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Winner of the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, SAND STORM was also recently nominated for 12 Ophir Awards (Israel’s Academy Awards), including the Best Film, Best Director, Best Script, Best Actress, and Best Supporting Actress categories, and won the New Directors’s Grand Prize at the Seattle International Film Festival.
Set in a Bedouin village in Southern Israel, SAND STORM tells the story of a mother and daughter trapped by their community’s social norms and expectations. As Jalila (Ruba Blal-Asfour), a 42-year-old Bedouin woman, finds herself awkwardly hosting her husband’s marriage to a second, much younger woman, she uncovers her young daughter’s (Layla, played by Lamis Ammar) affair with a boy from her university — a liaison that’s both forbidden and could shame the entire family.
Emotions escalate when Suliman (Haitham Omari), Jalila’s husband, decides to move in with the new bride and Layla refuses to stop seeing her boyfriend, even after her mother’s pleas. Convinced that Suliamn will be supportive of her relationship, Layla pushes for a meeting between the boy and her father – eventually learning that she’s been promised to another man.
A moving, assured and emotionally complex film about two generations of Arab woman negotiating their identities and desires, SAND STORM is at its core a powerful story of resistance and female empowerment.
“This emotionally intelligent first feature offers a sympathetic but clear-eyed look at the tangled skein of inequalities that entrap women (and the men they love and resent) in a Bedouin village stranded between modernization and anachronistic patriarchy.” - Ella Taylor, Variety
Sundance Film Festival
World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic
Seattle International Film Festival
New Directors Competition Grand Jury Prize.
Toronto International Film Festival
Jerusalem International Film Festival
WINNER OF SIX OPHIR AWARDS
(ISRAEL'S FILM ACADEMY AWARD)
BEST DIRECTOR - Elite Zexer
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS - Ruba Blal-Asfour
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
With many feature debuts you get a sense of a writer/director learning on the job – moments when the shot choice, acting and script come together and others that feel as though they are not quite ready for action. Filmmaker Elite Zexer shows none of these hesitations in Sand Storm, quickly immersing ...