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Haifaa Al-Mansour’s ‘The Perfect Candidate’ Acquired by Music Box Films Ahead of Sundance

Political drama premiered at Venice Film Festival in 2019 and was Saudi Arabia’s submission to 92nd Academy Awards

Music Box Films has acquired the North American rights to “The Perfect Candidate” from Saudi Arabian director Haifaa Al-Mansour, an individual with knowledge of the deal told TheWrap.

The distributor plans to release the film theatrically in 2020 followed by a home entertainment release.

“The Perfect Candidate” premiered at the Venice International Film Festival in 2019 and was Saudi Arabia’s official submission to the Best International Feature race at the 92nd Academy Awards. It will next make its U.S. premiere at the Sundance Film Festival later this month.

Al-Mansour is the director of “Wadjda,” which was the first Saudi film to be directed by a woman and the country’s first-ever submission to the Oscars. “The Perfect Candidate” is Al-Mansour’s return to her home country after a few projects in the English language.

The story follows a young Saudi doctor who decides to run for local political office in an attempt to pressure the government to pave the road to her clinic. But although her chances of winning are unrealistic, she soon gets invested to make a difference once she sees the challenges of being a female candidate in her community and the effect it has on her family.

Al-Mansour produced “The Perfect Candidate” with Brad Niemann, Gerhard Meixner and Roman Paul.

Music Box also has two other films playing at Sundance this year, including Levan Atkin’s “And Then We Danced” and Pablo LarraĆ­n’s “Ema.”

News of the acquisition was first reported by Deadline.