GRANTING: Winter 2011 Grantees Announced–Now Accepting for Summer 2011 Granting Cycle!

The Winter 2011 granting cycle: applications for over 31 different countries!

The GFI team hard at work during the Winter 2011 granting meeting

Granting season at the GFI office is a time of excitement and inspiration, and after reading over many applications and screenplays seeking production funds, it often becomes a time of passionate debate! The choice of grantees is never an easy one, and this year was no different—the projects were truly some of the most unique and impressive we’ve seen yet.

Not surprisingly, many hours and days went into this cycle’s decisions, and in the end, we selected ten projects of which we’re very proud and delighted to support.

Of course, this also means we’re ready to start accepting grant applications for the Summer 2011 granting cycle! Visit for guidelines and applications. Good luck!


The Bloodhound, where everybody knows your name.

Every few weeks, GFI friends and film industry folks get out of the office and head to our favorite neighborhood bar to catch up, talk shop or just play a heated game of Buck Hunter.

Last week, we raised our glasses for another GFI Happy Hour at the one and only Bloodhound in San Francisco. We had one of the largest turnouts yet, and a few lucky winners walked away with some pretty sweet raffle prizes, including a Flip video camera, a night at the Gaige House in Sonoma, a 10-film CineVoucher for the San Francisco International Film Festival and a package of gift cards to renowned restaurants and eateries throughout the city. Best part? Everyone who entered the raffle received a Global Lens DVD, and all proceeds went right back to GFI’s Granting Program!

Check out our photos–courtesy Kaydin Carlsen–for a re-cap of the night, and if you’re a local that wants to join in the fun, send us an email! After all, you know what they say about all work and no play.

Continue reading ¡Salud!

Global Lens @ 54th San Francisco International Film Festival!

GFI co-presents THE LIGHT THIEF and A USEFUL LIFE at the 54th San Francisco International Film Festival

Bay Area film fans, rejoice! The San Francisco International Film Festival kicks off tonight, with nearly 200 films screening over the next two weeks!

We are very proud to co-present two Global Lens films in the festival this year:

THE LIGHT THIEF (dir. Aktan Arym Kubat, Kyrgyzstan): A humble electrician intent on enlivening his windswept valley with electricity unwittingly strikes a deal with a rich politician whose corrupt ambitions threaten to upend the electrician’s dream to build windmills in his village. Included in Redefine Magazine’s festival recommendations!

¿Habla Español? Click here to watch Federico speak about A USEFUL LIFE on NY1 News!

A USEFUL LIFE (dir. Federico Veiroj, Uruguay): After financial troubles and a dwindling audience force an art-house cinema to shut its doors permanently, its most devoted employee is suddenly left without a ‘home’ and forced to adjust to life outside of the theater. Included in the San Francisco Chronicle’s festival highlights!

In addition, two GFI-grant supported films are included in the festival’s lineup: A YEAR WITHOUT SUMMER, by Malaysian director Tan Chui Mui, and ASLEEP IN THE SUN, from Argentine

Continue reading Global Lens @ 54th San Francisco International Film Festival!

GFI Congratulates Board Members Konrad Ng and Robert Byrne!

Ng Appointed Director of Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program; Byrne awarded 2011 Haghefilm Foundation Award

Konrad Ng

The Global Film Initiative congratulates GFI Board members Konrad Ng and Robert Byrne for their recent professional achievements!

Konrad Ng was appointed Director of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program in April following an assistant professorship at the University of Hawaii’s Academy of Creative Media and tenure at the Honolulu Academy of Arts—former host of the Global Lens film series (and where we first became acquainted with Konrad).

Robert Byrne

Robert Byrne—on the heels of his appointment as Board President of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival—was awarded the 2011 Haghefilm Foundation Award earlier this year and is currently in Amsterdam working on restoration/reconstruction of the 1923 feature,THE SPANISH DANCER at the EYE Film Instituut Nederland.

Food for Thought: GFI & San Francisco’s Ninth Annual World Affairs Challenge

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from using film to teach students about other cultures around the world, it’s that oftentimes, kids can be the best teachers of all.

Naturally, we were very excited to get involved with the World Affairs Challenge, which invites students to work in teams, exploring global issues and then presenting their research and solutions in a final competition or “challenge.” This annual event is created by World Savvy, a local nonprofit that works toward youth education and involvement in community and world affairs—a mission very close to GFI’s heart.

