Germany 2010, Documentary, 35' | Director, Screenplay, DoP, Production, Distribution Maria Goinda | Sound Ingo Schäfer, David Aguirre

Marlen is eight years old. Every day she travels with her brother Roberto, her sister Tamara and her boyfriend Polaco from the suburban slums to the city of Buenos Aires. Until long after midnight, the children gather reusable material such as paper, cardboard boxes, plastic bottles. Working as Cartoneros in the rubbish dumps is the only way for Marlen and her sisters to support their family. An unimaginably hard life, but Marlen nevertheless has a dream – she wants to live in the Stadt der Kinder (City of Children), where different rules prevail: ».. that all children have a mother and a father, that all parents give their children something to eat, that all children have a home, that no child has to work any longer in the street«. Cartonera chronologically presents a day in the life of these children, seen from their eye level.

Jury statement: Children collecting wastepaper on the streets of Buenos Aires. Maria Goinda accompanies these children with a calmness and composure that can be seen in her outstanding hand-camerawork. In this type of documentary situation which cannot be controlled, she manages to create an adequate visual language. Her camerawork brings us very close to the children, giving an insight into their strategies for survival.


Maria Goinda was born in 1977 in Dortmund. After studying German at the Ruhr-University, Bochum, she took a course in media design for sound and image. From 2002 to 2009, she studied at Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts in the department of Design Film/Television, interrupted in 2004 by study abroad at the Instituto del Cinematographer in Buenos Aires. Cartonera is her graduate film. In her films she concentrates on issues from social border areas. Cartonera is accordingly intended to be part of a series campaigning for the rights of children.


Films by Maria Goinda
Die Frau, die meinen Namen trägt 2008 | Wohin gehst Du? 2005 – 2007 | Rolando 2004 | Doch 2003 – 2005

Maria Goinda
Documentary, Short Film
Competition for Women DoPs