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Sand Storm

Elite Zexer
Sufat Chol
Israel, France 2016 / 88’

While Layla comes from a tribe of Bedouins living in the desert, she is an independent and modern girl: she studies in the city and is close with her father, who is teaching her to drive a car, thus reinforcing her sense of independence. When Layla returns to her home village, her freedom and independence turn out to be an illusion: she has to submit to the traditions that have been keeping her family's tribe together for centuries. Layla's mother, Jalila, is also not in an easy situation, as she witnesses her husband's marriage to a new, younger wife. At first, Jalila strictly forbids Layla from having contact with a guy she met at college, but it soon turns out that her mother did not have such bad intentions after all. In her debut film, which captured awards at the Sundance Film Festival and the Festival in Locarno, director Elite Zexer looks at the relationship between the individual and the community, the conflict between individual needs and the customs of groups living for centuries in a harsh climate in the far southern reaches of contemporary Israel.

Ola Salwa


Locarno IFF 2015 - First Look Rotor Film Award; Sundance FF 2016 - Grand Jury Prize (World Cinema - Dramatic)

Elite Zexer

Born in Israel in 1980. She completed her studies in Film and Management at Tel Aviv University. She ended up visiting a Bedouin village thanks to her mother, who is a photographer. Sand Storm, her debut feature film, won awards at the Sundance Festival and the International Film Festival in Locarno.


2008 Take Not (short)

2010 Tasnim (short)

2010 Fire Department, Bnei-Brak (doc., short)

2016 Pustynna burza / Sufat Chol / Sand Storm

Cast & Crew

director Elite Zexer
screenplay Elite Zexer
cinematography Shai Peleg
editing Ronit Porat
music Ran Bagno
cast Lamis Ammar, Ruba Blal-Asfour, Haitham Omari, Khalida Alakel, Jalal Masarwa
producer Haim Mecklberg, Estee Yacov-Mecklberg
production 2-Team Productions, Rotor Film Babelsberg
sales BetaCinema
language Arabic
colouration colour