Cleveland International Film Festival } April 7 – April 20, 2021

The Perfect Candidate


Year: 2019
Run Time: 101 minutes

The Perfect Candidate
The Perfect Candidate
The Perfect Candidate
The Perfect Candidate

The most recent film from Haifaa Al-Mansour, the vanguard female filmmaker roaring out of Saudi Arabia, delivers her latest politically charged, social realist drama. THE PERFECT CANDIDATE is a steely look at the life of Maryam, a young Saudi doctor who continuously finds her professional ambitions undercut by the country’s male-dominated bureaucracies. When unceremoniously denied a travel visa at the airport, she sets out on a futile hunt to find a male guardian to grant her permission to fly. In an act of sheer fate, this chase leads her to falsely sign up for a local municipal council election. What started as a ploy for a signature quickly turns into a burgeoning passion as Maryam sees an opportunity to enact real change. Timely and fervently political, the film depicts the harrowing, frustrating reality of life as a woman in contemporary Saudi Arabia. With the culture slowly evolving, Maryam stands in for a generation of women for whom change is simply not coming fast enough. (In English and Arabic with subtitles) — R.J.T.

Saudi Arabia’s Best International Feature Film Oscar® Submission

CIFF44 Screenings

Tower City Cinemas

Monday, March 30, 2020 at 11:15 AM ET

Tuesday, March 31, 2020 at 6:30 PM ET

Accessibility (?): No closed captions, audio description, English subtitles

Voices of the Arab World
Women of the World

International Narrative Competition
ReelWomenDirect Award for Excellence in Directing by a Woman

Haifaa Al Mansour

Roman Paul, Gerhard Meixner, Haifaa Al Mansour, Brad Niemann

Haifaa Al Mansour, Brad Niemann

Patrick Orth

Andreas Wodraschke

Principal Cast
Mila Alzahrani, Dhay, Khalid Abdulrahim, Shafi Al Harthy

Print Source

Community Partner

C.A.M.E.O. (Cleveland American Middle East Organization)

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