Through the camera, the Saudi director, Haifa Al-Mansour, follows many issues of women and society, presenting in her career a set of films that address women's concerns and life matters that affect her environment, even though she lives in the United States of America.
Her career varied between short and feature films, and she is working on a film that will be shown on the Netflix platform entitled "Choice" and belongs to the world of fiction, a world that has been knocked on for the first time as a directing experience. Haifa Al-Mansour stressed, in her dialogue with «Emirates Today», that the Saudi openness will reflect positively on the film industry, after the presence of theaters that were absent, calling for the necessity of making films that represent people and society, and not only simple comic works.
About her movie "The Choice", which will be shown on "Netflix", the Saudi director explained that he is distinguished by being more than her previous work that she presented on the same platform, as it is characterized by influences and a huge budget, pointing out that when she starts working on the movie she finds herself identical with the characters, as she presented A group of works varied between the novelist, the short, and others, and the main incentive remains for her the margins of the characters, their insides and their motives, as they are the engine to provide them with dramatic casting.
The director of the film "Oujda" considered that working for networks such as "Netflix" is very important, but it is necessary that it is not the only window available, as it is an important digital platforms for displaying movies, especially documentaries from multiple cultures, as art was restricted to American and Egyptian films for Arabs, But today there is a lot of work in hand, indicating that the presence of these platforms will be reflected in the taste that needs to change over time, and with all the diversity it offers.
Haifa Al-Mansour described the film industry as a "collective industry", which starts from the director, the photographer, the designer of decor and fashion and all the elements that interfere in the work, so when you plan the film it starts from an understanding of the characters and the general atmosphere, then presents its perception of the project as a whole, and how it can come out with something that serves the story Accordingly, you plan for every detail. She advised young directors of the importance of investing in the important pre-filming stage, because in the absence of good planning the director faces many problems that affect the quality of work. She considered that the availability of productive support is one of the most important challenges facing the Arab director, recognizing that when she started providing films that did not have a source of funding and budget, due to the lack of support for films in the Arab world, and the sources of funding that are still limited, expressing her wish to have a special fund Supports filmmaking.
She stressed the necessity of making real films that resemble young people, in addition to investing in writing and finding serious workshops that reflect on enriching the level of writing.
She emphasized that she has preserved the societal value system, which takes into account the culture of the environment to which she belongs in her films, as she seeks to present a story that resembles people, asking young filmmakers to present what they believe in, and at the same time that the story be of interest to people to reach them, so finding a true story is the touchstone For quality before anything else.
It has to start
On the general atmosphere appropriate to cinema, especially in light of the openness in Saudi Arabia, Haifa Al-Mansour, who lives in America, added that “the climate in the Kingdom today is more suitable for the film industry, as there are now theaters that were absent, in addition to accepting the idea of a local movie, and therefore We have to start making community-like movies, not just simple comedies, and we should go to films that represent people and move society forward. ”
She saw that the current situation in Saudi Arabia will be reflected in the film industry, as the presence of a box office will lead to commercial success. She pointed out that the margin of freedom, of course, changes with openness, and that while maintaining that margin, taking into account the conservative society, in order to present films that all family members can see, as there are many stories in society that can be addressed, and embodied in the cinema. She expressed her happiness at presenting works that attract the audience, pointing out that showing her films in important international festivals to represent Saudi Arabia, in addition to the presence of a work in the international cinematography is a great incentive and encouraging for the director.
The Saudi director, Haifa Al-Mansour, whose films won many awards and succeeded in reaching international film festivals, presented an English-language work entitled "Mary Shelley". Regarding the difference in experience, Haifa Al-Mansour saw that making an Arabic-language movie is more intimate for her, because it talks about her environment, her people and her people, but what distinguishes working with a Western crew is great professionalism, and dealing seriously with writing the text and performance, in addition to the great diligence in training, What should be planned in the Arab world, as it should focus on training and workshops, because they are reflected in the quality of cinematic work.
There are a lot of stories in the community that can be touched upon and embodied on the big screen technically.
"Funding sources for films in the Arab world are still limited, and support is a major challenge."
“I have maintained in my films the system that respects the culture of the environment to which I belong.”