NEWS: Instant Global Lens!

Just add an Internet connection and a computer for instant award-winning Global Lens films, now on Hulu….

A scene from Mohammad Rasoulof's THE WHITE MEADOWS

We’ve been anticipating today, November 28th, for quite a while now, and it’s finally here!

Global Lens is now on Hulu!

Just yesterday someone asked me, “Where on earth can I see Iranian masterpiece THE WHITE MEADOWS? It hasn’t been released on DVD just yet, and there are no screenings currently booked in my city.”

The answer: You can see it right here. Right this very instant.

NEWS: Global Lens @ Great Star Chinatown

A moment in time: The Great Star Theater, in its early days of greatness

GFI hits the streets of SF’s Chinatown with a showcase of Chinese cinema at the iconic Great Star Theater…

San Francisco’s Chinatown—what’s not to love. It’s the oldest and most storied neighborhood of the city (with North Beach and Mission as close competitors for the title), and the site of many untold tales…

Such as the arrival of “Hong Kong cinema” in 60s, via the silvery screen of the Great Star Theater—the landmark arthouse cinema credited with bringing this iconic era of cinema to the States more than fifty years ago–and now experiencing a revival (following its almost near-extinction), and soon to be credited with GFI’s first showcase presentation of Chinese cinema in the city, ever:

[from Asian Week]The Global Film Initiative, in partnership with the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), is pleased to announce the presentation of four award-winning Chinese films from the Global Lens Collection on Friday, November 30th and Saturday, December 1st at the historic Great Star Theater, located in the heart of San Francisco’s Chinatown neighborhood.

Continue reading NEWS: Global Lens @ Great Star Chinatown

SUPPORT: Incredible India

WATCH: GFI filmmaker Partho Sengupta, featured in Global Lens 2008, discusses his new film and the importance of Film Bazaar

GFI measures its impact on one the world’s most populous nations via images from the NFDC Film Bazaar…

Well, what can we say—India is indeed incredible. And even for a native son such as myself, almost impossible to describe in words. So, rather than then tell you about my recent trip to Goa, I’ll just show you some pictures…

Hold on now, don’t go running—this isn’t a vacation slide-show, replete with men in awkward Speedos, and shots of people sitting on elephants, posing with “natives.” Noooo…

Continue reading SUPPORT: Incredible India

FEATURE: Shooting the Past and Present of Albanian Cinema

Thomas Logoreci is a filmmaker, sometime journalist and occasional film festival programmer living and working in the Balkans.

Thomas Logoreci, co-writer of GFI grantee WORLD, discusses the evolution of cinema within an ever-changing landscape of Albania…

Thomas Logoreci here. I used to live in San Francisco. I produced and edited Caveh Zahedi’s Bay Area indie comedy I AM A SEX ADDICT which was released back in 2005. Five years later, I picked up and moved my entire life to the East European nation of Albania. I’m half-Albanian but owing to the country’s fifty years of North Korea-like communism, violent civil unrest in 1997 and the 1998-99 war in neighboring Kosovo, I did not get to Albania for the first time until 2005.

Even though I barely advanced my Albanian language skills, I ended up visiting the country several times, eventually earning a modest income rewriting scripts for some of the country’s foremost filmmakers. In 2008, I was asked to come back to the capital to program the country’s Tirana International Film Festival. During the frantic fest week, I met Iris Elezi, a talented cineaste who pitched me her script titled BOTA (the Albanian word for ’world’), which she intended to direct.

We ended up reshaping the story together – a group of outsiders working in a café at the edge of a haunted swamp cope

Continue reading FEATURE: Shooting the Past and Present of Albanian Cinema

FESTIVALS & AWARDS: Asia Pacific Screen Awards, Fort Lauderdale IFF, Mumbai FF results and more!

THE MIRROR NEVER LIES at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, NINAH’S DOWRY wins big in Fort Lauderdale and AMNESTY continues its European vacation…

The Thanksgiving holiday here in the U.S. has all but ended, but we’re thankful for our films and filmmakers year-round!







