JERUSALEM (Reuters) - The Israeli foreign ministry said on Monday it would screen "the perfect candidate" by Saudi director Haifa al-Mansour at the opening of a women's film festival next month in West Jerusalem.
She added that the Saudi film won the jury award at the Venice Film Festival, and represented Saudi Arabia in the Oscars.
"The Perfect Candidate" by Saudi director Haifa Al Mansour will open the Israeli Women's Cinema Festival in Jerusalem next month. It is noteworthy that the Saudi film won the jury award at the Venice Festival and represents Saudi Arabia in the Oscar awards pic.twitter.com/TA8PCLx3IG- Israel in Arabic (@IsraelArabic) November 18, 2019
The Israeli Foreign Ministry did not clarify whether it had asked the Saudi director for the screening of her film. Haifa Al Mansour did not announce her position on this step, which is listed by the Israeli Foreign Ministry as part of normalization.
This is not the first time that the name of the Saudi director has been mentioned in Israel or her films are shown in Jerusalem.Her name caused a sensation in July 2018 after a tweet by the Israeli Foreign Ministry through her account "Israel in Arabic", saying that "Haifa Al Mansour is the first Saudi director. "It does not rule out the possibility of producing films with Israeli producers in the future through the official channels that Saudi Arabia will allow," it says in an interview with the Israeli website Wint.
Haifa al-Mansour is the first Saudi director to say in an interview with the Israeli website Wint that she does not rule out the possibility of producing films with Israeli producers in the future through the official channels that Saudi Arabia will allow. "The crown prince is great, something very good is happening in Saudi Arabia." Her new film will be screened this month in Jerusalem pic.twitter.com/L4KccSyi3J- Israel in Arabic (@IsraelArabic) July 28, 2018
But Haifa reacted quickly to the news, announcing only within four hours of the Israeli Foreign Ministry's tweet denying the statements, explaining that she was "working with officially permitted countries," a response that some tweets on social networking sites considered loose, demanding the director a clear stance towards Israeli occupation.
To clarify, I am currently promoting American films and meeting with journalists from all over the world. Often they ask me if you can work with Israel. My response is always clear. "I work only with officially authorized countries." But the press and you know best love spices, you all the friendliness- Haifaa Al Mansour (@HaifaaMansour) July 28, 2018
"Ideal Candidate" is about a Saudi female doctor running for municipal elections, filmed in Saudi Arabia, starring Milla Al Zahrani, Noura Al Awad, and written by Haifa Al Mansour.
The Saudi Oscar Committee has chosen "Ideal Candidate" as a contender for the international feature film category at this year's Oscar.