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The winners

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In 2005, the Alter-Cine Foundation received 154 documentary proposals from 28 countries. Women filmmakers from Africa and Asia distinguished themselves this year, winning three out of the four grants.

Miki Redelinghuys, winner of the US $10,000 Alter-Cine Foundation grant for 2005;
MIKI REDELINGHUYS, a 35 year-old filmmaker from South Africa, received the US $10,000 award for her documentary entitled “Keiskamma: A Magical Place and its People”. The six-member jury underlined her project's originality as well as the strength of its characters whose actions exemplify qualities of humanitarianism, mutual aid, artistic creativity and democracy. The film will explore universal themes of love and altruism versus fear and greed; respect for differences rather than intolerance and exclusion. A hope-infused portrait of Africa.


In July 2005, 140 women from the tiny Eastern Cape village of Hamburg presented South Africa with the most complex altar piece ever produced in Africa. The 3 meter high multi-media artwork pays homage to their fight against Aids and celebrates the human capacity to overcome hardships. Keiskamma is the story of this unusual rural village on the banks of the Keiskamma River, as told through the lives of our central characters. A controversial doctor, Carol Baker, takes us in her rattling pick-up, as she treats countless patients, learns to love the rebellious Aids orphan, Nkululeko, finds support in the motherly shape of Eunice, and inspires the women from the village to create the altar piece.


Osvalde Lewat-Hallade, winner of a US $5,000 Alter-Cine Foundation grant for 2005
OSVALDE LEWAT-HALLADE, a 29 year-old filmmaker from Cameroon, was awarded US $5,000 for her project entitled “Une affaire de nègres”. The jury underlined the courage required to make this film which seeks to shed light on a dark chapter in the history of Cameroon, and to stimulate reflection on questions of collective responsibility and the dangers inherent in trying to ensure national security at all costs.


January 2001. Nine young people are denounced and taken from their families for “interrogation” by a Special Police Unit created by the Cameroonian government. They are never seen again. Their disappearance provokes a near-riot among the population in a country where the unit's expeditious methods and its daily roster of victims have, for over a year, been fruitlessly denounced. Five years later (in January 2006), the director sets off in search of the nine disappeared and tries to understand how her country has come to this pass.


Nishtha Jain, winner of a US $5,000 Alter-Cine Foundation grant for 2005
NISHTHA JAIN, a young filmmaker from India, was awarded US $5,000 for her project entitled “At my doorstep”. The jury was moved by the filmmaker's personal approach to her story: she will respectfully focus her camera on the workers who come to her door on a daily basis. In so doing, she wants to counter the apathy she sees around her and shine a light on those anonymous workers who struggle to survive in a megacity where their most fundamental rights are denied.


A closer look at those who come to the filmmaker's doorstep takes us into the parallel world of garbage collectors, domestic workers and delivery boys-all who toil to make other lives in Mumbai more comfortable. These workers are, like the people who enjoy their services, mainly migrants, but their presence here is more sharply defined by the lack of survival options back home. Nothing else explains why they should bear with such harsh living and unfair working conditions. Through the crisscrossing of various lives and livelihoods in typical housing colonies, the film will glean a sense of how millions work, interact and struggle for a firmer foothold in an indifferent, often hostile megacity.


Dario Doria, winner of a US $5,000 Alter-Cine Foundation grant for 2005
DARIO DORIA, a 36 year-old Argentinian filmmaker, was awarded a US $5,000 grant for his project, provisionally entitled “Ángel Bertuzzi”. The jury was impressed by the filmmaker's sensitive and human approach as well as the original visual treatment he proposes. By portraying a somber, enigmatic character, and the contradictions he is prey to, the filmmaker wants to denounce the hypocrisy of Argentinian society and engender an important debate on the need to legalize abortion in the country, and render it more accessible to women.


Seventy-three-year-old Ángel Bertuzzi has been performing abortions in an illegal context for over 40 years now. But, day after day the loneliness, this illegal context and the hypocritical social condemnation he undergoes are becoming unbearable. Quite fed up, he thus tries to show us he's not an inhuman killer but just a doctor doing his job. It will not be that simple – the path he's decided to take is like those of The Quixote and, his attempts being worn out, Ángel will return to his consulting room to go on doing the thing he does best: abortions.