Continue reading FESTIVALS & AWARDS: Asia Pacific Screen Awards, Fort Lauderdale IFF, Mumbai FF results and more!

OPEN MIC: James and the BUNNY CHOW

A scene from BUNNY CHOW by dir. John Barker

“What was that about?” asks GFI’s James Stowe as he explores the makings of the titular dish in our South African romp, BUNNY CHOW….

Have you ever seen a Global Lens film and wondered, “Hey, what is this custom or practice that seems fairly common to the characters but is completely foreign to me?” Every now and then, this happens to me. As someone who’s never had the opportunity to travel outside of the US, I tend to notice things in films that might have gotten lost in translation for someone unfamiliar with the cultural background of the film.

Continue reading OPEN MIC: James and the BUNNY CHOW

INDUSTRY: GFI + the San Francisco Film Society Put On The Happiest of Hours

GFI's Jeremy Quist and Evan Knopf ready for happy hour!

In early November, GFI got together with Bay Area-based friends to raise a toast to the important things in life…

With so much to talk about in the wake of the SF Giants’ World Series triumph and the recent U.S. elections, The Global Film Initiative and the San Francisco Film Society hosted a gathering at Churchill Bar for happy hour festivities.

Continue reading INDUSTRY: GFI + the San Francisco Film Society Put On The Happiest of Hours

SPOTLIGHT: Global Lens at The Gold Town

The Gold Town Nickelodeon, the arthouse pride of Juneau, Alaska, brings some northern exposure to Global Lens…

Outside of the Gold Town Nickelodeon


I’ve never been to Alaska, but from what I understand, you can see Russia from there, and it gets very very cold during the winter. Beyond that, sadly, the extent of my familiarity with Alaska comes almost solely from early-90s Northern Exposure. Regardless of your knowledge surrounding this vast, resource-rich state, however, there is at least one thing that you definitely should be in the know about…

The Gold Town Nickelodeon in Juneau!

Global Lens 2012 will be showing at the Gold Town Nickelodeon this fall through February 2013, and we couldn’t be more excited about this venue. The Gold Town is a one-of-a-kind theater that hosts an array of art and film events, and also has a very unique history. Collette Costa, manager of the Gold Town Theater, shared with us a piece of its past along with some great photos:

Continue reading SPOTLIGHT: Global Lens at The Gold Town

EDUCATION: Interconnection and International Education Week 2012

Students and teachers find connections beyond the film-audience relationship during our annual fall educational event…

Click the map to see the series of interconnections between Global Lens films and schools participating in International Education Week 2012!

Our systems for connecting with one another in today’s world can take on a variety of forms: high-fives, conversations, friendships, emails, social media, YouTube, lunch dates, the S Beam and, of course, film.

Continue reading EDUCATION: Interconnection and International Education Week 2012

NOW PLAYING: Stop at TOLL BOOTH on Your Way to Global Lens!

Best First Film, Best Actor, Best Cinematography, 2010 International Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival

Best Film, 2011 Mannheim Turkish Film Festival

“A psychological pressure cooker that could blow its lid at any moment…” –The New York Times

Toll Booth is filmmaking at its best.” –Hurriyet Daily News

Where does your imagination take you? Step into the world of Kenan, a withdrawn 35-year-old bachelor who lives with his ailing but domineering father and works as a tollbooth attendant. Desperate to escape his monotonous work routine, as well as the pressure placed upon him by his father to marry, Kenan finds himself on the verge of a nervous breakdown. But when a beautiful woman in a familiar car catches his eye, he begins a flirtatious relationship that exists somewhere between fiction and reality.

Beautifully directed by first-time filmmaker Tolga Karaçelik, TOLL BOOTH taps into the anticipation and desire we cling to in a world full of expectation and lost dreams. 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!

View TOLL BOOTH and the rest of the lineup now on Vimeo or Festival Scope, and email us at to schedule films today!

Continue reading NOW PLAYING: Stop at TOLL BOOTH on Your Way to Global Lens!