Israel’s contender for the best foreign-language film for the Oscars is Sand Storm, a family drama based in a Bedouin community in the Negev Desert.
In January, the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce its 2017 shortlist of foreign-language film nominees. Israel hopes its first-ever Arabic-language submission will be on that list.
The film tells the story of two Bedouin women struggling to change the patriarchal rules of their society.
“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,” reads a Variety review.
Sand Storm recently won six Ophir Awards – the Oscars equivalent in Israel – from the Israeli Academy of Film and Television. Honors included best director for Elite Zexer and best film.
Sand Storm is Israel’s 49th submission for the best foreign-language film category at the Oscars. Ten of these films have made the shortlist – the last in 2012, Footnote by Joseph Cedar.
The Oscars are to be held on February 26, 2016. Could Sand Storm be Israel’s first winner of the coveted prize?