Rotem Elkayam’s new film may take Sapir to Hollywood.
Her poignant documentary follows Lahcen, the Muslim gravedigger in charge of the Jewish cemetery in Marrakesh. Until the day he dies, Lahcen will continue to open this mausoleum of memory to Jews from around the world.
"People Asleep and the Water as Well" has now won the Oscar-qualifying prize for best short documentary at the San Fransico Jewish Film Festival, short-listing it for the Academy Awards. The film itself was part of an ambitious partnership between students from Sapir’s School of Audio and Visual Arts the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University near Marrakesh that has brought Jewish life in this historic city to the silver screen.
Prof. Sami Shalom Chetrit, Dean of School of Audio & Visual Arts at Sapir, calls the project an “historic collaboration that reveals the shared cultural roots that bind Jewish and Moroccan life.”
As for Elkayam, born to a family of Moroccan Jewish immigrants and raised in Sderot, Chetrit says she “exemplifies the spirit of excellence that guides us at Sapir. “