Author Andre Dubus III received more than 100 offers from film studios who wanted to make his book into a feature.
In the scenes on the rooftop porch, telephone poles and wires are prominently visible. These were added by the production crew, to make the neighborhood where filming occurred seem more middle-class.
Ben Kingsley was given a copy of the novel "House of Sand and Fog" by author Andre Dubus III's wife, before he was ever approached to star in the movie.
Numerous location shots in Northern California establish the action as occurring in the San Francisco Bay Area. The actual house was over 400 miles away, in Malibu.
Kathy is evicted from her house due to unpaid business taxes. Throughout the film, she is bent on believing the repossessing and the auctioning were mistakes from the county; she couldn't owe them a tax from something she never had. She also states that she inherited the house from her father, along with a brother. Later on, when Kathy asks on the phone for her brother to come over, he says something about his company's products, implying he owns a business. That destroys the argument of a wrongful eviction, implying the brother, who co-owns the house, owes taxes, and Kathy paid the price, losing her home.
During a press tour for the film that featured writer/director Vadim Perelman and several of the lead actors (including Jennifer Connelly and Ben Kingsley) a reporter asked if the story was a metaphor for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The actors were completely surprised and Connelly asked Perelman if that was the case. He told the reporter that it was an interesting interpretation but he hadn't had that in mind when he was planning the film, either in general development or when he made Kingsley's character into a former Iranian officer in exile.
In 2009 Navi Rawat (Soroya) admitted that her wedding dress costume was so big and complicated to take on and off she had to have somebody hold it up for when she needed to use the bathroom.
Jonathan Ahdout would play Shohreh Aghdashloo's son one more time in the fourth season of 24 (2001).
Cast members Frances Fisher and Shohreh Aghdashloo share an exact birthday, May 11, 1952.