Sand Storm: Jury Prize Winner of 2016 Sundance Film Fest World Cinema

An original movie from Israel: 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.

Winner of the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, SAND STORM will screen at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival before opening at New York’s Film Forum on September 28, 2016. The film opens in Los Angeles on October 7, at the Laemmle Royal Theatre, and will expand nationwide during the fall.

SAND STORM was nominated for 12 Ophir Awards (Israel’s Oscars), 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.