Today the film “ Wadjda” that has won over hearts and minds in many an international festival will be screening in Morocco at the 7th International Women's Film Festival of Salé. The festival runs from September 23rd until the 28th.
The film, directed by Haifaa Mansour, follows a bold, tomboyish Saudi Arabian girl who uses her wits to pursue the dream of owning (and riding) a bicycle, something she is forbidden by law to do because she’s a girl.
The film is generating new interest around the intersection of women and filmmaking in the Middle East. It was shot partly in secret (Mansour directed many scenes hidden inside a van) due to restrictions on women not by law but by social mores. It’s also the first feature shot entirely in the country, and recently became the first film the country nominated for Oscar consideration in the best foreign film category. It's already swept up a handful of festival awards: in Dubai, Switzerland, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, and Venice, where it won in all three categories in which it was nominated.
The Moroccan annual International Women's Film Festival of Salé turns its eye to female filmmakers and works that convey the realities of women across the globe. Its entries this year come from a diverse array of countries, including Chile, Egypt (Maggie Morgan’s “ Asham”), Australia, Canada, South Africa, France and Hong-Kong.