Wadjda is a 10-year-old girl living in a suburb of Riyadh. Although she lives in a conservative world, Wadjda is fun loving, entrepreneurial and always pushing the boundaries of what she can get away with. After a fight with her friend Abdullah, a neighbourhood boy she shouldn’t be playing with, Wadjda sees a beautiful green bicycle for sale. She wants the bicycle desperately so that she can beat Abdullah in a race. But Wadjda’s mother won’t allow it, fearing repercussions from a society that sees bicycles as dangerous to a girl’s virtue. So Wadjda decides to try and raise the money herself.
At first, Wadjda’s mother is too preoccupied with convincing her husband not to take a second wife to realize what’s going on. And soon enough Wadjda’s plans are thwarted when she is caught running various schemes at school. Just as she is losing hope of raising enough money, she hears of a cash prize for a Koran recitation competition at her school. She devotes herself to the memorization and recitation of Koranic verses and her teachers begin to see Wadjda as a model pious girl. The competition isn‘t going to be easy, especially for a troublemaker like Wadjda, but she refuses to give in. She is determined to continue fighting for her dreams…
WADJDA was the first feature film ever shot entirely inside Saudi Arabia and is the first feature-length film made by a female Saudi director. It has an all-Saudi cast.
It has won numerous awards at film festivals around the world, including Venice, Rotterdam, Palm Springs, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Goteborg and Fribourg and has received a myriad of nominations, including for the 2014 BAFTA Awards. The film was selected as the Saudi Arabian entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2014 Academy Awards and it was the first time that Saudi Arabia submitted a film for the Oscar.
Haifaa Al Mansour is the first female filmmaker in Saudi Arabia and is regarded as one of the most significant cinematic figures in the Kingdom. The success of her three short films and 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.
Language: Arabic with English subtitles
Duration: 98 minutes