Saudi Arabia’s film authority picks female-centric film for Oscar consideration

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Saudi Arabia’s film authority has officially picked the female empowerment film ‘Scales’ to represent the Kingdom at the next Academy Awards for an Oscar in the best international film category.

The film “Lady of the Sea” in Arabic is the debut film of Saudi Arabian filmmaker Shahad Amin. It was shown for the first time at the prestigious Venice Film Festival where it won Verona Film Club Award. It was also shown in other international festivals, in addition to being shown inside the Kingdom in cinemas.

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Scales tells a legendary story of a young girl who defies her village's tradition of sacrificing its female children to the sea in order to survive.

The film, shot entirely in black-and-white, was produced by Image Nation Abu Dhabi, the award-winning film and entertainment company.

“Winning this award is a very special moment for me and everyone who worked on this film. It reflects the power of this story and the exceptional work of the cast and crew who brought my vision to life, as well as Image Nation’s invaluable support throughout the creative and production process,” said Shahad Ameen after her film won Venice’s Verona Film Club Award.

“This is not just a win for me – with two female Saudi directors in Venice this year, I feel that it’s also a significant step forward for the regional film industry.”

Regarding her film’s nomination to represent Saudi Arabia at the Oscars, Shahd Amin said it had exceeded her expectations.

“This exceeded my best expectations, especially as an Arab director,” she said, adding that the film has become a catalyst for dialogues and discussions regarding the roles of women in society.

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