Saudi Arabia’s First Female Filmmaker Haifaa Al Mansour Wins the Sixth IWC Filmmaker Award at Dubai
Diff.ae: Academy Award winner, Hollywood actress and IWC Schaffhausen Ambassador Cate Blanchett presented the sixth IWC Filmmaker Award to Haifaa Al Mansour from Saudi Arabia for her project, “Miss Camel”. The award ceremony was held at the IWC “For the Love of Cinema” gala event in the One&Only Royal Mirage’s Arabian Court during the 14th Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF). The winner received a grant of USD 100,000 for her project and an IWC Da Vinci Automatic 36 with a blue dial (Ref. IW458312) from the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer. The IWC “For the Love of Cinema” gala was presented by IWC brand ambassador and TV personality Raya Abirached and TV presenter Wissam Breidy. Among the celebrities attending were IWC brand ambassadors Sonam Kapoor, Sir Patrick Stewart OBE, Tuba Büyüküstün and Jessica Kahawaty. Other international and local personalities included French actor Clovis Cornillac, Rym Saidi and Egyptian actress Yousra. Cate Blanchett said: “It is my pleasure to again be part of the IWC Filmmakers Award Jury, I am always intrigued by the different voices and perspectives of the projects we get to judge.” Christoph Grainger-Herr, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen, said: “We at IWC consider filmmaking an integral part of cultural creation and an art form which contemplates a wide range of themes central to humanity. Being storytellers ourselves, we deeply appreciate the creativity, courage and passion that talented filmmakers invest into their work and we are proud to support them with the IWC Filmmaker Award.” DIFF Chairman and member of the IWC Filmmakers Award Jury Abdulhamid Juma said: “The number and quality of entries that we receive continue to astound us, and this year was no different. We appreciate the vision and creativity of the filmmakers of the region and, through this award, we aim to help them make this vision a reality.” The main theme of the gala event was the involvement and achievements of women in cinema and filmmaking. Highlights of the evening were an emotional dance routine and a breathtaking performance by talented singer Christine Said. The after-party was kicked off by the soulful powerhouse duo from London HanLei. The jury was headed by Academy Award winner and IWC Schaffhausen Ambassador Cate Blanchett for the third time. Among the jury members were Tunisian actress and IWC brand ambassador Hend Sabri, IWC CEO Christoph Grainger-Herr, DIFF Chairman Abdulhamid uma and DIFF Artistic Director Masoud Amralla Al Ali. The winning project, “Miss Camel” by Haifaa Al Mansour, Saudi Arabia’s first female filmmaker, tells the story of Hayla, a blossoming Saudi teen who will do anything to escape her arranged marriage and fulfil her goal of attending art school outside of Saudi Arabia. While scheming to make her way to the in-person interviews for the art college in a neighbouring Gulf state, Hayla makes a startling discovery at her cousin’s wedding – she can talk to animals.