Regie: Valerie Gudenus



The film  follows six women and their surrogate broker through different stages of surrogacy in a clinic in the Northwest of India. It explores the women’s hopes, the joys and conflicts they experience while living together and the inevitable moment of having to give up the newborn child. Ma Na Sapna is a subtle portrait of six mothers on their surrogate journey, giving them a voice that otherwise remains unheard.


"Come on, darling, say goodbye with a smile" Papiha is told. She's a surrogate mother, paid to produce babies. She gave birth to twins just 3 weeks before. Now the new parents have arrived and Papiha is visibly upset. An emotional attachment only a mother and baby can form, is about to be broken. The future parents misleadingly say, "you will see them everyday, come to our hotel". It's a knowing lie, for the only connection Papiha has with the twins she gave birth to, are hotel phone numbers, which will soon become irrelevant.


"You know that it belongs to someone else. So you don't let yourself feel anything. You keep telling yourself that the child isn't yours", confides Parul, describing how she battles the pain of giving up a child. For others this level of stoicism doesn't come so easy.

"Let's keep the babies", Papiha's mother says towards the end of the pregnancy. "Even if I dream about it, it is only a dream", replies Papiha. Not only is the process emotionally draining, but in a nation where the family is the heart, surrogacy is a "stigma". So for 9 months a year these women are hidden from society, in a business of birth.




Speed Pitch Award, DOK.fest München, 2010
Bester Dokumentarfilm, Victor Alexis Thalberg Preis, Zürich, 2013
Docu/Right Award Best Documentary, Docudays, Kiev, 2014
Publikumspreis, Sole Luna Film Festival Palermo und Treviso 2015
Besondere Erwähnung für die Beste Kamera, Sole Luna Film Festival Palermo und Treviso 2015


First Steps Award


Regie: Valerie Gudenus
Kamera: Gabriela Betschart
Setton: Manaledi LaRoche
Montage: Natascha Cartolaro
Produzent: Dario Schoch
Produktion: ZHdK