Norah, first Saudi film to screen at Cannes, wins special mention

The movie, directed by Tawfik Al-Zaidi, was screened in the “Un Certain Regard” section of the festival

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Photo: X/Festival de Cannes
Photo: X/Festival de Cannes

Published: Sun 26 May 2024, 11:06 AM

Last updated: Sun 26 May 2024, 1:56 PM

Saudi film Norah has made history by becoming the first film from the Kingdom to screen at the 77th Cannes Film Festival.

The film, which was screened in the “Un Certain Regard” section of the festival on Thursday, received a special mention from the jury. It was as in competition with 19 other films from around the world. Chinese director Guan Hu’s “Black Dog” won the top prize in the Un Certain Regard section.


Norah is filmed entirely in AlUla in northwest Saudi Arabia and directed by Tawfik Al-Zaidi. It stars Maria Bahrawi, Yaqoub Al-Farhan, and Abdullah Al-Satian.

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The film follows Norah (Bahrawi), an orphaned and unlettered young woman who faces an arranged marriage and is looking for a source of self-expression. She has a chance encounter with failed artist Nader (Al-Farhan) who has arrived in her village as a school teacher. The story revolves around how both encourage each other to realise their potential for art.



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