Haifaa Al Mansour is the first female filmmaker from Saudi Arabia. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in literature from the American University in Cairo and completed a Master’s in Directing and Film Studies from the University of Sydney. The success of her three short films, as well as the international acclaim of her award winning 2005 documentary Women Without Shadows influenced a new wave of Saudi filmmakers.
Al Mansour’s acclaimed 2012 film Wadjda received numerous awards and accolades at festivals around the world and was nominated for a BAFTA for Best Foreign Language Film. She was awarded the 2016 Kant World Citizen Prize in Freiburg Germany, as well as the German Prize for Children’s Literature for her young adult novel Das Madchen Wadjda.
In 2017 Al Mansour released Mary Shelley, starring Elle Fanning and Douglas Booth, about the love affair between Percy and Mary Shelley as she wrote Frankenstein. In 2018 she released the Netflix film Nappily Ever After starring Sanaa Latham and premiered a short film at Venice Film Festival through Miu Miu’s Women’s Tales series entitled The Wedding Singer’s Daughter. Last year she released The Perfect Candidate, about a female doctor who runs for political office in Saudi Arabia. She recently directed episodes of Motherland for Freeform, The Good Lord Bird for Showtime, The Society for Netflix and The Wilds at Amazon.