EDUCATION: Enlighten Yourself on Eco-Entrepreneurship Via THE LIGHT THIEF!

Kyrgyz actor-director Aktan Arym Kubat plays the delightful Mr. Light in our newest DVD release: THE LIGHT THIEF.

Our newest Global Lens DVD release comes with a film discussion guide that tells you everything you ever wanted to know about Kyrgyzstan, windmills and Kok-boru

Alright, everyone, time for “Guess That Film!”

I’m thinking of a great title that premiered not very long ago (2010, to be exact), which involves an entrepreneur with a brilliant idea that has the potential to increase connectivity and put power into the people’s hands, only to be complicated by the involvement of greedy investors and corrupt friendships. It’s a beautiful, award-winning film that portrays people who live and work in—you guessed it—a certain “valley.”

I’m sure you’ve named it by now. It is, of course, the one and only…

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FESTIVALS & AWARDS: Durban IFF, Lima FF, Taipei FF and more!

GREY MATTER (Global Lens 2012) showing at Durban International Film Festival

GREY MATTER and ON THE EDGE come full circle, CHICAMA premieres in Lima, and THE MIRROR NEVER LIES shines in Taipei!

A round of applause for all our GFI grant recipients and Global Lens films for lighting up screens at festivals all over the world!

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SUPPORT: Live and Learn

Soul of Sand

A Serious Slice of Life: SOUL OF SAND (Global Lens Collection)

Interpreting an education via the sights, sound and sensibilities of daily life

“Summertime and the livin’ is easy”–isn’t that what Ella said? Days become longer, lazier. Clothes are looser. Planets hang low on the horizon, just above sunset…

I think it’s safe to say most people enjoy summer. And I’m no exception. For me, the ‘easy livin’ represents a better classroom, a time to take the world in, without rush; certainly that’s what happens at the Global Film Initiative, when we spend countless twilights, reviewing hundreds of films and scripts, to determine our next season of Global Lens and grant-recipients.

But work aside, summer does really seem to represent a time to pause. Schools are out, and most governments are not in session. And if I think back to childhood–and my annual, transcontinental summer experiment of living in India and Malaysia, courtesy of my parents–I certainly learned just as much from that season as I did in school…

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MONTH IN REVIEW: Seasonal Changes

San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge in summer.

“The coldest winter I ever spent was summer in San Francisco.” – not Mark Twain

June saw the start of San Francisco’s official “summer,” when the fog bank rolls in off Ocean Beach around 5pm and stays there until Noon the next day. Sometimes, it doesn’t burn off at all, which makes for a cold, blustery “summer” day that San Franciscans know well, and which begs the often-quoted and incorrectly attributed Mark Twain-ish phrase: “The coldest winter I ever spent was summer in San Francisco.”

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NEWS: Spend a special night of your USEFUL LIFE at the Castro Theatre!

GFI presents Federico Veiroj’s cineaste classic at San Francisco’s historic theatre, and then makes the film available online exclusively on Fandor!

The last time I made it out to the beautiful Castro Theatre was a little over a year ago, for a special screening of a newly restored 70mm print (!) of Hitchcock’s Vertigo (the Castro is the only San Francisco venue equipped to project this format). I know, I know… It’s a complete shame that I haven’t frequented the theatre more often, and I really have no excuse (other than the fact that I work too much, live in a not-so-convenient suburb, and have a rambunctious one-and-a half year-old at home). I mean, come on, it’s the CASTRO – San Francisco’s famous, historic movie palace – and it’s right in my backyard!