This year’s theme, Food: Feeding the Planet Sustainably in the 21st Century, encourages students to learn about hunger, nutrition, sustainable agriculture, the environmental impact of our food system, trade and much more. Over 700 high school students from 23 schools throughout the Bay Area have been putting together presentations on topics such as popular food myths (for example, that there isn’t enough food grown on the planet to feed the world’s population), the connection between deforestation and food production, and ways to help fight hunger in Africa.

After months of preparation, the culminating event is the World Affairs Challenge, which takes place this Saturday, April 16th, on San Francisco State University’s campus. Students will compete in different events that

Continue reading Food for Thought: GFI & San Francisco’s Ninth Annual World Affairs Challenge

The Twin Cities and Global Lens 2011 — check out the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival!

Spring has arrived, and y’all know what that means — it’s time for the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival (MSPIFF)! A partner of ours since 2009, the MSPIFF is bringing Global Lens 2011 to the Twin Cities from April 14 through May 5.

Ryan Oestreich (Office and Theater Manager), Jesse Bishop (Programming Coordinator), and all the other fine folks at the Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul work very hard year after year to pack 170 films from around the world into 3 weeks of international and art-house bliss, and we’re always extremely pleased to have Global Lens included in the mix.

Check our calendar for the Global Lens screening schedule at MSPIFF, and if all this talk abut the Twin Cities has got you thinking about twin kitties, then you’re in luck.

World Cinema Week Begins Today!

Click on the map above to view World Cinema Week 2011 participants!

More than 30 schools across the U.S. participate in GFI’s annual educational screening program

We’re pleased to announce that 31 high schools (and 2 universities) in 29 U.S. cities and towns—from tropical Kapaa, Hawaii to the Cape Cod village of Hyannis, Massachussetts and sunny Tucson, Arizona—are screening Global Lens all this week in celebration of our annual spring World Cinema Week screening program!

Many participants, such as The Oakwood School (Greenville, North Carolina) and Sweet Grass County High School (Big Timber, Montana), are screening films in class and assigning response papers or blog posts to students. Other schools, such as the College of Staten Island High School for International Studies (Staten Island, New York) and Nerinx Hall High School (St. Louis, Missouri), are hosting afterschool screenings with discussions as either part of a film night program, series or festival.

GFI is very excited about this year’s participants, and as part of our commitment to students and educators, each participating high school will keep the DVDs for their library’s permanent collection!

Continue reading World Cinema Week Begins Today!

After the longest drumroll ever… GFI Happy Hour is back!

Come join us at the Bloodhound next Tuesday for an epic evening. Drink specials and Meat Ballers (think food truck, not barflies). Laissez-faire vs. carpe diem. And, this very excellent ornament to the night:

$10 donation to GFI = a new Global Lens DVD + a shot at winning a Flip Cam, night at the Gaige House in Sonoma, a Mission Ticket (Bi-Rite, Bissap Baobab, Tartine, Ritual Coffee) or a 10-film voucher for SFIFF

So, don’t stay home. Because we won’t be there.

GFI Happy Hour Tuesday, April 12th 6:00 p.m.-onward Bloodhound @ 1145 Folsom Street (between 7th & 8th)


IMANI @ the San Francisco International Women’s Film Festival!

A scene from IMANI

IMANI, by Ugandan filmmaker Caroline Kamya, will be screening this Saturday as part of the 7th Annual San Francisco International Women’s Film Festival! This evocative film ventures into the lives of three characters—a child soldier, a maid and a hip hop dancer—living in contemporary Uganda. It received a GFI grant in 2009 and has gone on to win Best Film in an African Language at the African Movie Academy Awards and the Silver Award at the Cairo International Film Festival.

This screening marks a new partnership with the Women’s Film Institute, our neighbors at the Ninth Street Independent Film Center. IMANI is playing on Saturday, April 9th at 5:15, and our very own Operations Manager, Marita Murphy, will be introducing the film and speaking about GFI’s Granting program, which has supported filmmakers from over 45 nations to date!

The San Francisco International Women’s Film Festival runs April 6th-10th at the Roxie Theatre in San Francisco’s Mission district. For more information, visit the San Francisco International Women’s Film Festival website.

Continue reading IMANI @ the San Francisco International Women’s Film Festival!