The first female filmmaker out of Saudi Arabia, director Haifaa Al-Mansour has always been an artist who has forged her own path. Telling the story of an enterprising, young Saudi girl with her first well-received feature, Wadjda, Al-Mansour has continued to pursue “stories of women who are breaking barriers” with her latest, Mary Shelley.
Premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival and moving along the festival circuit before landing in Tribeca, Al-Mansour’s feature stars Elle Fanning as the groundbreaking author of the film’s title, who crafted the iconic Frankenstein in the midst of a conservative 19th century English society.
With personal experience growing up in a conservative culture, Al-Mansour identified with Mary Shelley’s bravery and her plight. “I felt like even if I’m from Saudi Arabia, there is a legacy of womanhood that we all should come together and celebrate,” the filmmaker told Deadline in Tribeca yesterday. “We have to support each other, we have to honor each other as women, and we have to create that kind of solidarity.”
To hear more from Haifaa Al-Mansour about the making of her IFC release—as she discusses the casting of Fanning, and Douglas Booth as Percy Shelley—click above.
The Deadline Studio at Tribeca is presented by Nespresso.