HAIFAA AL MANSOUR (Writer/Director) is the first female filmmaker in Saudi Arabia and is regarded as one of
the most significant cinematic figures in the Kingdom. She finished her bachelor's degree in
Literature at the American University in Cairo and completed a Master's degree 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 whole new wave of Saudi filmmakers
and made the issue of opening cinemas in the Kingdom a front-page discussion. Within the
Kingdom her work is both praised and vilified for encouraging discussion on topics generally
considered taboo, like tolerance, the dangers of orthodoxy, and the need for Saudis to take a
critical look at their traditional and restrictive culture.
Through both her films and her work in television and print media, Al Mansour is famous for
penetrating the wall of silence surrounding the sequestered lives of Saudi women and providing a
platform for their unheard voices.
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