Kino Lorber has snagged North American rights to Sand Storm, the Israeli drama that won the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize – Dramatic prize at Sundance in January. First-time feature writer-director Elite Zexer’s film will open September 28 at New York’s Film Forum and expand during the fall.

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The story centers on Jalila (Ruba Blal), a 42-year-old Bedouin woman pretending to be happy as she hosts her husband’s second marriage to a bride who is 20 years his junior. Meanwhile, their 18-year-old daughter Layla (Lamis Ammar) is pretending for a very different reason: Her secretive forbidden liaison with a strange man has just been unveiled. The women try to cope with their new reality in their own individual way, but eventually they realize they must join forces in order to survive.

“This is a subtle, intelligent and incredibly cinematic portrayal of a mother-daughter relationshipand their struggle to re-define their place in a world bound by tradition and changing by the minute,” Kino Lorber CEO Richard Lorber said. “We’re incredibly proud to bring this stunning directorial debut to North American cinemas this year, and we believe the film could be a major contender for this year’s Academy Awards.”

Sand Storm is a Beta Cinema presentation of a 2-Team production in association with United King Films with the support of the Rabinovich Foundation for the Arts – Cinema Project and Gesher Multicultural Film Fund. The deal was negotiated between Kino Lorber’s CEO Richard Lorber and Beta Cinema’s CEO Dirk Schürhoff.