A USEFUL LIFE screens at the Castro Theatre on August 16th

Well, that all changes in a few weeks because on Thursday, August 16th, the Castro – as part of its month-long celebration of the theatre’s 90th anniversary – is screening Federico Veiroj’s still-wonderful A USEFUL LIFE. There’s no way I’m missing the chance to see this new classic in such a perfectly appropriate setting, and you shouldn’t either. And although the August

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NEWS: HOLLOW CITY Leads “Unaccompanied Minors” Exhibit at MoMA

From the Global Lens Collection and MoMA’s Department of Film comes Global Lens filmmaker Maria Joao Ganga’s powerful exploration of innocence and Angola…

We’re very pleased to announce that one of our most favorite curators, and educators, Anne Morra, at the Museum of Modern Art’s Department of Film, has put together a spectacular new film exhibit titled Unaccompanied Minors: From Feeding the Bay to the Hollow City, to run July 22nd-August 14th, in tandem with the Museum’s Century of the Child: Growing by Design, 1900–2000 gallery exhibit. Thirty-one short- and feature-length films are included the exhibit, at the exhibit’s core is Global Lens Collection film HOLLOW CITY :

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FEATURE: Film as Social Enterprise?

"While the social enterprise is concerned with its cause over its profits, it must nonetheless secure financing."

Pat Guerra, Director of Development, explores the connections between The Global Film Initiative’s nonprofit, social entrepreneurship model with the business of filmmaking, in this first of several blog posts on the topic.

Embarking on filmmaking is an inherently risky social endeavor. A film’s purpose is storytelling, an act that dates back to the dawn of mankind, as does being an entrepreneur or merchant. Few undertakings are more entrepreneurial than launching a new film project. There are many parallels between launching a film project and a launching a new social enterprise.

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NOW PLAYING: All Eyes on THE PRIZE and Nine Other Global Lens Films!

Wonderfully natural acting and evocative imagery….” -The Hollywood Reporter

“The Prize faces us with a piece of our history that hurts. That touches us. That puts us on the alert. With the strength and intensity of someone who has experienced what is being told, Paula Markovitch succeeds in creating a deep and sensitive story about freedom, identity and unwavering hope.” -Mar del Plata International Film Festival

The story: A political activist’s life-in-hiding on an isolated stretch of Argentina’s coastline is jeopardized after her seven-year-old daughter is selected to participate in a local school’s patriotic essay contest.

THE PRIZE — Paula Markovitch’s quietly powerful debut feature — blends personal nostalgia with an underlying sense of dread as it transports the viewer to Argentina in the years of the dictatorship and its notorious Dirty War. Featuring an utterly captivating performance by Paula Galinelli Hertzog as the 7-year-old Cecilia, THE PRIZE is now available for booking in your festival or theater, along with nine other award-winning and critically acclaimed films from the new Global Lens 2012 series!

Programmers and curators: View the 2012 lineup now on Festival Scope and email us at to schedule the films today!

Film fans and enthusiasts: Read the list below and click on the map to find out where you can catch these fantastic films!

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INTERVIEW: Tolga Karaçelik on A Sincere Work

Rob Avila talks with Tolga Karaçelik about capturing the right chemical reaction on the set and on the screen in TOLL BOOTH…

Tolga Karçelik on the set of the Global Lens 2012 film Toll Booth

TOLL BOOTH, the first Turkish film to receive a weeklong premiere at the New York Museum of Modern Art, is the debut feature of 31-year-old Istanbul native Tolga Karaçelik. It concerns the life and progressive collapse of a tollbooth attendant and bachelor named Kenan (played by the marvelous Serkan Ercan). A poet by longstanding practice and inclination, with a quick mind and generous spirit, Karaçelik studied law before coming to New York City to study filmmaking. It was back in New York, at the MoMA in January, that he sat down to talk about the genesis of his award-winning Toll Booth, the opening night film of the Global Film Initiative’s 2012 Global Lens series.

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Deconstructing Experience: Life Beyond the TOLL BOOTH

Kenan, the film's protagonist, on his downward emotional spiral: Nothing like a pretty girl and a nice car to obsess over.

Kenan, the film's protagonist, on his emotional downward spiral. Nothing like a pretty girl and a nice car to obsess over.

Intern Andreas Streuli puts his academic pursuits of film and philosophy to work: an interpretation of Global Lens 2012 film TOLL BOOTH, (dir. Tolga Karaçelik, Turkey) tracing the emotional development of the protagonist, to look at the meaning of the film as a whole.

Despite being produced halfway around the world, we are confronted with a film with many parallels to our own lives— it is proof that cinema can be universally understood and appreciated.

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