FESTIVALS & AWARDS: Brazilian Film Week, Academy Awards, Vancouver Latin American FF and more!

CRAFT (and SOUTHWEST–coming soon via Global Lens 2013!) at the Embassy of Brazil, WHEN I SAW YOU goes to the Oscars and FAT, BALD, SHORT MAN pays a visit to lovely Vancouver!

Global Lens 2013 (yes, 2013!) film SOUTHWEST (Brazil) is being featured in a showcase by the Embassy of Brazil!

It’s another busy month for both Global Lens and GFI-funded films, with screenings at festivals and venues all over the world! First up, we’d like to mention a special film showcase in the U.S. capital, featuring a sneak preview of one of our newest additions to Global Lens:

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NEWS: A ‘Useful’ Guide to Uruguayan Cinema

Brian Darr (of Hell on Frisco Bay) reviews A USEFUL LIFE for Fandor and shines a spotlight on Uruguayan Cinema while he’s at it…

Last month Brian Darr, the writer behind Bay Area film blog Hell on Frisco Bay, wrote an excellent article called “A ‘Useful’ Guide to Uruguayan Cinema” for Keyframe, the blog from our friends at Fandor. In the article, Brian makes some illuminating observations about Federico Veiroj’s A USEFUL LIFE, segues into a discussion of the history of filmmaking in Uruguay, and then closes by touching on a couple other Global Lens favorites — WHISKY (dir. Juan Pablo Rebella and Pablo Stoll) and LEO’S ROOM (dir. Enrique Buchichio). Check it out:

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OPEN MIC: Social Media and Global Connectivity

Laura Brewer, Online Marketing, discusses “global” social media and how you can join GFI’s digital discourse…

In this era of Arab Spring, Olympic controversy, and “social media presidencies”, Social Media is one of the most talked-about phenomena of our time. I say phenomena because, well, what is it really?

It can feel like an ever-changing, highly accessible force in our lives: a force that can lead to obsession, laughter, understanding, misunderstanding, boredom, even revolution. Its much bigger than the sum of its digital parts, much more important than the individual channels, feeds, boards, or pages viewed.

An Instagram shot from our August Happy Hour!

Social media is inherently interested in the idea of ”global”. It transcends geography and sometimes language. It allows previously quieted voices to speak. Stories and recipes and opinions can be shared by anyone, anywhere, at any time. Like film, social media provides completely digestible insight into cultures for anyone who will listen. And, most importantly, it opens avenues for dialogue.

Our aim at GFI is to create global understanding, cultural empathy and connectivity through film. We help people take initiative and change the way they see the world. We often talk about the transformative power of film and its ability to take the viewer to another place, time, or

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SUPPORT: Don’t Stop Believing

Long Live Orange Mushrooms (and the San Francisco Giants)!

It’s more than a song. It’s baseball, elections and the battle-cry behind every film, and filmmaker, taking us into our tenth year…

September… Is a pretty good month. The world over, it marks everything from independence days to school daze. The end of cricket season (read: sport in Britain, insect in Iowa), and the start of Oktoberfest. It’s a special time of year.

In the Bay Area, September also means a special kind of madness: the San Francisco Giants’ annual sprint to win baseball’s most coveted title of Major League Baseball Champions, set to the soundtrack of “Don’t Stop Believing” by [Bay Area native sons] Journey. And while I like September, I’m not going to lie–I’ve never been a fan of the song.

But after many Septembers of sitting in my office and getting blasted with that tune as we finalize our lineup for Global Lens (our September ritual), it does have a way of working into the mind—sometimes like a dripping faucet, and on this afternoon, like an odd, philosophical metronome tracking the beat of this month…


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SPOTLIGHT: It’s Hip, It’s Happening, It’s Scottsdale!

Global Lens is soon to screen at the Scottsdale International Film Festival for the second time, and Jeremy Quist adds yet another place to his ever-growing list of U.S. cities he’d like to visit…

Back in the mid ‘00s (remember those?) my sister spent two years at the University of Arizona in Tucson, and I never got the chance to visit her there. I always thought it would be fun to meet up with her and then drive together through the Arizona cities listed in the song Route 66―Flagstaff, Kingman, and (don’t forget!) Winona―which obviously was before I learned that Tucson is nowhere near the highway in question. You should know two things about me by now, from my ramblings in this monthly Spotlight column:

1) My geography, not so good. 2) There are a lot of cities that I’d really like to go to.

In regard to item #2, I have a list (a physical, written list!) of cities I’d like to visit. And this month, I add to that list yet another city in Arizona―Scottsdale! You may ask, “Why, Scottsdale, Jeremy?” to which I would answer, “Well, for starters, it has a bustling late-night downtown scene, it’s the spring training home of the San Francisco Giants, and it’s also been consistently included in the ‘100 Best Communities for Young People.’” You might then retort,

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NEWS: Libraries, Language and Film

MOURNING: Now playing in Farsi, Persian Sign Language, American Sign Language and English at the Seattle Public Library

The Seattle Public Library kicks off our fall schedule of Global Public with a focus on the [sign] language of its local Northwest community…

“The language of film.” Sometimes we mean this as a reference to the words spoken by an image. Other times we mean the dozens of languages (in as many films), featured in Global Lens. Every now and then, we mean something a bit more esoteric.

