Saudi film Norah made history by becoming the first film from the Kingdom to be screened at the 77th Cannes Film Festival. The film was shown in the “Un Certain Regard” section of the festival on Thursday and received a special mention from the jury. It competed with 19 other films from around the world. The top prize in the Un Certain Regard section was awarded to Chinese director Guan Hu’s “Black Dog”.

Norah, filmed entirely in AlUla in northwest Saudi Arabia and directed by Tawfik Al-Zaidi, features Maria Bahrawi, Yaqoub Al-Farhan, and Abdullah Al-Satian. The story revolves around the character Norah, an orphaned and uneducated young woman facing an arranged marriage, seeking self-expression. She meets Nader, a failed artist and school teacher who arrives in her village. The movie follows how they inspire each other to explore their artistic potential.

The film received backing from the Red Sea Fund and premiered at the Red Sea Film Festival in Jeddah last December.