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Saudi film ‘Norah’ nominated for Cannes Film Festival 2024

Apr 19, 2024

The Cannes Film Festival announced that the Saudi film Norah, framed by DP Shaun Harley Lee, supported by the Saudi Film Commission through its ‘Daou’ initiative, has been selected as part of the festival’s Official Selection in the ‘Un Certain Regard’ section. The festival will take place in Cannes, France, from May 14 to 25.

Written and directed by Tawfiq Al-Zaidi, the feature film Norah clinched the top prize of a funding award from the Saudi Film Commission’s Daou Film Competition, an initiative launched by the Kingdom’s Ministry of Culture in September 2019 to bolster Saudi film production and nurture the next generation of filmmakers. The film also garnered support from the Quality of Life program, one of the Kingdom’s Vision 2023 initiatives, Film AlUla, Generation 2030, and the Red Sea Film Festival, where it premiered in December 2023.

Set in a remote village in Saudi Arabia during the 1990s and filmed in AlUla, Norah presents a poignant narrative about the transformative power of art in inspiring change. It features Maria Bahrawi, Yaqoub Al-Farhan, and Abdullah Al-Sadhan.

This nomination marks a historic milestone for Saudi cinema as Norah becomes the first Saudi film to be included in the Official Selection of the Cannes Film Festival. “Un Certain Regard” is renowned for showcasing new talent and unconventional narratives, running parallel to the Palme d’Or competition. It serves as a significant international platform that garners attention from filmmakers worldwide, emphasising the artistic and creative merit of the selected films.

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