Israel has, for the first time, selected a film entirely in Arabic as its submission to the 2017 Academy Awards' foreign film category.
"Sand Storm" will be considered for an Oscar nod after picking up 'best film' and five other 'Ophir' awards on Thursday -- Israel's equivalent to an Oscar handed out by the Israeli Academy of Film and Television.
A family drama set in Israel's poor and often marginalized Bedouin community, "Sand Storm" is the feature debut of Jewish-Israeli director Elite Zexer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports.
The film won the Grand Jury Prize in the World Cinema Dramatic section at this year's Sundance Film Festival.
Israeli films have been nominated for the Academy's best foreign film award ten times, but have never taken home the coveted prize.
"Sand Storm" will open to American audiences on Wednesday, starting at New York City’s Film Forum.
(Staff with agencies)