oscar nomination by the Saudi Academy Awards Committee, which is led by local director and producer Abdullah Aleyaf, and consists of independant Saudi Arabian filmmakers and various local figures in Saudi cinema. 

In The Perfect Candidate, we follow the humble and honest story of Maryam (portrayed by Mila Al-Zahrani). Maryam is a small town doctor who merely wants to help her ailing patients, all the while quietly maintaining her own sense of identity in a country that is itself rapidly re-defining it's boundaries. The poignant film touches upon highly relevant themes of female empowerment, culture, self-realization and purpose which are inspired by the societal evolutions within Saudi Arabia. 

Watch the international trailer for The Perfect Candidate below:

The film has also succesfully screened at prestigious film festivals around the world, including the Venice Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival, and has recently been picked up for distribution in the UK by 'Modern Films'. 

The 92nd Academy Awards Ceremony will take place on February 9th, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.