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THE WINNERS

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2019 ALTER-CINÉ GRANT WINNERS
In 2019, the Alter-Ciné Foundation received 82 documentary submissions from 37 countries.



Anais Taracena, recipient of a 10,000$ Alter-Ciné Foundation grant
 
A first $10,000 award is granted to the Guatemalan filmmaker Anais Taracena for her project El silencio del topo (The Silence of the Mole).

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

In the 1970s, “El Topo” (The Mole), infiltrates the most repressive parts of Guatemala's military dictatorship. Unable to reveal his true clandestine work, and accused of treason by his colleagues, he has access to information about the political violence programmed and perpetrated by the military government.

This film's quest plunges us into the memory of a country that has been forced to forget. The Silence of the Mole explores moments when revelations of this obscured past open cracks in walls of silence, in a country whose history remains hidden and marginalized even today.
 




Aicha Macky, recipient of a 10,000$ Alter-Ciné Foundation grant
 
A second $10,000 award is granted to the Nigerien filmmaker Aicha Macky for her project Zinder.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Unemployed youth, many looking to leave the country for want of better options, are swelling the ranks of gangs in Zinder, my hometown in Niger. They go unnoticed, until the day they rebel. They style themselves after black American ghetto kingpins.

In my film, I follow three characters into this world of gangs and dangerous neighbourhoods. I record their daily struggle for survival, their efforts to extricate themselves from illegal trades. I witness their street smarts, their despondency and their inventiveness.

My film explores the causes of radicalisation in the Sahel region, and means for escaping its ever-widening jaws.

 




Khaled Jarrar, recipient of a 5,000$ Alter-Ciné Foundation grant
 
A $5,000 grant is awarded to the Palestinian filmmaker Khaled Jarrar for his project Displaced in Heaven.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

In September 2015, Khaled bought fake papers to make a film following a Syrian-Palestinian family. The journey across the Balkans conjured bigger questions; about image-production, about ongoing displacement, and who benefits from the tragedy of displaced peoples?

 




Carolina Corral Paredes, recipient of a 5,000$ Alter-Ciné Foundation grant
 
Carolina Corral Paredes, a Mexican filmmaker, receives a $5,000 award for her project Volverte a ver (I'll see you again).

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Lina, Angy and Edith, two mothers and a sister to disappeared persons in the State of Morelos, in Mexico, are trained as medical and legal experts to take part in the exhumation of more than 200 bodies, secretly buried by the state prosecutor's office in 2016. This documentary accompanies the women through two stages of this process. Their findings implicate this Mexican state directly in the chain of disappearances.

 




Torsha Banerjee, recipient of a 5,000$ Alter-Ciné Foundation grant
 
A $5,000 grant is awarded to the Indian filmmaker Torsha Banerjee for her project Mayal Kyung, the Secret Ancestral Village.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

A traditional myth of the Lepcha indigenous community prophesies that the day the glow of city-lights reaches the holy Tholung monastery, it will destroy the untainted planet called Dzongu. Far from Gangtok, the glittering capital of the Himalayan state of Sikkim, Dzongu's tranquility has never been disturbed; it is blessed with a pure darkness, a star-studded sky, puffy clouds and thick forests. The humid canopy provides warm shelter to the inhabitants, who are lulled to sleep by the streams running freely alongside their huts. In this world, mutual dependence is the secret that binds humans to nature.

Exploitation of the region's natural resources threatens this natural interdependence, and with permanently altering the way of life and mentality of the Dzongu community, especially of women as they are more connected with the earth and its abundant resources. This film closely observes women as they become aware of what is being lost, and witnesses the transition and inevitable challenges presented by enforced changes to the environment.

 




Diem Ha Le, recipient of a 5,000$ Alter-Ciné Foundation grant
 
A $5,000 grant is awarded to the Vietnamese filmmaker Diem Ha Le for her project Children of the Mist.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

DI, a 13-year-old girl living in a Hmong village in the misty mountains of North Vietnam, dreams of going to high school. She must convince her parents that studying is not a waste of resources. In her community, girls often get married young and are considered a source of labour for the husband's family. Also, marriage is linked to the controversial tradition of “bride-kidnapping”: when a boy is interested in a girl, he simply drags her to his home. This can sometimes lead to dramatic and violent scenes.

Having just entered puberty, DI fears being bride-kidnapped, for it would mark the end of her dream to see what lies beyond the mountains.

 




Richard Gregory, recipient of a 5,000$ Alter-Ciné Foundation grant
 
Last but not least, a $5,000 grant is awarded to the South-African filmmaker Richard Gregory for his project The Radical.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Muhsin Hendricks is the world's first openly gay imam. Despite death threats and opposition, he established a radically inclusive mosque in Cape Town, South Africa. Now, he fights for the empowerment of LGBTQ Muslims in the Islamic countries across the world where their existence is outlawed. The Radical is an intimate, personal film that follows the lives of queer Muslims seeking to change the religion they love, so that it can love them back.