FESTIVALS & AWARDS: Academy Awards, Pusan IFF, Mumbai Film Fest and more!

We’re extremely proud of our Global Lens films and GFI grant recipients—read on for the latest good news!

The following films were selected as Foreign Language submissions to the 84th Academy Awards:

BELVEDERE (dir. Ahmed Imamović, Bosnia & Herzegovina), included in the Global Lens 2011 film series OCTOBER (dir. Daniel Vega Vidal and Diego Vega Vidal, Peru), awarded a GFI grant in 2008 SKOONHEID (dir. Oliver Hermanus, South Africa), awarded a GFI grant in 2010

In other GFI grant recipient news…

 

THE MIRROR NEVER LIES (dir. Kamila Andini, Indonesia), was selected for the New Currents section of the Pusan International Film Festival! Watch the film’s trailer here.

THE DEAD SEA (dir. Leena Manimekalai, India) is the only Indian film chosen for the International First Films Competition at the Mumbai Film Festival (October 13-20).

“Basquing” in the Ambiance of Donostia

Reliving the days and nights of the San Sebastián International Film Festival

Pintxos

San Francisco -> Paris -> Bilbao -> San Sebastián is a trip that takes about 15 hours, if everything goes smoothly. Unfortunately, if the first leg is delayed for any reason (it was) just add another 6 hours in the airport waiting room and make that trek a 21-hour marathon!

San Sebastián, a.k.a. Donostia, is a mid-sized human-scale city on the Basque Coast of Spain; a “beach town” with two pristine semi-circular beaches (playas) divided by the Urumea River that snakes its way through town, dividing the old city from the new.

Cocktails, San Sebastian style

Drinking white wine and eating pintxos (peen-choz) for lunch seems to be an inalienable worker’s right. Evening time (8pm-onward) brings the red wine and tapas that are often balanced on the top of a wine glass. Admittedly, I am not a “foodie” but I ate and drank more than my fair share of these terrific little concoctions.

Overall, a pretty city, terrific food, and a well-organized festival!

Susan Weeks Coulter attended the 59th San Sebastián International Film Festival (Cinema in Motion and Films in Progress),

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NEW ON DVD: ORDINARY PEOPLE and THE SHAFT!

Serbian War Drama ORDINARY PEOPLE and Zhang Chi’s Rural Triptych THE SHAFT to release on DVD September 27th

The Global Film Initiative is pleased to announce the DVD release of two new films from the Global Lens film series:

Dir. Vladimir Perisic Serbia, 2009, 79 minutes Serbian, with subtitles in English One quiet afternoon, a busload of young soldiers is unexpectedly forced to question the morality of their profession after being enlisted to execute civilian prisoners at a remote facility in the countryside. Cannes Semaine de la Critique and FIPRESCI Prize, Sarajevo Film Festival.
“A laureate of Cannes’ Cinéfondation program, Perisic pushes the viewer to search for meaning or morality behind his character’s acts—but the only conclusion seems to be that such acts are hopeless, unfathomable and beyond human control.” -Variety
“Quietly devastating, a slow burning fuse that ends with an implosion of heart and mind.-The Brag

THE SHAFT (DIXIA DE TIANKONG) Dir. Zhang Chi China, 2008, 98 minutes Mandarin, with subtitles in English In three intertwined stories, a father, son and daughter fight to hold onto hope and family as they face the harsh realities of life in a poor western Chinese mining town. New Directors/New Films and NETPAC

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NOW PLAYING: Bijou Cinema, Santa Fe Film Festival, Melnitz Movies 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:

Click on the map above to find a Global Lens screening near you!

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

Palm Springs Art Museum (Palm Springs, CA): Presenting the complete Global Lens 2011 film series Check the film calendar for screening information

Tampa Museum of Art/Gasparilla International Film Festival (Tampa, FL): Presenting the complete Global Lens 2011 film series Check the film calendar for screening information

University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign, IL): Presenting the complete Global Lens 2011 film series Check the film calendar for screening information

Continue reading NOW PLAYING: Bijou Cinema, Santa Fe Film Festival, Melnitz Movies and more!

WEEK IN REVIEW: Saving Birds and Soaking it up in San Sebastian

We’re gearing up for the busiest season of the year here at GFI, with final decisions being made for the Global Lens 2012 lineup, grant applications under review and continuing DVD releases and Global Lens screenings.

In the midst of all this, it seems that each day brings more great news, important events and unexpected surprises. Here’s what we’ve been up to lately, and what’s in store for the near future:

GFI messenger bag

"Look for the yellow bag!" (Our calling card at festivals)

WHEN IN SPAIN: GFI Founder and Board Chair Susan Weeks Coulter traveled to the San Sebastián International Film Festival, where she met with filmmakers from around the world, saw a few unreleased and extremely impressive new projects, and made some new friends—most memorably after missing the last bus and getting stranded in the rain!

