NEW ON DVD: Becloud and Gods!

BECLOUD from Mexico and GODS from Peru Available June 28th!

We’re pleased to announce the DVD release of two new films from the Global Lens film series:

BECLOUD (VAHO) Dir. Alejandro Gerber Bicecci Mexico, 2009, 117 minutes Spanish, with subtitles in English After years of separation, three boyhood friends reunite in Mexico City to overcome a tragedy that scarred their neighborhood, and childhood, years before; Special Mention at the Morelia International Film Festival and awarded the Jury Prize at the Marrakech International Film Festival.

Vividly shot…surprising and devastating.” -Variety

Naturalistic acting, the almost documentary quality of the filming and the setting in the real-life barrios of Mexico City heightens the sense of realism and the feeling that you’re catching a glimpse of the unvarnished truth of daily life in Mexico.” -St. Louis Beacon

GODS (DIOSES) Dir. Josué Méndez Peru, 2008, 91 minutes Spanish, with subtitles in English A wealthy industrialist’s working-class fiancee plunges into the extravagance of her lavish new life as her future stephchildren self-destruct in a series of desperate attempts to escape their privileged upbringing; awarded the Best Film at the Biarritz Film Festival and Best Peruvian Film at the Lima Film Festival.

Méndez’s coolly scathing satire of Peru’s upper classes conveys the anguished hollowness beneath

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EDUCATION: The Language of Global Lens

Intern Rachel Cook discusses how watching a film can mean learning a language

GFI Intern Rachel Cook

In my second week as an intern at GFI, I had a conversation with the Marketing and Publicity Manager, Hilary Lawson and the Director of Programs, Santhosh Daniel, about how film is used in the classroom. They were interested in my experiences with film in various language classes from my bilingual elementary school to my college courses.

I’ve always shied away from class discussions, but my sophomore year of high school when I signed up for a seminar on French literature and film, I knew things would have to change. There were only five students in the class, and I couldn’t help thinking this was going to be a painfully silent semester. Our teacher decided to start the course with a film so we would have something to talk about right away. I looked around at my peers skeptically, thinking there was no way this timid group would ever speak up –especially not in a foreign language. Still, after years of dry grammar lectures and mundane vocabulary lessons, the idea of watching a movie in class seemed almost too good to be true, and we were all eager to see what our teacher had in store.

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3 ON 1: The Inside, Upside and Best Side of BECLOUD

This month, as we celebrate our newest addition to the Global Lens DVD family—Becloud (available June 28th)—we’re also taking the opportunity to introduce a new feature to our blog: the 3 on 1 column.

After years of separation, three boyhood friends reunite in Mexico City to overcome a tragedy that scarred their neighborhood, and childhood, years before.

3 on 1—what is it? Well, it’s three people (insiders, outsiders, fans and friends of GFI) speaking about one subject. Films, grantees, events and travel… The list of what we can discuss is endless. And this month, it all begins with Becloud (and three folks who you may already know):

Jeremy Quist (Global Lens Series Manager): Becloud first came to us as a grant-submission, back when we only knew the film as Vaho (its original Spanish-language title). So the forthcoming DVD release of this title is quite significant for us, having seen it first as an unassuming rough cut before the final sound mix was complete, then touring the finished film to great acclaim in Global Lens 2010, and now finally making it available to everyone on home video.

The outstanding technical quality of the DVD comes courtesy of our wonderful authoring facility, AM-DVD, and the packaging features gorgeous artwork from designer Gary Ponzo (who also created this awesome chandelier made completely out of

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SUPPORT: Granting, Global Lens, and Why It All Matters

Click on the map above to view GFI grant recipients and learn more about each project!

This last year, we hit a milestone: 100+ grants to filmmakers from over 40 different nations. And if that weren’t enough, we also logged a few other feathers, including:

Education and participation by the highest number of schools ever in our annual screening programs Filmmaker awards and honors at Cannes and Habana, not to mention a flurry of “Best Films” and FIPRESCIs at festivals worldwide Global Lens and a new distribution platform (along with a new online catalogue) that allows us to reinvest more revenue in our Granting Program

Of course, as many of you know, we also expanded our Granting Program to include our first-ever “Honorable Mention” awards, and expanded our staff and network of partners to include the Smithsonian Institution and the Scottsdale International Film Festival.

