FESTIVALS & AWARDS: Seattle IFF, Toronto Jewish FF, Silk Screen Asian American FF and more!

MOURNING and THE MIRROR NEVER LIES meet in Seattle, all eyes on THE PRIZE in Toronto and MOURNING, QARANTINA and TOLL BOOTH show their roots in Pittsburgh!

Congratulations are in order for our GFI grant recipients and Global Lens films, with special mention to those that have recently screened in festivals all over the world:

Latin American films in Global Lens 2012, clockwise from top right: CRAFT (Brazil), FAT, BALD, SHORT MAN (Colombia), THE FINGER (Argentina), THE PRIZE (Argentina).

CHICAGO LATINO FILM FESTIVAL: Citizens of the Windy City had a chance to see four Global Lens 2012 films from Latin America as part of the Chicago Latino Film Festival! CRAFT, (dir. Gustavo Pizzi, Brazil), FAT, BALD SHORT MAN (dir. Carlos Osuna, Colombia), THE FINGER (dir. Sergio Teubal, Argentina) and THE PRIZE (dir. Paula Markovitch, Argentina) all played during the festival’s 28th run.

INSIDE OUT TORONTO LGBT FILM FESTIVAL: BEAUTY (dir. Oliver Hermanus, South Africa, 2010 grant recipient) continues to light up screens, this time at the Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival!

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SEEN & HEARD: Cannes You Believe It?

GFI Founder and Board Chair Susan Weeks Coulter works the red carpet at the 65th Cannes Film Festival, rain or shine…

Q'ing up at Cannes

You had to have been there! In Cannes, I mean. The two days of torrential rain and wind plus another two days of intermittent showers (those are the ones that start again the minute you put your umbrella down) could either be described as the weather or the stuff of festival legend.

Were you actually THERE in 2012 when the red carpet was so soggy that the actresses squished their way up the red carpet?

Umbrella sales were brisk along the Croisette, and I invested in three over the course of my six days in Cannes. The first, a royal blue mini, was ripped inside out. The second, a larger, sturdier, and black model with a handsome wooden handle made it six blocks to dinner—someone in the restaurant had no shame and stole MY new umbrella, leaving in its place their own spoke-torn model. The third was a success, as I strategically selected maroon with a cream border coloration, distinctive enough so that it might deter another theft. And then, thankfully, the sun came out and everyone’s temperament improved exponentially.

The

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OPEN MIC: The Educated Eye

Jim Canacci, Lecturer at Kent State University at Trumbull, on using Global Lens films to inform, expand and appreciate the world around us

“Every story reveals a world.” -Global Lens Trailer

Jim Canacci

Jim Canacci, Lecturer at Kent State University at Trumbull

I truly believe that Global Lens changes “the way you see the world.” I know this from personal experience and through sharing these films with the students and campus community at Kent State University at Trumbull.

My first year with Global Lens was in cooperation with my good friend, Dr. Ken Bindas, who is now the Chair of the History Department at Kent State University. He asked if I would partner with him to show the films on my campus in Warren, OH, as well as at the Lemon Grove in downtown Youngstown. He provided me with the materials, and asked if I could do “the rest.” With the help of many generous people on my campus, we had a plan to show three of the films on campus during International Education Week. Jacob Roope, who organizes most of the events, helped choose which films fit best with the guest speakers and our potential audience members. Jacob Harver, who is co-owner of the Lemon Grove, was kind enough to show all the

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NEWS: Seyfi Teoman, 1977 – 2012

A tribute to Turkish filmmaker and GFI grant recipient Seyfi Teoman

Turkish filmmaker and friend of GFI, Seyfi Teoman, passed away on May 8. (Photo: Bulut Film)

This week, we received news of the tragic passing of Turkish filmmaker Seyfi Teoman. He was 35.

Seyfi was the director of SAINTS—a recent GFI grant recipient that was scheduled to be completed by the end of this year. In script form, we found the film compelling, thoughtful and unique, all characteristics of Seyfi’s previous works that earned him international recognition. I’m happy we had the chance to tell him how much we appreciated his work.

Although I never had the pleasure of meeting Seyfi in person, SAINTS and his other films speak volumes about Seyfi and how he’ll be remembered by his family and friends.

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Lovely MISS LOVELY!

On the eve of its world premiere, Pardon My Hindi gives Un Certain Regard star MISS LOVELY a seductive new look for the red carpet at Cannes….

<– You saw it here—first! Designer Chiraag Bhakta’s cheeky-cum-risque rendering of Ashim Ahluwalia’s much-anticipated second feature, MISS LOVELY, just before it hits the fabled French Riviera at Cannes.

We can’t tell you where to get the poster, because it’s only a few hours old. But, we can show you a trailer for MISS LOVELY–because who doesn’t love a film about the Bollywood underground (certainly, we do—see credits).

