Rotana Film "Wadjda" Wins International Awards
HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal: "Rotana is the face of social advancement in
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, May 20, 2013
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, May 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Ms. Haifaa Al Mansour,
director of the film, "Wadjda," has become the first Saudi woman to direct a
feature film to win the "Best Film Award" at the 8^th Gulf Film Festival
(GFF). The film was produced by Rotana, which is chaired by HRH Prince
Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud. Moreover, this latest film award is
another addition to Ms. Haifaa Al Mansour's list of international awards.
Prince Alwaleed commented: "Rotana is the face of social advancement in Saudi
In 2012, "Wadjda" also received "Best Film Award" at the 9^th Dubai
International Film Festival (DIFF), in the "Muhr Arab" feature. The film also
received the "Best Actor Award" for the outstanding performance by the young
Saudi actress, Waad Mohamed. "Wadjda" has exceeded other nominees from the
Arab world in the category of "Muhr Arab."
"Wadjda" has won 3 international awards, including the CinemAvvenire award,
CICAE Art Cinema award and the Interfilm award at the 69^th annual Venice Film
Festival. These international awards are awarded in recognition of excellence
of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors and
writers. In addition, these awards recognize and support films which help
promote intercultural dialogue, empower understanding, respect, sympathy and
peace between people of different origins, histories and beliefs.
The 8^th Gulf Film Festival was attended by Mr. Fahad Alsukait, CEO of Rotana,
Ms. Al Mansour and cast members.
The film "Wadjda", screen written and directed by Al Mansour, and produced by
Rotana Productions, Razor Film, and High Look Group, tells the story of a
10-year-old girl living in Riyadh who beats the odds to create a heartening
tale of a girl's journey to own a bicycle. The coming-of-age film has been
called "revolutionary" by the global film industry, and is the first
full-length feature film to be filmed entirely in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
with an all-Saudi cast.
Ms. Al Mansour thanked Prince Alwaleed and expressed her delight at being the
first Saudi female director. She also commented that she was very proud to
hold this position and regards it as a platform for further competitive
opportunities for Saudi women in the film industry.
HRH is known for being a proponent of Saudi women's full participation in
society and in the workforce. Prince Alwaleed is known for his forceful
advocacy of Saudization in the work force, in addition to driving economic and
social reform. The Prince holds to the view that there is no conflict between
modernization and tradition, where society can be "socially, intellectually
and economically advanced, and religiously devoted."
In 2006, Rotana produced the first Saudi social comedy-drama film, Keif Al
Hal, and in 2008, Rotana released the production of its Saudi film 'Menahi'
for the first time in Jeddah and Taif. The premiere of "Menahi" took place on
the second day of Eid Al Adha. In an unprecedented event in Saudi Arabia, the
film was aired at the King Abdulaziz Cultural Centre in Jeddah. This marked
the first introduction of cinema in Riyadh and the re-appearance of cinema in
Saudi Arabia after an absence of more than 35 years.
'Menahi' premiered in Geneva and Paris and a number of Arab countries, in
addition to Egyptian film theatres. It was the first time that a film produced
in a GCC country was shown on such a wide scale and was also shown in cinemas
in Bahrain for 2 months. Moreover, Menahi was aired at the Prince Faisal bin
Fahad hall at the Literary Club of Riyadh and in Abha during the Abha
Festival, and the Eastern Province.
Prince Alwaleed is also a keen advocate of women's empowerment, through the
Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation, chaired by Prince Alwaleed, which encourages
and supports organizations, studies, and academic centers focusing on
empowering Saudi women, alleviating poverty, upgrading services provided to
the population, and other social infrastructure issues that face the country.
In 2011, the Alwaleed Foundation, in partnership with The Ministry of Labor
(MOL) announced the launch of the "Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Unemployment
Awareness TV Campaign." Rotana was the first company approached by MOL to
support this initiative. Furthermore, the Foundation was the diamond sponsor
of the Tawteen 2012 event, which was held at the Intercontinental, Riyadh in
2012. The event was organized to support young nationals, and contribute to
the elimination of unemployment. The program supports government initiatives,
non-profit organizations and the private sector concerted efforts to enable
young people to enter the labor market at all levels of education, and works
to create modern jobs in line with the current advancement of Saudi society
and contributes to the process of creating qualified nationals
As an extension for this drive for change, Prince Alwaleed also sponsored the
first Saudi woman pilot, the first Saudi woman equestrian jockey, and employs
a majority of Saudi women, comprising 83% of Kingdom Holding Company (KHC),
chaired by HRH, a first for a Saudi company, and 80% of KHC staff are of Saudi
nationality. Prince Alwaleed has stated that his support and encouragement of
Saudi women stems from the fact that women's active role in society is
required for the economic and social advancement of Saudi Arabia, and that
women must be granted the opportunity to excel in the work force and hold
For more information contact:
Intisar Al Yamani
SOURCE Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal
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