The Making of ‘Wadjda’

“Wadjda,” the film directed by Saudi director Haifaa al-Mansour, has received praise and wide recognition since it debuted few months ago. Most recently, the film won awards at the Dubai International Film Festival. Amr al-Qahtani, who worked as a co-producer on the film, told al-Riyadh that they expect to make a profit on the film that cost $ 4 million despite the fact that they can’t show it in its native country because movie theaters are not allowed in Saudi Arabia. Al-Qahtani also spoke of the challenges of shooting a feature film in Riyadh. Al-Mansour had, for example, to stay inside a specially customized trailer equipped with monitors and communication devices to work on scenes shot in the streets of the city to avoid the problems with authorities that could result from the presence of a female director on the scene.