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The Winners

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017

In 2016, the Alter-Ciné Foundation received 95 documentary submissions from 40 countries.

Sushmit Ghosh and Rintu Thomas, recipients of a 10,000$ Alter-Ciné Foundation grant
Indian filmmakers Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh received a 10,000$ award for their project Writing with Fire.


In India, Dalits are considered ’untouchables’. This is the story of Meera, a Dalit woman journalist, working with India’s only women-run, rural newspaper. In a media space dominated by corrupt, upper-caste, male journalists, Meera and her reporters train themselves in digital journalism to increase their readership and relevance. The sudden rise in their popularity on social media threatens their competitors and upsets their families. In upcoming state elections, that have historically been violent and corrupt, what will Meera and her reporters go through to be able to freely report on stories that need to be told? How will Meera be able to inspire the other women in the village to join her and change their collective destinies? And most importantly, will she be able to re-wire the traditional minds of the community that stands in her way? With never-before intimate access to India’s only women Dalit journalists, we witness not only the changes they are able to make in their communities, but also the changes that take place within themselves.


Marwa Zein, recipient of a 5,000$ Alter-Ciné Foundation grant.
Sudanese filmmaker Marwa Zein was awarded a 5,000$ grant for her film Off Khartoum Sides.


When it’s illegal for women to smoke or drink, as it is in Sudan’s capital Khartoum, or walk around in public without wearing a hijab, can soccer be the way to a better future? And for women from minority tribes and with little education, how can they even contemplate being part of the beautiful game? Sudan is beset by regional wars and constant social and economic crises. Nevertheless, Sarah, Henda and Gaddal form the backbone of Sudan’s only women’s team, and training hard is their strategy for a better future. Fending off harassment and discrimination, they dare to dream big.


A third $5,000 grant is awarded to a Democratic Republic of Congo filmmaker. For security reasons, the Foundation prefers, for the moment, not to reveal the name of the filmmaker, nor the description of this project.

Andrey S. Diarra, recipient of a 5,000$ Alter-Ciné Foundation grant.
Andrey S. Diarra, a Malian filmmaker, received a $5,000 award for his project Renaissance.


All the scientific and literary achievements, by generations of learned African scholars in Timbuktu, have been preserved in manuscripts that have been transmitted from generation to generation since the 11th century. Written in Arabic and African languages, they are little known, badly preserved and in danger of disappearing. The film recounts the history of Mali and the continent through translations of the contents of these manuscripts, including treaties, documents addressing good governance, medical treatises, and what might be the first ever Declaration of Human Rights, written in 1236.