But what does all this mean, except to say we’re doing what we set out to do. And as a student visiting our office recently asked, “why does any of this matter?”

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NOW PLAYING: Museum of the Moving Image, Northwest Film Forum, the Los Angeles Latino Film Festival and more!

Films from the Global Lens 2011 film series are now playing at the following venues and festivals across the U.S. and Canada (and beyond!):

Asia Society (Hong Kong): THE WHITE MEADOWS (dir. Mohammad Rasoulof, Iran) July 14th-31st

Brooks Museum of Art/Indie Memphis (Memphis, TN): Presenting the complete Global Lens 2011 film series Check the film calendar for screening information

Cinema St. Louis/Webster University (St. Louis, MO): Presenting the complete Global Lens 2011 film series Check the film calendar for screening information

Danish Film Institute Cinematheque (Copenhagen, Denmark): THE WHITE MEADOWS (dir. Mohammad Rasoulof, Iran) June 25th

 

Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (Los Angeles, CA): THE INVISIBLE EYE (dir. Diego Lerman, Argentina) A USEFUL LIFE (dir. Federico Veiroj, Uruguay) July 17th-25th

Global Lens now playing on Virgin American flights!

Continue reading NOW PLAYING: Museum of the Moving Image, Northwest Film Forum, the Los Angeles Latino Film Festival and more!

NEWS: DOOMAN RIVER vs. the Dooman River

The Global Lens 2011 standout is playing to audiences everywhere, but what does the film really say about the Dooman River?

A few months ago, a moviegoer sent us an email after watching Zhang Lu’s film, DOOMAN RIVER (featured in Global Lens 2011), and said it’s good we’re “raising awareness about what’s happening around the River”…

And, it was an interesting comment, because what’s happening in the film is a story of two young friends caught in a refugee crisis. But who could really say people were now more aware of what’s ‘happening around the River,’ because they’d seen a film by the same name (or rather, even if audiences were more aware of this river/border between China, North Korea and Russia, what exactly did they know about it?)

In the 90s, the Dooman was a common border-crossing for North Koreans fleeing famine, and the film paints a bleak but beautiful portrait of that [ongoing] refugee crisis—and an equally miserable but mesmerizing visage of the river itself, polluted with physical refuse and the overwhelming weight of transnational border politics. This is what we know, and say in our description of the film.

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WEEK IN REVIEW: GFI, Unsubtitled

What We Watch When We’re Not Watching Global Lens

One of the great perks of working at the Global Film Initiative is that we get to watch interesting, exciting films from around the world. It’s like being a kid in a candy store, except instead of candy, we have shelves full of new and unreleased films–and the mailman brings more every day!

However, just as pastry chefs sometimes feel like a burger or mystery novelists might dabble in haiku from time to time, we also run the gamut when it comes to what we watch “off the clock.” Here’s just a sampling of what the GFI staffers have been filling their screen time with:

Marketing and Publicity Manager Hilary Lawson has worked her way through four seasons of the awesomely-80s action thriller series MacGyver. Obviously, watching Richard Dean Anderson create a bomb using silly putty or a make a magnifying glass with a hair pin and white wine never gets old. Ever.

Granting & Distribution Coordinator Angelica Dongallo, swooned all over again while re-visiting old an old episode of the Mickey Mouse Club. In confessing this to the rest of the staff, she managed to embarrass herself and make us all feel kind of old.

Director of Programs Santhosh Daniel watched Fantastic Mr. Fox for the 30th time, matching his childhood record for reading the

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Summertime, and the viewing is easy…

New and award-winning Global Lens films on DVD!

It’s summertime, which means school is out, sunglasses are on, and maybe–if you’re lucky–you’ve got some time off. What better way to spend those hot summer nights than with some cool DVDs?

Well, GFI’s got you covered. We’ve got some fantastic films coming to DVD, and even if you’re short on vacation funds, you can still get a glimpse of life in exotic locales around the world this summer! From the beaches of Peru to the dusty roads of Algeria, these films will transport you to other worlds and cultures, all from the comfort of your own home.

Here’s a sneak peek of what’s in store…

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