Culver City, CA (Dec. 23, 2013) – Meet WADJDA, a little girl with big dreams who is determined to challenge traditional women’s roles in modern-day Saudi Arabia. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will release this groundbreaking film on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack* on February 11. In the spirit of its tenacious title character, WADJDA is the first feature film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia, and was written and directed by Haifaa Al Mansour, Saudi Arabia’s first female filmmaker. WADJDA is also Saudi Arabia’s submission in the Foreign Language Category for the 2014 Academy Awards®, marking the first time that the country will be competing for the prestigious nomination. This Sony Pictures Classics film is also nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature and stars newcomer Waad Mohammed as Wadjda, as well as popular Saudi television star Reem Abdullah in her first feature film role as Wadjda’s sympathetic but cautious mother.
WADJDA took the prize for Best International Feature at the 2013 Los Angeles Film Festival, as well as three awards at the 2012 Venice Film Festival, including the Cinema for Peace prize. The National Board of Review honoredWADJDA with its “Freedom of Expression” award. It was also an official selection at the Telluride, Tribeca and Toronto Film Festivals. Additionally, the film has received widespread critical acclaim, with Los Angeles Times’s Kenneth Turan calling the film “a huge triumph for its female director … a remarkable film twice over.” The Playlist’s Oliver Lyttelton concurred, calling it “One of the best films of the year! Something close to a miracle.” Special features on the Combo Pack will include a commentary with Writer/Director Haifaa Al Mansour, a making-of featurette and a director’s guild Q&A with Al Mansour.
*Combo Pack Includes Blu-ray and DVD.
WADJDA, a fun-loving 10-year-old girl living in Saudi Arabia, has her heart set on a beautiful new bicycle. However, her mother won’t allow it, fearing repercussions from a society that sees bicycles as dangerous to a girl’s virtue. Determined to turn her dreams into reality and buy the bike on her own, Wadjda uncovers the contradictions and opportunities in her world. Hilarious, heartbreaking and inspiring all at once, this groundbreaking film has charmed critics and audiences all over the globe.
Special Features Include:
[*]Commentary with Writer/Director Haifaa Al Mansour
[*]The Making of WADJDA featurette
[*]Director’s Guild of America Q&A with Haifaa Al Mansour
WADJDA was written and directed by Haifaa Al Mansour. The film was produced by Razor Film, Roman Paul and Gerhard Meixner and stars Reem Abdullah, Waad Mohammed and Abdullrahman Al Gohani.
WADJDA has a running time of 98 minutes and is rated PG for thematic elements, brief mild language and smoking. The film is in Arabic with English subtitles.