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Of Sheep and Men

Fall Grant 2015 - Production Stage
Current project status: COMPLETED

للترجمة العربية اضغط على

Karim Sayad / Feature Documentary / Algeria, Switzerland, Qatar / 2017 / 80 min / Original Language: Arabic / Interests: Politics, Youth, Creative Documentary


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)


  • Director

    Karim Sayad

    close up films

  • Main Contact

    Joëlle Bertossa

    Close Up Films
    +41 22 808 0846 / +41 78 665 0512

  • Production Company

    Close Up Films

    +41 22 808 08 46

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