Global Conference 2017
Haifaa al-Mansour is the first female filmmaker in Saudi Arabia and is regarded as one of its most significant cinematic figures. She studied comparative literature at the American University in Cairo and completed a master's degree in film studies from the University of Sydney. The success of her 2005 documentary "Women Without Shadows" influenced a new wave of Saudi filmmakers and made the issue of opening cinemas in the Kingdom front page news. At home, her work is both praised and vilified for encouraging discussion on taboo issues and for penetrating the wall of silence surrounding the sequestered lives of Saudi women. "Wadjda," Al-Mansour's feature debut, is the first feature film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia and the first by a female director. She recently published a novelization of the film titled "The Green Bicycle" for Penguin publishing group. She is currently working on post-production on her latest film, "Mary Shelley," starring Elle Fanning and Douglas Booth, and based on the life of "Frankenstein" author Mary Shelley.