Mila Alzahrani in The Perfect Candidate.
Mila Alzahrani in The Perfect Candidate. Courtesy of Music Box Films.

Music Box Films will release The Perfect Candidate, a revealing look at the changing roles of women in Saudi Arabia from director Haifaa Al Mansour (Wadjda) in theaters.

Official selection at Venice, Toronto and Sundance film festivals, the film will open exclusively in theaters – in New York at IFC Center and Cinema 123, in Los Angeles at Laemmle Royal and Laemmle Playhouse 7, and in other cities, on May 14, 2021.

The Perfect Candidate follows Maryam, a determined young doctor who runs for city council after the male incumbent repeatedly ignores her request to fix the muddy road leading to her clinic. Despite her father and her community’s struggle to accept her as their town’s first female candidate, Maryam’s creative and ambitious campaign builds momentum, becoming a symbol for a larger movement.

Director Haifaa Al Mansour is considered the first female filmmaker in Saudi Arabia and her feature film Wadjda was the first feature film ever to be shot entirely inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

In her notes, Haifaa Al Mansour commented, “The Perfect Candidate focuses on a female Saudi doctor who challenges the patriarchal system by running as a candidate in the municipal council elections in order to fix the road leading up to her clinic. Through her journey I want to show an optimistic view of the role women can play in Saudi society and the contributions they can make towards forging their own destinies. I want to encourage Saudi women to take a chance and break away from the system that for so long has held us back.”

Watch the trailer for The Perfect Candidate.

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