As for Chiraag, some of you may remember him as the graphic hand behind GFI’s education experiment site, Bluescreen. And the rest of you might know him as iconic eye behind Pardon My Hindi (which words can’t describe—so visit the site).

And as for Cannes… You know who’s got our vote.

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MONTH IN REVIEW: Food, Friends & Getting Stranded in Cyberspace

After an eventful April, GFI knows what it wants, needs and can’t live without…

For a nonprofit international arts organization with a full-time staff of only five, we are used to being frugal, lean and mean fighting machines. The eventful month of April gave us a chance to take a good hard look into our wants and needs: What is necessary in running GFI, and what is just really, really nice to have. Turns out, GFI is lucky enough to often be blessed with both.

Let’s start with the wants:

Oday Rasheed speaks with a student at the Berkeley High School screening of QARANTINA

GUESTS OF HONOR: We love when friends stop by for long visits, as director Oday Rasheed (QARANTINA, Global Lens 2012) did at the beginning of the month, gracing the Bay with his cool charm for a full two weeks while he participated in the San Francisco Film Society’s Artist in Residence program. While in San Francisco, GFI co-presented a screening of his film Qarantina with the SF Film Society, bringing in the imbedded journalist-extraordinaire Terry McCarthy, who spent several tours in Iraq as a U.S. news correspondent, to lead the Q&A afterward.

A CANNES-DO ATTITUDE: There’s only so much that can be done from our office—sometimes we have to take to the road. In a few weeks, GFI

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SUPPORT: Change the Way You See the World

Because in an empathic civilization, ‘monkey see, monkey do’ isn’t such a bad thing

Empathic Civilization

WATCH: The Empathic Civilization (courtesy of RSA Animate and Jonathan Rifkin)

Not long ago, Emma Rae Lierley, Administrative Coordinator at GFI, sent me a link to a video on “The Empathic Civilization” (right). Her rationale in sending it was that she felt it encapsulated the basic premise upon which Global Lens was founded: that in our most sympathetic state of human existence, we are all connected.

Of course, nowadays, we hear such things all the time. Technological evolution has certainly connected us with the world outside our physical boundaries. Intellectual curiosity has always found a way to merge minds above borders. And then, without doubt, there is religion.

All are valid points of connection, connectivity. But the video makes a much more basic point. It says that we, as humans, are predisposed to having shared feelings and emotions, or an “empathic” relationship with one another that intuitively draws us together, as a people (see the video’s example of ‘monkey see, monkey do’).

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It’s Springtime for Global Lens!

I swear it was just February, but then I blinked and suddenly realized that we’re already in May! Time seems to be marching on faster and faster these days, but for now it’s spring and hopefully that means, wherever you may be, that flowers are blooming, daylight is sticking around longer, and the weather is warming up a bit (we here in San Francisco will have to continue to keep our fingers crossed, it seems). And for Global Lens, springtime also means a flurry of familiar faces, as several of our longtime screening partners host the new 2012 film series!

At the beginning of last month, the Port Townsend Film Institute kicked things off with Albania’s AMNESTY at their beautiful Rosebud Cinema, and will continue to showcase films from the series throughout the year. Meanwhile, the hardworking folks over at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival are wrapping things up tonight, Global Lens having played an integral part of their annual programming now for the fourth year in a row.

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NEW ON DVD: The Tenants and Street Days!

Bad boys and bad medicine: Urban thriller THE TENANTS and junkie chronicle STREET DAYS to release on DVD May 15th

The DVD release of new films from playwright-cum-filmmaker Sérgio Bianchi and Georgian auteur Levan Koguashvili take audiences from the neo-noir nights of São Paulo to the mean streets of Tbilisi:

THE TENANTS (OS INQUILINOS), dir. Sérgio Bianchi, Brazil, 2009, 103 minutes, Portuguese, with subtitles in English

After three mysterious men move into a smoky São Paulo suburb, a neighboring couple becomes obsessed with the men’s clandestine activities and the ozone of violence that descends upon their once-tranquil neighborhood. Best Screenplay, Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival; Official Selection, Vancouver International Film Festival.

“Bianchi’s richly detailed film excavates society’s fear of and fascination with violence—from television’s constant stream of near-pornographic mayhem to venomous suspicion between neighbors, petty feuds within married couples, and quarreling among children—in an indictment of the lowest human impulses.” –Museum of Modern Art

“Stunning performances….A tour-de-force of cinematic tension.” –The Santa Barbara Independent

 

STREET DAYS (QUCHIS DGEEBI), dir. Levan Koguashvili, Georgia, 2010, 86 minutes, Georgian, with subtitles in English

A well-meaning heroin addict whose life and status seem to worsen by the day, finds himself caught between serving a prison sentence and selling out

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