Mila Al Zahrani as Maryam in The Perfect Candidate (2019)
Mila Al Zahrani as Maryam in The Perfect Candidate (2019)
The Perfect Candidate (2019)

ACMI presents

The Perfect Candidate

Haifaa Al-Mansour | Saudi Arabia | 2019 | PG

This event has ended and tickets are no longer available.









13–25 May 2021

An ambitious, young Saudi doctor defies expectations by running for her local council in Haifaa Al-Mansour's tale of family and sisterhood that blends sharp social observations with a rousing hero’s journey.

The Perfect Candidate is fiery and headstrong, and instantly gets you on its side. ****

The Guardian

Haifaa Al-Mansour burst onto the international film scene with the award-winning Wadjda (2014). Credited as the first female Saudi filmmaker to direct a feature film; since her debut, Al-Mansour has enjoyed a busy directorial slate across television and the feature films, Mary Shelley (2017) and Nappily Ever After (2018) for Netflix.

For her fourth film, Al-Mansour returns to Saudi Arabia to tell the story of a young doctor who defies expectations by running for her local council. Like Wadjda, this film centers the action on the lives of its female protagonists to tell a broader story of contemporary Saudi life.

Maryam (Mila Al Zahrani) is a dedicated and ambitious young doctor who lives at home with her two sisters and her father. En route to a medical conference, her travel plans are thwarted which leads her down an unlikely political path. As Maryam and her sisters’ hit the candidate trail, Al-Mansour uses this backdrop to paint a portrait of this tightknit family and the wider world they inhabit. With terrific performances throughout, lively musical set pieces and just a hint of potential romance, The Perfect Candidate speaks to the specificity of place whilst offering a universal message about family, dreams and the power of sisterhood.

Format: DCP
Language: In Arabic with English Subtitles
Source: Madman Entertainment
Courtesy: Madman Entertainment
Runtime: 104 min

Event duration

104 mins



Mild themes


Cinemas 1 & 2, Level 2
ACMI, Fed Square

How to get there


Get discounted tickets, invitations to exclusive previews, discounts in our shop and special food and beverage offers

Become an ACMI member

Plan your visit

Read our COVIDSafe visitor guidelines, information on accessibility, amenities, transport, dining options and more.

Start planning

You might also like