Israeli film wins Grand Jury Prize at Sundance

Writer-director Elite Zexer's debut feature 'Sand Storm' about two Bedouin women won the prestigious prize in World Cinema competition.

Cynthia Blank ,

Bedouin in Israel
Bedouin in Israel
Flash 90

The Israeli film "Sufat Chol" (Sand Storm) was awarded the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah on Saturday. 

Writer-director Elite Zexer's debut feature film was presented the prestigious award in the World Cinema dramatic competition. 

The film follows the story of two Bedouin women, a mother and a daughter, after a devastating tragedy shatters their world and they both struggle to change their destiny. 

The starring roles were played by Ruba Blal of the critically-acclaimed television show "The Screenwriter" and Hitham Omari of the Ohpir Award-winning movie "Bethlehem."

"I'm excited and very happy, mostly speechless," Zexer told Channel 2 after her win. "It was a long week of interviews and talking about the movie and now, when we've won, I was left speechless." 

"Unfortunately, the team returned to Israel and I was alone but I want to thank them and the production team - without this none of this would have happened. I'm already waiting to return to Israel and celebrate with everyone."

The film was produced by Haim Mecklberg and Esti Yaakov-eacklberg (Strawberry Productions) in collaboration with Moshe and Leon Edry (United King Films), Rami Yehoshua and Yigal Mughrabi.

It also won the support of the Yehoshua Rabinovich Foundation for the Arts and the Gesher Multicultural Film Fund.