SOUTHWEST (coming soon via Global Lens 2013!) wins a critics award in Montreal, WHEN I SAW YOU wins Best Arab Film in Abu Dhabi and MISS LOVELY takes the festival circuit by storm!
It’s a new month and that means more festival appearances and awards for our Global Lens and GFI-funded films! See below for the latest updates:
GFI grant recipient WILDLIFE (Philippines) won the NETPAC Award for Best Asian Film at the Warsaw Film Festival! (Photo: Busan IFF)
Continue reading FESTIVALS & AWARDS: Festival du Nouveau Cinema, Abu Dhabi FF, Mumbai FF and more!
A quick look at the facts, figures and forward movement of our program, after ten years of international film funding…
BUFFALO BOY (Vietnam) was one of four grants we provided to filmmakers when we began our Granting Program almost ten years ago!
Every granting cycle has its own personality, and this Summer’s cycle was no exception (“bad hair,” good politicians—we had it all this round, so read the press release and our blog for the scoop!). But, unlike other cycles, this one also had a bit of “extra” personality…For you see, this year marks our tenth year of awarding grants to filmmakers from around. And oh, how the times have changed…
Continue reading INDUSTRY: Trends in Global Film, by Way of GFI’s Granting Program
GFI’s newest grant recipients include four projects directed by women, and GFI’s first grants to the Dominican Republic, Guinea-Bissau and Serbia!
(Watch the video to view some production footage of new GFI grant recipient COLORED LIKE THE NIGHT (Dominican Republic)!)
Hear ye, hear ye: Today GFI announced the ten feature length narrative film projects selected to receive production funding in its Granting Program‘s Summer 2012 granting cycle (read the official press release here)!
Continue reading GRANTING: GFI Announces Summer 2012 Grant Recipients!
AMNESTY director Bujar Alimani, discusses the role of the artist in Alabania.
Painter-turned-filmmaker Bujar Alimani sat down with Rob Avila to talk about AMNESTY and Albania on the cusp of a new era…
Albanian filmmaker Bujar Alimani was born in the southwestern city of Patos, the center of Albania’s oil industry, in 1969. He trained as a painter and a stage director at the Academy of Fine Arts in Albania’s capital Tirana, before emigrating to Greece at the age of 19 and turning to filmmaking. After making three award-winning and internationally popular short films, he completed feature-length drama AMNESTY—a gorgeously lensed and finely acted story of doomed love set against a backdrop of social change in his native Albania. It won the Berlin International Film Festival’s C.I.C.A.E. Award in 2011 and was Albania’s official submission for Best Foreign Language Film at the 84th Academy Awards. AMNESTY is currently being screened throughout the United States and Canada as part of the Global Film Initiative’s Global Lens 2012 film series.
I met Alimani on a brisk afternoon this past January in New York, a serious-looking man of solid build, with short-cropped black hair and a friendly, thoughtful demeanor. He cut a stoical figure as we sat in the bustling lobby of the Roosevelt Hotel in Midtown Manhattan, not far from the Museum of Modern Art where AMNESTY was making its U.S. premiere as part of Global Lens.
Continue reading INTERVIEW: Capturing a Country in Transition
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.
Continue reading INTERVIEW: Tolga Karaçelik on A Sincere Work
The Science of Inertia: don't get him started (photo: Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones)
Looking down the rabbit hole at the genesis of “initiative,” global film and making a difference…
Ever since I was a child, I’ve loved science. The systematic study of structure. Atoms crowding on the head of a pin. Discovery…
As an adult, I haven’t lost this love–ironically, it’s what led me to a career in the arts and The Global Film Initiative. Because I’ve always been fascinated by the [scientific] concepts of “inertia” and “potential energy” (that everything around us is simultaneously resisting change and has the potential to change), and how those concepts apply themselves in other elements of our world…
A stone rolls once pushed. Still water ripples when hit with a stone. Mick Jagger–if you start him up he’ll never stop. All that needs to occur is a decision to act. All that’s required to change a state of inertia or release potential energy is someone or something with… Initiative.
The Global Film Initiative began with this in mind, and it’s this guiding precept that has kept us inspired by what we do. The world around us evolves slowly, imperceptibly or sometimes not at all. But regardless, it is always ready for change. And once that change occurs it can repeat itself like rolling thunder…
Continue reading SUPPORT: Living Up To Our Name
Pavel (center) with GFI staff (from left): Global Lens Series Manager Jeremy Quist, Administrative Coordinator Emma Rae Lierley, Acquisitions & Granting Coordinator Angelica Dongallo, Marketing & Publicity Manager Hilary Lawson
Pavel Lozin, GFI Acquisitions intern superstar, presents his top five Global Lens picks!
First of all, please excuse me for my terrible English. Besides that…
I spend the major part of my free time on the cinema: writing screenplays, reading cinema-related books, watching films themselves. Why do I do that?
There are many reasons why I’m passionate about cinema, but one reason in particular is that cinema is yet a very young form of art in contrast to other forms of art like paintings, sculpture and literature. This, along with the fact that it only takes 1-2 hours to watch one film, means I have the potential to watch a fair percent of all films in my lifetime (as compared to books, for example).
In the past two years, I’ve watched more than 1,000 films total from around the world. More than 70 of them were part of GFI’s Global Lens film series, which I watched during my time as a volunteer intern here. I want to recommend my five favorite Global Lens series (2007-2012) films, which are not only attractive because of their cultural aspects, but which are also entertaining to watch:
EDUCATION: In Defense of Foreign Films
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 Producers Network,
Continue reading SEEN & HEARD: Cannes You Believe It?
Because in an empathic civilization, ‘monkey see, monkey do’ isn’t such a bad thing
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’).
Continue reading SUPPORT: Change the Way You See the World
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 the son
Continue reading NEW ON DVD: The Tenants and Street Days!