The Unforgettable Transcendence of THE WHITE MEADOWS

GFI Director of Programs, Santhosh Daniel, on the U.S. release of Mohammad Rasoulof’s Iranian mythology

Mohammad Rasoulof

In the last year, much has been said about Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof’s narrative masterpiece, THE WHITE MEADOWS; it is an amazing work of cultural insight, universally lauded for its stunning cinematography and narrative complexity, and a film that we are proud to present in Global Lens 2011.

But it’s also a film that is not without controversy. As many know, in late December, Mohammad was sentenced to prison, along with his editor—Iranian director Jafar Panahi—for making this as well as other films, and the circumstances are as a complicated as any conflict between artistic vision, government and culture.

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J.M. Gaston Kaboré Joins GFI Film Board

We are pleased to announce that acclaimed Burkinabe director and founder of the Imagine Institute in Ougadougou, Burkina Faso, J.M. Gaston Kaboré has been appointed to the Global Film Initiative’s Film Board.

Before founding the Imagine Institute in 2005, Mr. Kaboré served as Director of the Centre National du Cinéma in Burkina Faso, and as Secretary-General of Pan-African Federation of Filmmakers from 1985-1997. As a film director, Mr. Kaboré is most well-known for his films Wend Kuuni–which at the time of its production in 1982 was only the second feature film to be produced in Burkina Faso–and Buud Yam, which received the Best Film award at the 15th Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO).

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Indian New Wave?

SOUL OF SAND’s Sidharth Srinivasan speaks with Rob Avila about modernity, caste and breathing new life into the Indian independent scene

A scene from SOUL OF SAND

I had an opportunity to sit down with the film’s affable and thoughtful director, Sidharth Srinivasan, just after he introduced the film to a sold-out house on January 15th at the Museum of Modern Art. At the end of our conversation, he returned to the screening room for what proved a long and spirited Q&A with his clearly moved, cosmopolitan audience. Below are a few highlights from our discussion.

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Winter 2011 Feature-film Production Grants

2009 GFI grant recipient DOOMAN RIVER received the NETPAC Award at the 2010 Pusan International Film Festival.

Thank you to all the filmmakers who sent in applications for our Winter 2011 production grants cycle! We’ve received applications from 23 different countries and look forward to reviewing each submission.

Our Winter 2011 grants cycle is now closed, and grant recipients will be announced in March. For those who missed the January 15th deadline, we will begin accepting applications for our Summer 2011 granting cycle beginning in April. Click here for applications and guidelines!

NOW PLAYING: Global Lens 2011 and MASQUERADES, MY TEHRAN FOR SALE and Other Films from the Global Lens Collection

A scene from MY TEHRAN FOR SALE by director Granaz Moussavi

As Global Lens 2011 opens at the Museum of Modern Art, select films from the current series and the Global Lens Collection are also playing in Washington D.C. at the Smithsonian Institution!

THE WHITE MEADOWS, DOOMAN RIVER and MY TEHRAN FOR SALE (Global Lens 2010) will be playing at the Freer & Sackler Galleriesthroughout January as part of new screening program curated by the Global Film Initiative and programmer, Tom Vick, at the Smithsonian Institution.

Global Lens now playing on Virgin American flights!

Support a Filmmaker

Read about our support of director Federico Veiroj and how you can contribute to our programs

Federico Veiroj (left) and GFI Director of Programs, Santhosh Daniel, at the U.S. premiere of A USEFUL LIFE

Every year since our founding, we’ve offered our support to filmmakers from around the world through out Granting and Distribution programs. In doing this, we hope to make an impact on the life and career of individuals, but we rarely stop to think about how, every now and then, the individual has an impact on us.

Uruguayan director Federico Veiroj is one example of this. Five years ago, he sent us his short film, AS FOLLOWS. At the time, he had only made this one film and although we neither grant nor distribute short films, we found it to be so entertaining, we decided to include it in our Global Lens 2005 touring series.

A year later, Federico then approached us with a new film: ACNE. This was his first feature-length film and a conceptual continuation of his short, and we encouraged him to apply to our Granting Program. At the time of Federico’s application, Uruguayan cinema was just emerging to be a significant force in independent cinema. And upon reading his script, we believed [Federico] to be a strong representative of this phenomenon and subsequently, awarded him a production grant for his film.

Many years later,

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Global Lens 2011 at the Museum of Modern Art!

This month, we celebrate the launch of Global Lens 2011 at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)!

Nine new and exciting films will be featured at MoMA from January 13th to the 28th, including the U.S. premiere of A USEFUL LIFE (Uruguay)—winner of Best Film at the Havana International Film Festival—and Mohammad Rasoulof’s mesmerizing Iranian mythology, THE WHITE MEADOWS (Iran) and Georgia’s official submission to the Oscars, STREET DAYS (dir. Levan Koguashvili).

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Differentiating Kazakhstan from Kyrgyzstan: a GFI Geography Lesson

Intern Angelica Dongallo talks about gaining an education while learning “the business” at the Global Film Initiative

GFI Intern Angelica Dongallo

When I began an internship at the Global Film Initiative in the summer of 2009, I had never heard of Kyrgyzstan. If you’d have asked me to locate it on a globe, I would’ve twirled my pointer finger around Western Asia and Europe without a firm indication of where it should land. And while geography still isn’t my strong suit, thanks to my time at GFI I at least now know that Kyrgyzstan is a very interesting country, indeed (it’s also home to one of our Global Lens 2011 films: THE LIGHT THIEF).

At GFI, all our programs (Granting, Acquisitions, Distribution and Education) rely on staffers with a keen sense of geography. Granting and Acquisitions require an understanding of the world to ensure that we choose projects and films that were made across a spectrum of world regions. Distribution and Education are more domestically-oriented and motivate us to find venues and institutions throughout the U.S. and Canada where we can exhibit our films.

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Global Lens 2011 Film Discussion Guides Now Available!

Discussion guides are now available for Global Lens 2011 films BELVEDERE (dir. Ahmed Imamović, Bosnia & Herzegovina) and A USEFUL LIFE (dir. Federico Veiroj, Uruguay)!

FESTIVALS & AWARDS: Havana, Pusan, Valdivia, and Marrakech Film Festivals!

Congratulations to the following Global Lens films and filmmakers:

Uruguayan director Federico Veiroj’s A USEFUL LIFE received the Coral Award for Best Film and Argentinean director Diego Lerman’s THE INVISIBLE EYE was awarded the Special Jury Prize at the 2010 New Latin American Film Festival in Havana, Cuba. Featured in Global Lens 2011.

DOOMAN RIVER, by Chinese director Zhang Lu, received the NETPAC Award at the 2010 Pusan International Film Festival. GFI grant awarded in 2009 and featured in Global Lens 2011.