Gaston Kabore

Gaston Kabore

A VISIT TO REMEMBER: We’re very excited about Gaston Kabore’s visit during the Mill Valley Film Festival (Oct. 6-16)! The festival features a tribute to the Burkinabe filmmaker and GFI Film Board member, as well as a screening of Kabore’s Buud Yam

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OSCARS!!!

[UPDATE – October 1, 2011: GFI grantee SKOONHEID is also going to the Oscars! See full post about all awards here]

Congratulations to Ahmed Imamovic, and Daniel and Diego Vega! Ahmed’s second film, BELVEDERE (currently featured in Global Lens 2011), is Bosnia-Herzegovina’s official submission to the 2011 Academy Awards! And not to be outdone, the Vega brothers’ debut feature [and 2008 GFI grant-recipient], OCTOBER, is Peru’s official submission!

We wish both films much success, with fingers crossed for a golden Oscar (and a clandestine note of luck for GFI grantee Dervis Zaim, whose film SHADOWS AND FACES, is short-listed as Turkey’s official submission)!

Global Lens on Virgin America has Everyone Seeing RED™

This month marks the 3rd anniversary of our partnership with Virgin America, and in honor of that special occasion, Santhosh Daniel, our Director of Programs, and Alfy Veretto, Manager of IFE Content and Partnerships, took a few moments during the last days of summer to reflect on where it all began—and where it’s all going.

Below is an excerpt of their conversation, which as you can see, reflects the unique style that has come to typify the GFI-Virgin partnership. It’s been a good time for everyone and for those of you who haven’t yet seen what it’s all about, catch a flight and catch a Global Lens film on Virgin RED™!

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Where is Global Cinema Going?

L-R: Yiman Wang, UC Santa Cruz, Jasmina Bojic, UNAFF, Alesia Weston, Sundance Institute and Santhosh Daniel, The Global Film Initiative. Photo courtesy of PAIFF/Francesca Garbagnati (GFI intern and volunteer photographer for the Festival!)

PAIFF Speaker Series: Global Cinema Tomorrow

On September 30th, Director of Programs Santhosh Daniel sat down with Sundance Institute’s Alesia Weston and Jasmina Bojic of the United Nations Association Film Festival at the Palo Alto International Film Festival to talk about the changing face of world cinema.

The Global Film Initiative co-presented THE LIGHT THIEF (Global Lens 2011) at PAIFF, and Santhosh also served as moderator of the panel “Ditching the Divide” at PAIFF. For a full recap of the Global Cinema Tomorrow panel, click here, and see below for an in-depth interview with Santhosh about THE LIGHT THIEF and trends in global cinema.

 

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International Education Week 2011: Bring New and Award-winning World Cinema to Your Campus or Public Library this Fall!

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION WEEK 2011 Sign up today to bring Global Lens films to your high school, college, university or public library—October 31st deadline!

In celebration of International Education Week 2011 (November 14th-18th), the Global Film Initiative (GFI) is offering you an exclusive opportunity to bring award-winning films from the Global Lens film series to your campus or library this fall!

Global Lens is a critically acclaimed showcase of narrative feature film from Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East, and is available for screening at schools and libraries during International Education Week (IEW), an annual event sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of State. All high schools, colleges, universities and public libraries are eligible to participate in this offer, and signing up is easy (and free for all high schools!):

Download an application: high school or college, university and public libraries Choose films from the Global Lens 2011 film series (now playing in theaters!) and/or our Preferred High School and Secondary Education lists (all High School and Secondary Education titles are accompanied by film discussion guides—click here to view a sample!) Email, fax or mail your completed application to the Global Film Initiative

That’s it! We’ll review your application and send the DVDs you requested. Screen the films as many times as you like during

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The Not-So-Ordinary Acts of ORDINARY PEOPLE

GFI Board Member Igor Kirman on Vladimir Perisic’s question of mind versus morality

“The trouble with Eichmann was precisely that so many were like him, and that the many were neither perverted nor sadistic, that they were, and still are, terribly and terrifyingly normal.” –Hannah Arendt, “Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil”

“If the person for some reason knew it was illegal … and still obeyed it, he could not use the de-fense of obedience of orders …. Do you really need to bring a bunch of intelligent people into the room and tell them not to shoot babies?” –William Eckhard, Chief Prosecutor, My Lai court martial

A scene from Vladimir Perisic's ORDINARY PEOPLE

At the heart of Serbian writer-director Vladimir Perisic’s chilling film, ORDINARY PEOPLE, is the long-vexing question of whether morally depraved actions—in this case, the shoot-ing of unarmed men by a group of young soldiers—can be excused on the grounds that the perpetrators were following orders. The film succeeds in great measure by making this question harder to answer than may at first appear.

The plot is minimalist, with slow-takes and sparse dialogue. Although the director is careful not to locate the action, in time or place, to lend the film an air of universal significance, the language (Serbian) and other clues suggest the action takes somewhere in the former Yugoslavia during the 1990s. The

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