Seems Like Old Times: Global Lens 2011 @ SIFF and the TIFF Lightbox

If memory serves correctly, the first opening night film gala I ever attended was in 1995, at the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF). The film was Braveheart (which when complemented with a later screening of Swimming With Sharks, effectively convinced me not to work in Hollywood), and it was just before I left for graduate school–and I remember wondering if I would ever return to home to attend another SIFF screening.

Continue reading Seems Like Old Times: Global Lens 2011 @ SIFF and the TIFF Lightbox

Fruits of Labor: Oliver Hermanus and Leila Kilani Take Center-stage @ Cannes 2011

… And GFI’s native son, Alejandro Chomski, director of ASLEEP IN THE SUN, visits San Francisco

Oliver Hermanus

Two years ago, Jeremy Nathan at Dv8 directed our attention to a new talent from South Africa: Oliver Hermanus. According to Jeremy, Oliver was a young filmmaker with an unusual lens, and his work was certainly “going to be a surprise.” Of course, in the world of cinema, hyperbole is common…

But he was right. In summer 2009, Oliver’s first film about a mixed race family in Cape Town—SHIRLEY ADAMS—so profoundly caught our attention that we acquired its North American rights and, a few months later, released it as part of Global Lens 2010 with a U.S. premiere at MoMA.

Continue reading Fruits of Labor: Oliver Hermanus and Leila Kilani Take Center-stage @ Cannes 2011

WEEK IN REVIEW: New Staff Member Joins GFI, Old Staff Members Get Older

As we gather around the table for another Bagel Friday at GFI, there is extra cause for celebration this week:

Emma Rae Lierley has joined the GFI team as our Administrative Coordinator! Emma will be assisting with accounting (which the rest of us are glad we don’t have to deal with), office management and institutional communications, among many other things. On a side note, she was named after Emma Peel from the Avengers, which is just additional awesomeness to add to her resume.

Simiyu Barasa Bags Two Grants to Make Movies (Nairobi Star)

GFI-supported film, GUERRILLA BOY, receives additional funding before production

(via Nairobi Star) Kenyan filmmaker Simiyu Barasa will be a busy man this year. He has bagged two major grants to shoot two movies. “Yes, I have been awarded a Global Film Initiative grant to film my feature drama film Guerrilla Boy and the Puma Creative Catalyst Award to produce a screener for my feature length film documentary, Charlie Pele. The Global Film Initiative is a California-based organisation that funds films internationally, with great filmmakers like Chris Doyle and Mira Nair on its board. Puma Creative Catalyst Award is an international fund; it is a London-based collaboration between Channel 4 Britdoc Foundation and Puma Creative to fund documentaries in early stages of production to be able to make trailers for their projects. For both funds, you apply through the web,” Simiyu told Word Is.

How We’ve Missed You: Global Lens Returns to MFA Boston!

Ahhhh, there’s nothing quite like the month of May in Boston. It’s finally warmed up from the snowy winter, and that summer humidity hasn’t yet set in. And this year, May also marks the long-awaited return of Global Lens at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston!

Long-awaited because this is the first time since 2006 that Global Lens has been shown at the MFA! But now thanks to Carter Long, the Museum’s film curator extraordinaire, MFA Boston will showcase Global Lens 2011 with 18 screenings from May 18th to the 29th, beginning today with DOOMAN RIVER and THE INVISIBLE EYE.

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GRANTING: GFI Expands Granting Program to Include Computer Donations!

UPDATE (5/23/11): This morning, the SFPD was nice enough to visit this guy at home, give him a ride downtown–we’ll be dropping by later to congratulate him in person!

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ORIGINAL POST (5/17/11): The Global Film Initiative is pleased to announce that in the wee-hours of Sunday, May 8, 2011, we added a new dimension to our Granting Program: computer donations!

The inaugural recipient of this exciting new innovation is the individual in the video below—whom we taped over a period of five hours, from midnight to 5:00 a.m., as he came to collect his award with a crowbar. Congratulations!

Film School: GFI and the San Francisco State Film Finals!

As a proud sponsor of the 51st San Francisco State Film Finals we’re looking forward to the Bay Area’s premiere film school event this Friday: a full night of student-produced films–ranging from documentary, drama, experimental and animated shorts!

Films in the “finals”–all originally produced for SFSU Cinema classes–are selected by a committee of representatives from the SFSU Cinema Department faculty, graduate students and undergraduates for various competitive categories that showcase the diversity and filmmaking ambition of SFSU students. In addition to bragging rights, the talented winners in each section receive scholarships so they can continue to pursue their cinematic endeavors. There will also be a raffle open to the public, with chances to win amazing prizes–including a DVD set of new Global Lens releases!

Tickets to the Film Finals are going fast, so don’t miss your chance to be among the first to see the work of future movers and shakers in the film world!