Rare that it is, though, we have the opportunity to highlight a language used in a film that’s never before appeared in Global Lens: sign language.

This fall, the Seattle Public Library is presenting Global Lens 2012 at its Central Branch from September-January. The Library is part of our Global Public library network, and as part of their presentation, they’ll be hosting public screenings of all films, an educational film screening with Franklin High School, and…

A special presentation of the Iranian film, MOURNING, followed by discussion of the film in American Sign Language (ASL) on October 6th. Of course, ASL isn’t so unusual, as many public events have this as a requisite feature of their presentation. However, what does make this unique is that the film itself is in Persian Sign Language (PSL) and

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NEW ON DVD: The Light Thief and Soul of Sand

The winds of change blow through both SOUL OF SAND (India) and THE LIGHT THIEF (Kyrgyzstan)–releasing on DVD September 25.

New award-winning films from Aktan Arym Kubat and Sidharth Srinivasan present a powerful look into the politics of class, caste, capitalism and environmentalism in a rapidly modernizing world.

THE LIGHT THIEF (SVET-AKE), dir. Aktan Arym Kubat, Kyrgyzstan, 2010, 80 minutes, Kyrgyz, with subtitles in English

A humble electrician intent on enlivening his rural valley with electricity unwittingly strikes a deal with a rich politician whose corrupt ambitions threaten to upend the electrician’s dream to build windmills in his village. FIPRESCI Prize, Eurasia International Film Festival; Official Kyrgyzstan Submission, Best Foreign Language Film category of the 83rd Academy Awards; Official Selection, Directors’ Fortnight, Cannes Film Festival.

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INDUSTRY: India’s Independent Movement

Indian Independents: The New Wave of filmmakers @ TIFF 2012

As SOUL OF SAND hits theaters in India, and MISS LOVELY (and a host of other indies) sweep through TIFF, Indian film goes back to its roots and beyond Bollywood…

More than sixty years ago, just as seeds of discontent bloomed into Indian Independence, so also began India’s Golden Age of Cinema. At the head: neorealists Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak, a.k.a. the Indian “new wave,” whose work laid foundation for independent film movements worldwide…

Nowadays, not many people aside from scholars and cinephiles remember this seminal moment in cinema history (or that it is credited with the creation of experimental techniques, such as bounce lighting). Because despite such an auspicious birth, the advent of Bollywood, in all its splendor, stole and hid that fire from the world at-large. But that hardly means roots of the Golden Age are dead…

Earlier this month, the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), in homage to the auteur, cinephile and roots of India’s “other” independence movement, drew focus on Indian independents and the iconic psyche of Mumbai (via films such as MISS LOVELY by GFI grantee Ashim Ahluwalia), as part of its City to City program. The ostensible purpose: to signal the advent of a “new Indian cinema” and

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EDUCATION: International Education Week 2012–Give Your Students an Edge

Our education partners are gearing up for the annual November event, and here’s why it’s time your school joined our ranks…

Take a sneak peek of our IEW 2012 films, including AN INVISIBLE EYE (Argentina) seen here!

At GFI, we really enjoy the art of “giving.” Regardless of whether we’re donating films to high schools, hosting free screenings at public libraries or awarding grants to filmmakers, our goal is to give you access to the best films (and stories) from around the globe.

Enter: your local high school.

This fall, we’re continuing this mission by offering your high school two unique (and free!) ways to bring our award-winning narrative world cinema series–Global Lens–to your classroom during International Education Week (November 12-16–less than two months away!):

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NOW PLAYING: Gustavo Pizzi’s Award-Winning Portrait of an Artist, CRAFT!

It’s been a while since a film captured an actor’s world with the intelligence, creativity and insight of Craft.-Variety

A wonderful and perfectly calibrated film….” -BrazilNYC

Like a well-seasoned actor who has the ability to charm or break your heart, Gustavo Pizzi’s visually rich CRAFT does both — effortlessly and beautifully. Featuring a pitch-perfect performance by Pizzi’s real-life wife, Karine Teles (upon whom the dazzling narrative of a struggling São Paulo actress/celebrity impersonator is based), this debut feature illustrates the kind of thrill and anxiety that often accompanies one’s dedication to a dream. Now available for booking in your festival or theater, along with nine other award-winning and critically acclaimed films from the Global Lens 2012 series!

Programmers and curators: View the 2012 lineup now on Vimeo or Festival Scope and email us at bookings@globalfilm.org 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!

Continue reading NOW PLAYING: Gustavo Pizzi’s Award-Winning Portrait of an Artist, CRAFT!