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Saudi Arabia's First Oscar Entry Gets U.S. Release Date

Posted December 23, 2013 04:31 AM by Webmaster

Sony PicturesSony Pictures Home Entertainment has revealed that it plans to bring to Blu-ray director Haifaa Al-Mansour's film Wadjda (2012). The release will be available for purchase on February 11, 2014.

Wadjda is Saudi Arabia's first-ever submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award and the country's first film by a female director.

Synopsis: A rebellious Saudi Arabian girl hatches a plan to get her hands on the bicycle she craves in this coming-of-age story from first time director Haifaa Al-Mansour. Living within a conservative suburb of Riyadh, fun-loving eleven-year-old Wadjda (Waad Mohammed) has her heart set on a green bicycle so that she can beat the boys in their neighbourhood races. But when her mother (Reem Abdullah) forbids it, anticipating a reaction from a society that disapproves of women riding bicycles, an enterprising Wadjda decides to raise the money herself by entering a local Qur'an-reading competition that offers a cash prize.

Special Features:
  • Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Haifaa Al Mansour
  • The Making of Wadjda featurette
  • Director's Guild of America Q&A with Haifaa Al Mansour

Source: | Permalink | United States [Country settings]

News comments (15 comments)

  Dec 23, 2013  

  Dec 23, 2013
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I think the film didn't make it to the final list of the Oscars. Nevertheless, hoping to check it out.

Top contributor
  Dec 23, 2013
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Missing the short list was a real shocker (and not the only one for Sony) since it was looked to be the front runner in the eyes of more than a few critic and fans.

  Dec 23, 2013
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" who cares. "

Must everything be stereotypical hollywood fare?

Not all of us want to be confronted with the same cliched nonsense year in, year out.

Many stories out there in the world that need to be told.

On another note, its quite astonishing how a film, let alone one of this subject matter, could be made in Saudi. Definitely want to check this out
  Dec 23, 2013
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@mojo_navigator: totally agree with you! What a dumb comment from ditcin...
  Dec 23, 2013
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Looks interesting but not at $37.

  Dec 23, 2013
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Amazing movie, so glad I was able to catch a limited screening!

ImportCDs has this listed at $25, though preorders have not started yet. There are always alternatives to Amazon.
  Dec 23, 2013
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The Sony Pictures Classics titles always start of expensive and drop later. Barnes & Noble's Criterion sale usually also includes many of the Sony Pictures Classics titles.

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  Dec 23, 2013
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@mojo: Uplifting, inspirational, against-all-odds movies ARE stereotypical Hollywood fare. Female leads and non-US settings don't change that fact.

  Dec 23, 2013
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I can't accept this as real cinema. What comic book/young-adult lit is it based on? Why isn't it playing in IMAX or 3D? And it's only one film? Where are the second and third parts?

  Dec 23, 2013
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@repete66211: I don't think so... What about the French new wave? Kurosawa's works? Ingmar Bergman's films? All stereotypical Hollywood fare?

There might be a lack of originality in movies these days, but I wouldn't say that all movies are stereotypical Hollywood fare.

Top contributor
  Dec 23, 2013
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@hhhrrrinnn: What about French New Wave, Kurosawa, etc? Those weren't typical Hollywood fare (though New Wave was influenced heavily by it).

I'm not saying all movies are typical Hollywood fare, I'm saying the story line of this movie is a Hollywood cliche.

  Dec 24, 2013
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I cant wait.

And this movie was NOT at all Hollywood-ish. On screen or behind the scenes.

The female director wasn't allowed to be seen filming in public and had to hide in vans or far away from the shoot and use a walkie-talkie to communicate with the Cinematographer. Its very well made, actually. Very witty too. Hope it gets actual recognition in the Oscars.
  Dec 24, 2013
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@repete66211: regarding the French New Wave you got it the other way around... Hollywood and a certain number of its greatest directors were influenced by it: Scorcese, De Palma, Polanski, Penn, Altman and all the members of the "New Hollywood" movement. More recently: Tarantino, Anderson etc.

Top contributor
  Dec 26, 2013
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@redrunner: The subject matter is very much Hollywood. I hope it gets everything the Academy sees fit to give it. It certainly has the sort of PC bona fide the Academy just loves to congratulate itself with rewarding.

@hhhrrrinnn: I appreciate your enthusiasm for film history but you may want to go back a bit further. Yes, the French New Wave did influence American filmmakers, but they themselves were influenced by American films to begin with. No man is an island...

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