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Les Gagnants

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In 2023, the Alter-Ciné Foundation received 155 documentary submissions from countries of the Global South.

Marjan Khosravi, recipient of a $10,000 Alter-Ciné Foundation grant
A first $10,000 award is granted to the Iranian filmmaker Marjan Khosravi for her project The Dreams of the Wild Oaks.


This documentary delves into the unique culture and traditions of the Bakhtiari people, an Iranian ethnic group living in the southwest of Iran. In a race against time to save her freedom, Samaneh, a 12 year-girl, must find a rare and endangered bird to escape forced marriage and the Cease Blood sacrifice. Hers is journey that challenges her beliefs and tests the limits of her father's love.


Ali Hamraz, recipient of a $10,000 Alter-Ciné Foundation grant
A second $10,000 grant was awarded to the Iranian filmmaker Ali Hamraz for his project The Fifth Eye.


"The Fifth Eye" is about the fifth generation of Iranian contemporary visual artists. The generation that was born in Iran during 1980's. In an animated documentary form, the artworks of these artists and their stories will be narrated and discussed.


Amina Weira, recipient of a $10,000 Alter-Ciné Foundation grant
A third $10,000 grant was awarded to the Nigerien filmmaker Amina Weira for her project L’embouchure des rêves (The Confluence of Dreams).


Following in the footsteps of Hawad, a Tuareg poet, and Fatima, the "Mother Teresa on a motorcycle" who helps migrant children, the filmmaker wanders the city of Agadez, meeting the people who live there. Located in the Aïr desert of nothern Niger, the town has always been an important crossroads of trade and transit, from the ancient caravans that linked North Africa to Black Africa to tourist excursions in the desert. For centuries, Europe's frontier was on Agadez’ doorstep, however the city’s economy that once relied on this freedom of movement has now collapsed. Nomads, migrants, tourists and adventurers all share a common denominator: restricted mobility now forced to reinvent itself.


Inadelso Cossa, recipient of a $10,000 Alter-Ciné Foundation grant
A fourth $10,000 grant was awarded to the Mozambican filmmaker Inadelso Cossa for his project The Guilt Bearer..


In a remote village nestled in the heart of Mozambique, a former RENAMO rebel who previously committed acts of killing and rape in his country’s civil war, now returns home, hoping to find redemption. However, the villagers are not happy with his return and plot to kill him in a collective purge. A village elder spares his life, imposing a ritual punishment and marking his forehead with a symbolic sign that identifies him as “the Guilt Bearer”.


Josefina Buschmann, recipient of a $5,000 Alter-Ciné Foundation grant
A $5,000 grant was awarded to the Chilean filmmaker Josefina Buschmann for her project Nubes artificiales (Artificial Clouds).


A virtual AI errs among minerals and electronic ruins in search of their earthly body, discovering the planetary scars left behind in the process. At the crux of this quest: can technology exist without sacrificing ecologies and communities?


Santiago Esteinou, recipient of a $5,000 Alter-Ciné Foundation grant
Santiago Esteinou, a Mexican filmmaker, was awarded a $5,000 grant for his project La Libertad de Fierro (The Freedom of Fierro).


Cesar Fierro has just become a free man and must reconstruct his life after being wrongly sentenced to death for 40 years. He spent most of his adult life in the Polunsky Unit, a prison that kept inmates in total isolation, deprived of any physical contact with other humans. César's arrival in Mexico City is the beginning of a journey to heal and rebuild himself. His new existence confronts him with his own limitations, but he is determined to find true freedom.


Vikram Singh, recipient of a $5,000 Alter-Ciné Foundation grant
A $5,000 grant is awarded to the Indian filmmaker Vikram Singh for his project Camels of the Sea.


Adam Abdrehman’s family is amongst the world’s last herders of a special breed of swimming camel called the Kharai. For centuries, his ancestors have travelled with these camels along the western coast of India. Today, rapid, often illegal industrialization is destroying the rich mangrove ecosystems so crucial for these camels’ survival. The mangroves have been replaced by vast salt pans run by rogue operators allied with local politicians. Adam hates conflict, but now faces the fight of his life - can he unite with other pastoralists to save the remaining swimming camels?


Michel K. Zongo, recipient of a $5,000 Alter-Ciné Foundation grant
A $5,000 grant was awarded to the Burkinabe filmmaker Michel K. Zongo for his project L’homme qui plante les baobabs.


Every year for the past half century, a man has planted baobab trees in his village in western Burkina Faso. At the age of 80, El Hadj Salifou Ouédraogo has spent 2/3 of his life planting over 3,000 baobab trees that stretch as far as the eye can see. It's been a life of struggle, dedicated to ensuring the existence of these trees, while combatting prevailing prejudice and developers’ attempts to expropriate his lands. El Hadj Salifou Ouédraogo was misunderstood by the inhabitants of his village when he first started planting these majestic millennial trees so essential to the ecosystem, which have become rare and endangered in the African savannah.