‘Norah’ becomes 1st Saudi film to screen at Cannes Film Festival

Hyderabad Desk

The Saudi film ‘Norah’ has made history by becoming the first Saudi Arabian film to screen at the 77th Cannes Film Festival held in Cannes, France.

The film was screened on Thursday, May 23, at the “Un Certain Regard” section of the festival.

It is competing with 19 other films from around the world.

What is the film Norah all about?

Norah, filmed entirely in AlUla and directed by Tawfik Al-Zaidi. The film is set in the Kingdom in the 1990s during a period of increased conservatism, where art and painting were strictly prohibited for religious reasons.

The film stars Maria Bahrawi and Yaqoub Al-Farhan, with Abdullah Al-Sadhan in a supporting role.

It is a poignant narrative about an orphaned, illiterate woman in Saudi Arabia who grapples with an arranged marriage and seeks self-expression.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by NORAH Movie فيلم_نورة# (@norahmovie)

Nora, played by Maria Bahrawi, meets Nader, a retired artist who transitions to a village schoolteacher after abandoning painting. Two individuals find solace in each other, igniting a creative spark within themselves.

The film premiered in Saudi Arabia in December 2023 at the Red Sea Film Festival in Jeddah.

It is scheduled to premiere in Saudi and international theaters on June 20, 2024.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by TwentyOne Entertainment (@twentyoneent)

Saudi Arabia is thriving in its entertainment sector, demonstrating its commitment to economic diversification and attracting international visitors.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the lifting of cinema prohibition in 2017 as part of the Vision 2030 reform agenda, aiming to enhance quality of life and diversify the economy.

In April 2018, Saudi Arabia lifted its cinema ban as part of extensive reforms across the Kingdom.

Since 2018, the Saudi cinema sector has experienced significant growth, with 627 screens in 69 theatres across the country, catering to a population of 32.2 million people.

Also Read