Venice 2012: Pretty Pictures Takes Saudi Film ‘Wadjda’ for France


The drama from director Haifaa Al Mansour is the first-ever film to shoot in Saudi Arabia.

BERLIN – French distributor Pretty Pictures has acquired the Saudi Arabian drama Wadjda from sales group The Match Factory ahead of the film’s world premiere in competition at the Venice Film Festival.

Wadjda is the first ever film to be shot entirely in Saudi Arabia. The tale of a young girl who challenges her country’s deep-set traditions was produced by Roman Paul and Gerhard Meixner of Berlin-based producers Razor Film. The company's other credits include Oscar-nominees Waltzing with Bashir and Paradise Now.

The French deal was negotiated between Pretty Pictures president James Velaise and The Match Factory’s Brigitte Suarez.

“The Match Factory have great taste and how could we not be involved with the first-ever film shot in Saudi Arabia?” said Velaise.

The Match Factory first unveiled Wadjda to international buyers at the Cannes market in May.