Haifaa Al-Mansour

Winner of the audience award at the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2013. A feel good movie par excellence. Self-willed Wadjda from Riyadh goes to great lengths to get a green bicycle. Boys are allowed to ride a bicycle. So why isn’t she? Wadjda is the first feature film by a female director from Saudi Arabia.

Wadjda (10) lives with her parents in a suburb of Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. Despite her conservative surroundings, Wadjda is a playful child who regularly takes things to the limit. When the girl wants a beautiful green bicycle, her mother is opposed to it: what would people around them think? Cycling is not a suitable pastime for a girl.

Wadjda doesn’t care and decides to save the money herself. Her mother, who is distracted by her husband’s desire to take a second wife, hardly realises what plans – often very unsuitable – her daughter thinks up to earn money.

Haifaa Al Mansour, regarded as the first female filmmaker from Saudi Arabia, tells an intimate story about a girl with big dreams. Wadjda embodies many girls and women from Saudi Arabia. The drama offers a glimpse of a closed society, with universal and familiar themes such as hope, courage and perseverance.


Haifaa Al-Mansour
Gerhard Meixner, Roman Paul
Country of production
Saudi Arabia, Germany
100 minutes
Spoken language
Production company
Razor Film
World Sales
The Match Factory
Dutch distributor
September Film Distribution