Of Sheep and Men
Fall Grant 2015 - Production Stage
Current project status: COMPLETED
Bab el Oued, Algiers, 2016. Men and sheep. Sixteen-year-old Habib dreams of becoming a veterinarian. He has not yet been able to study for his hoped-for profession, but he has bought a sheep named El Bouq. His hope? Training the animal to become a fighting champion. Meanwhile, 42-year-old Samir no longer has any dreams, other than to make enough money by selling sheep that he can survive the hardships of daily life. With the Eid celebration coming closer, Samir has a unique opportunity to maximise his profits, as everyone in the country will be buying sheep for slaughter. But for Habib, it’s another story… Will El Bouq become a champion ? Or will he face a more tragic destiny?
- Karim Sayad
- Joëlle Bertossa
About the Director
Karim Sayad was born in Lausanne in 1984 to an Algerian father and a Swiss mother. After completing an MA in International Relations from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies of Geneva, he decided to become a documentary filmmaker. His first short, 'Babor Casanova', premiered in Locarno in 2015. It was then shown in festivals worldwide, and won awards at DocLisboa, Festival Dei Popoli and, among others, the Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival. 'Of Sheep and Men' his first feature documentary was selected at TIFF Docs, São Paulo and Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal, and won the Special Mention at the MedFilm Festival.
Production Company Profile
Joëlle Bertossa founded Geneva-based 'Close Up Films' in 2012. Over the past five years, they have produced twenty documentary and six fiction films. These include 'Volta a Terra', a documentary directed by João Pedro Placido that premiered at Visions du Réel and was presented at ACID, Cannes in 2015; 'The Shadow of Women' by Philippe Garrel, that opened the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes, and 'I Am Not Your Negro' directed by Raoul Peck, which was presented at TIFF Toronto and nominated for the 2017 Oscars. Through their work, Close Up Films aim to question the contemporary world in an original way. Involved, poetic or radical, the projects that Close Up Films wishes to defend are sometimes fragile but always engaging.
Awards and Festival History
TIFF 2017, DOCS (WP)