Monday, September 23, 2013

The Woman Who Made Saudi Arabia's First Oscar Entry

The Woman Who Made Saudi Arabia's First Oscar Entry
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Haiffa Al-Mansour is the first female filmmaker from Saudi Arabi and she's made the first film entirely shot in Saudi Arabia -- a country that's banned movie theaters and segregates women from men. Now her movie Wadjda is the official Saudi Arabian entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar.
Banner image: Waad Mohammed as Wadjda. Photo: Tobias Kownatzki © Razor Film, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics


Hollywood News Banter (2:30PM)

Kim Masters and John Horn of the Los Angeles Times discuss some of this week's top entertainment news stories.
- As the Fall TV season begins network executives are nervous after last year's drop off of viewers and agitating for Nielson to update its ways of measuring audiences. In related news, Nielson will start measuring viewers on tablets and mobile devices next Fall. The staggered launch is leading to networks claiming victory and large numbers based on programs with no launch on opposite networks or cable. 
- Disney announced that Pixar has fired the director of The Good Dinosaur and pushed the release of the film from 2014 to 2015. Next year is the first year since 2005 that there will be no Pixar film released. Disney has said it will stick to the two Pixar films a year commitment starting in 2015.  Animation has been far less successful than projected, partly due to too many films per year, and partly because sequels are dominating over original stories that capture new audiences. Disney also terminated, effective at the end of the year, a long and profitable relationship with producer Jerry Brucheimer ("Pirates of the Caribbean").
- The MPAA accuses Google of abetting online piracy with its search engine. The engines were leading searches to pirate sites and sites that sample so much that the samples infringe on performers rights and copyrights. The first amendment, a rising number of people who feel it is their right to watch product without paying those who produced it (the talent, those who made it not just the big studios) and the short memory of the media contribute to the continuing rise of the theft of intellectual content.


Haiffa Al-Mansour (2:37PM)

Haiffa Al-Mansour is a Saudi Arabian female filmmaker -- a surprising feat in a country that has banned movie theaters and has restrictive views of women. Al-Mansour's Wadjda is not only the first film to be entirely shot in Saudi Arabia, it's become that country's first entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar. Al-Mansour talks about her unlikely story of becoming a filmmaker and making Wadjda.

Photo by Tobias Kownatzki © Razor Film
Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics


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