Haifa Al Mansour’s first feature film “Wadjda”, will debut in the Orizzonti section of the Venice Film Festival Friday August 31st at 11.15. This year, 20 of the 60 directors showing films are women — something festvals’s director Alberto Barbera said happened by chance, not design. Wadjda is billed as the first feature ever shot in Saudi Arabia. The story focuses on a 10-year-old girl who longs for a bicycle despite her mother’s fears that society will see it as a danger to the girl’s virtue. Haifaa Al Mansour is the first female filmmaker in Saudi Arabia. She studied comparative literature at the American University in Cairo. She recently completed a Master’s degree in Film Studies from the University of Sydney under the prestigious Endeavour Scholarship Award. She began her film directing career with three shorts, “Who?”, “Bereavement of the Fledgling”, and “The Only Way Out”, followed by her award winning documentary “Women Without Shadows”. The success of her films around the world inspired a new movement of independent filmmaking in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. She is famous for penetrating the wall of silence surrounding the lives of Saudi women and providing a platform for their unheard voices. Her work is dedicated to fostering change for Arab women.
True New Yorker Christina Lu is the hand behind her highschool friend Azealia Banks‘ iconic covers and pitching designs on kunt.FM. She’s a young art student attending her senior year at Parsons New School for Design for Design and Technology with a particular focus in animation, before that she was interning at the NYC Department of Education, where had the opportunity to direct a spotlight video on a student’s success story with the help of the No Child Left Behind program. Learn more about Christina, her hectic working nights and her old puppy after the break!
You’ve probably read a lot about Jessie Ware lately. That breakthrough was as a guest on SBTRKT’s track Nervous, and Ware would collaborate with the masked producer again on his eponymous album of 2011, as well as with Joker on The Vision. Her debut album Devotion, out on PMR, is the sort of sophisticated, modern R&B record that comes along all too rarely. It was largely produced by three men Dave Okumu of UK art rockers the Invisible, Bristol electronic upstart Julio Bashmore, and singer-songwriter Kid Harpoon, who co-wrote songs on Florence and the Machine’s Ceremonials.
Herry Moore Institute in Leeds is hosting Ordinary Things an exhibition by Sarah Lucas. Starting from her recent series of sculptures ‘NUDS’ (2009-), this show looks forward and backward across an artistic practice that has engaged with the possibilities of sculpture for over two decades. Sarah Lucas is currently the host of Situation at Sadie Coles HQ in London, a project running throughout 2012 that channels the spirit of the artist-led exhibitions of the late 1980s and 1990s with which Lucas and her contemporaries launched their careers. Ordinary Things is curated by Lisa Le Feuvre, Head of Sculpture Studies at the Institute, and is accompanied by a fully illustrated publication featuring essays by Lisa Le Feuvre, Deborah Orr, Anne Wagner and Gilda Williams.
Ester Vonplon from Switzerland is a former professional snowboarder and skater girl. Legend has it that she bought her first camera on a flea market. After the first few self-taught baby steps, her fate led her to Berlin, where she learned the art of photography at the Schiffbauerdamm and graduated in 2007. Now after nine years she just moved back with her family in Switzerland. Ester first began shaking up the art world in 2009 winning the Swiss Photo Award and receiving in the same year a grant from Aargauer Kuratorium. In 2011 she was featured on Foam Magazine issue 28 / talent and this year finally got a representation by Galerie VU’ in Paris, which is also hosting her solo show going on until August 8th. Ester also makes some awesome looking artist’s books and just got published her first book “Cudesch da visitas” by B. Frank books.