Sylvain L'Espérance (Canada)

Born in Montreal in 1961, Sylvain L'Espérance studied film and visual arts. For the past 25 years, he has travelled widely, from Quebec to Mali to Greece. He has directed nearly a dozen films that combine direct cinema with experimental research to explore reality through a poetic lens. His films question our relationships with outsiders and marginalized communities. They give voice to migrants, workers, artisans, sailors, fishermen, shepherds, the unemployed and the homeless. These voices are carried by street theatre, song and poetry and merge into a political cry that speaks the unspoken. This liberated voice is one of raw and spirited power that stands firm against capitalism and its devastating consequences.

L'Espérance's films are selected and presented by prestigious documentary festivals around the world. Many of his films have won major awards. In 2010, Intérieurs du Delta (Into the Delta) won the award for Best Director at the Festival Dei Popoli in Florence. In 2013, the Munich Dok.fest awarded Sur le Rivage du monde (Standing on the Edge of the World) the International Competition Award.


  • Les écarts perdus
    Canada, 1988
  • Les printemps incertains
    53´, Canada, 1992
  • Un film de cinéaste (Canada, 1995) - collective film
  • Pendant que tombent les arbres
    Canada, 1996
  • Le temps quíl fait
    Canada, 1997
  • La main invisible
    77´, Canada, 2002
  • Une fleuve humain/ The River Where We Live
    92´, Canada, 2006
  • Intérieurs du delta
    77´, Canada/Mali, 2009
  • Sur le rivage du monde
    106', Canada, 2012

Doc Alliance Members

Doc Alliance is a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.