Voices from El-Sayed

General Information

Israel, 2009 | creative documentary, 75 min., 52 min. | Video
Director: Oded Adomi Leshem

Producers: Neomi Schori Itay Ken-Tor & Liran Atzmor – Belfilms Israel


In the picturesque Israeli Negev desert lays the Bedouin village of El-Sayed. It has the largest percentage of deaf people in the world. Still, no hearing aids can be seen because in El-Sayed deafness is not a handicap. Through the generations a unique sign language has evolved making it the most popular language in this rare society that accepts deafness as natural as life itself. The village`s tranquility is interrupted by Salim`s decision to change his deaf son’s fate and make him a hearing person using the Cochlear Implant Operation.

Awards & Festivals


Excellence Award at the Superfest International Disability Film Festival 2011

Winner - Guggenheim Emerging Artist Award- Full Frame Int. Documentary Festival

SilverDocs International Film Festival, 2009

Rooftop International Film Festival, NY 2009

Full Frame Int. Documentary FF, USA, 2009

One World International Human Rights Film Festival, 2009

Kos International Health Film Festival, Greece 2009

We Care International Film Festival, India 2009

Rochester Deaf International Film Festival, USA 2009

Deaf New Zealand Film Festival, 2009

Transylvania International Film Festival, 2009

Rochester Jewish Film festival, 2009

Significan`t UK, 2009 - special screening

Jerusalem International Film Festival 2008- Special presentation

Rochester JFF, 2009

LA Israeli Film Festival, 2009

One World, Slovakia, 2009

Golden Apricot - Armenia Int. Film festival, 2009

Brazil`s International Disability Film Festival

Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema, 2009

Other Israel Film festival, NY 2009

Sheffield Docs, UK 2009

International Documentary Encounters Bogogta, Columbia, 2009

Taiwan International Ethnograpghic Film Festival, 2009

Planet in Focus Enviromental FF, Toronto, 2009

Margaret Mead Film Festival, 2009

Document 7 Film Festival, Scotland 2009

Joint screening; Washington Jewish Film festival and Gallaudet University, 2009

Jersey Shore Jewish Film Festival, 2009

Deafest UK, 2009

Watch Docs Poland, 2009

1001 Documentary Istanbul, 2009

Hartford Jewish Film Festival, 2010

Superfest International Disability Film Festival 2011

Academic Screeenings:

Princeton Univeristy, 2009

Columbia University, 2009

Miami Univeristy of Ohio, 2009

Kent University, USA, 2009

North Carolina University, USA, 2009

Hebrew University, 2009

Douglas University, 2009

Syracuse University, 2009

Gate 48, Amsterdam 2010

European Parliament, Luxemburg 2010


Script: Oded Adomi Leshem
Production Company: Belfilms Israel
Co-Production Company: Oded Adomi Leshem
Camera: Daniel Kedem
Editor: Aya Somech
Original Language: Arabic, Hebrew and Sign Language
Subtitles: English 


"By introducing us to such compelling characters and challenging philosophical questions, Voices from El-Sayed heightened my awareness of how we communicate and how hearing structures our world. It was, without doubt, one of the most subtly observant documentaries I saw at this year’s Full Frame."
 - Chuck Tryon, Professor of film and media studies at Fayetteville State University


"Voices of El-Sayed is a film that suggests a great deal – about sound and deafness, about listening and watching movies, about hearing, watching, and interpreting images of Israel – and though it is often silent, it speaks loudly in many other ways."

- Leo Goldsmith, Rooftop Films



Home DVD - $31.90

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