Dancing Arabs

by Eran Riklis

Dancing Arabs


The story of Eyad, a boy who grew up in an Arab town in Israel, and was given the chance to go to a prestigious Jewish boarding school in Jerusalem - the first and only Arab to be accepted to it. Eyad desperately tries to fit in with his Jewish piers and Israeli society. He develops a friendship with Jonathan, a boy suffering from muscular dystrophy, and gradually becomes part of Jonathan's family, lending strength to Edna, Jonathan's single parent. Eyad falls in love with a Jewish girl - Naomi - and their relationship develops in secret until it falls apart and Eyad leaves the school. Eyad is an outsider, but he wants to belong, not really knowing to whom and to what ... and so he realizes that he must sacrifice his identity in order to be accepted. He has to take a decision that will change his life forever.


Eran Riklis is one of Israel’s most acclaimed film makers and has been working as director, writer and producer for more than thirty years. 

His previous film, Zaytoun (2012) had its world premiere at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival and won the Runner Up People’s Choice Award. Starring Stephen Dorff, the film is a UK-Israel-France co-production and was produced by Academy Award winner Gareth Ellis-Unwin (The King’s Speech). Also shown at the Rio, London, AFI and many other festivals.

Playoff (2011), an Israeli-German-French co-production, shot on location in Germany, based on the life of basketball coach Ralph Klein, starring Danny Huston. In competition at the 2011 Montreal Film Festival it won the Best Actor Award for Danny Huston.

The Mission of the Human Resource Manager (2010), an Israel-France-Germany-Romania co-production, was shot in Jerusalem and Romania, won 5 Israeli Academy Awards (including Best Picture and Best Director and was Israel’s nominee to the American Academy Awards) and the Audience Award in Locarno. 

Riklis enjoyed wide international success with Lemon Tree (2008), winner of the Audience Award at the Berlin and San Sebastian film festivals and released worldwide. 

The Syrian Bride (2004) won 18 international awards, including Best Film in Montreal and the Audience Award at the Locarno Film Festival. Supported by the same backers of Lemon Tree and likewise co-produced with France and Germany.

Riklis produced the films Three Mothers (2006) Burning Muki (2008) and the 26 episode TV series Room Service (2008-9), also created by Riklis.  Riklis created and directed the TV series The Truck (2005, 13 episodes) and numerous major TV series and drama such as Cause of Death: Murder, Me and my Family, Lucky, Lethal Money and more. Riklis also directed well over 300 commercials and various promotional films in Israel and the UK. 

Riklis is a graduate of the NATIONAL FILM SCHOOL in BEACONSFIELD, England (1982) and also studied at the film department of the Tel Aviv University (1975-77). Married to Dina Zvi-Riklis (film director) and proud father of Tammy (journalist) and Yonatan ( jazz musician). 

2012 Zaytoun
2011 Playoff
2010 The Mission of the Human Resource Manager
2008 Lemon Tree
2004 The Syrian Bride
2002 Temptation
1993 Zohar
1992 Cup Final
1984 On A Clear Day You Can See Damascus


Tawfeek Barhum - Eyad
Yael Abecassis - Edna
Ali Suliman - Salah
Michael Moshonov - Yonatan
Danielle Kitzis - Naomi
Marlene Bajali - Grandmother Aisha
Laëtitia Eïdo - Fahima
Razi Gabareen - Eyad (Boy)
Norman Issa - Principal Jamal
Khalifa Natour - Bassem
Kais Nashef - Wassim
Loai Nofi - Wajdi
Rona Lipaz‐Michael - School Principal
Shirili Deshe - Literature Teacher
Keren Tzur - History Teacher


Director Eran Riklis
Screenwriter Sayed Kashua (Based on his book)
Producers Chilik Michaeli, Michael Eckelt, Antoine de Clermont‐Tonnerre, Avraham Pirchi, Tami Leon, Bettina Brokemper
Associate producers Moshe Edery, Leon Edery, Simon Ofenloch
Director of Photography Michael Wiesweg BVK
Editor Richard Marizy
Production Designer Yoel Herzberg
Original Score Yonatan Riklis
Costume Designer Hamada Atallah
Makeup and hair Ziv Katanov
Casting Yael Aviv
Sound Recordist Rolf Manzei
Sound Designer Gil Toren
Sound Mixer Herve Buirette
Line Producer Karen Belz
1st Assistant Director Doron Ofer
Line Producer (Germany) Christian Vennefrohne
Produced by UCM, Riva Film, Heimatfilm, MACT Productions & Alma Film Productions
Supported by The Israel Film Fund, Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig‐Holstein, Centre National du Cinéma et de L'image Animée



Technical Data

Format: DCP
Length: 105 min
Original languages: Hebrew and Arabic


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