Sand Storm


Philadelphia Premiere
Thursday, November 10
7:30 PM
Ritz East

Director: Elite Zexer
Genre: Narrative Feature
Country: Israel
Year: 2016
Running Time: 87 min
Language: Arabic w/ English subtitles

Buy tickets HERE

Jalila (Ruba Blal-Asfour), the head of a large household in a Bedouin village in the Negev desert of Israel, is besieged by emotions. Struggling to cover up her humiliation at being rejected while reluctantly participating in the required preparations for her husband’s second marriage to a much younger bride, Jalila privately fears the same fate for her own daughters.

Layla (Lamis Ammar), Jalila’s oldest, is a beautiful and self-confident university student who has fallen in love with one of her classmates. Aware that her husband, Sulimann (Haitham Omari), will not approve of her daughter’s affair, Jalila forbids 18-year-old Layla from seeing her lover again. But when Sulimann reacts more harshly than necessary and arranges a provincial undeserving groom for Layla, she takes up her daughter’s cause.

Winner of the top prize at Locarno Film Festival’s First Look on Israel and the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, Director Elite Zexer delivers a riveting and hypnotic debut feature that offers viewers an intimate lens onto the world of Bedouin women coming-of-age in contemporary Israel.

Special Event: Post-film Happy Hour at Positano Coast (212 Walnut Street, 2nd floor) with complimentary appetizers and drink specials

Guest Speakers: Steve Dinero, Carter and Fran Pierce Term Chair for the Liberal Arts at Philadelphia University; Iris Drechsler (Moderator), PJFF Artistic Chair

Sponsor: Steve and Betsy Filton

Film Trailer:

Awards and Honors: Winner of six Ophir Awards (Israeli Oscars), Official Selection of Berlinale, Locarno Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, and Seattle International Film Festival

Subjects: Bedouin culture, Israeli-Arab culture, family, love, marriage, modernity, religion, women’s roles

For Fans Of: Art house films, Bedouin culture, coming-of-age stories, family dramas, films about Israeli life, mother and daughter stories, strong female characters

Community Partners:

ajc-global-jewish-advocacy the-collaborative the-david-project
interfaithfamily-philadelphia moishe-house philadelphia-jewish-voice


Rowan University Department of Philosophy & Religion Studies

tu-global-studies tinsel-tine


Villanova University Office of International Students Services