GRANTING: Ten Years to the Day in Global Film Funding

Ten years ago today, GFI announced the recipients of the inaugural granting program, and look at us now…

granting

On April 10, The Global Film Initiative announced it’s most recent grant recipients from the Winter 2012 granting cycle. The list of grantees features 11 works from both emerging and established filmmakers, representing 10 different countries around the world, and each project demonstrates great promise and vision. As Susan Weeks Coulter, Founder and Board Chair, said in the announcement: “We are pleased to identify and support these eleven unique and powerful narratives.”

What makes this granting cycle particularly special, however, is that it is the most recent in GFI’s now decade-old granting program. Ten years ago to the day, the very first round of grantees were announced on May 16, 2003. In celebration of this milestone, we’re taking a look back on the films GFI has funded over the years.

Again and again, our grantees represent filmmakers who are not afraid to challenge convention–to make sometimes dangerous, but always fiercely truthful statements about the society, and the world, that reflect them. These films often represent new perspectives and voices in storytelling–voices which are too often silenced or misrepresented in the mainstream–and hold promise in heralding a new generation of filmmakers.

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INDUSTRY: Foreign Film, Global Lens, and the Academy Awards

We take a look at global film on the world stage…

It’s a historic year for Chilean film. This year marks the country’s first ever Academy-Award nomination. While the Andean nation has submitted 17 titles to the “Best Foreign Language Film” competition since 1990, it has never made the final list of nominees…until now. Having awarded numerous grants to Chile’s filmmakers, and distributed some of the country’s best films, we’re excited to watch the Chilean film continue to succeed on the world stage. (If you haven’t already, make sure to catch a screening of Sebastían Silva’s, Life Kills Me now touring in the Global Lens 2013 tour.) But first, some Oscar trivia…

- Italy holds the record with the most Oscar wins (13)

- Argentina is the only Latin American country to have won the award.

- Iran became the first and only Middle-Eastern country to win the award in 2011.

- Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iran, and Ivory Coast are the only countries to have won on their first and only nomination.

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NEWS: Global Lens 2013 @ MoMA!

Global Lens 2013: Change the Way You See the World

Our tenth anniversary opens with China’s Sixth Generation, Sebastián Silva, the biggest film you’ve ever seen from Brazil (literally), and a host of Global Lens alumnus.…

It’s our tenth year and we’re kicking off Global Lens 2013, January 10th-26th, with ten films at the Museum of Modern Art! It’s going to be some celebration…

BEIJING FLICKERS will open the series on January 10th with a week-run at MoMA and director Zhang Yuan and actor Li Xinjun in attendance, to launch the festivities (a must see: Zhang is the acclaimed director of Beijing Bastards, and part of the gritty Sixth Generation ethos—who in the ‘90s, pushed Chinese filmmaking out of an overly-romanticized lens into the alter-reality of its edgy, urban psyche).

Also in New York for the GL13 opening: Suman Ghosh for the North American premiere of SHYAMAL UNCLE TURNS OFF THE LIGHTS, on January 11th. This film is something to indeed be experienced with the director, as he runs his fingers through the tangled hair of Kolkata’s bureaucracy; an inspired and insightful work that carries a subtle charm, similar to another Global Lens standout.

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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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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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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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Global Lens 2012 @ MoMA!

Our ninth season opens January 12th in New York with the director, cast and crew of TOLL BOOTH

The new year is just a few weeks away, and with it comes launch of Global Lens 2012 at the Museum of Modern Art, January 12th-28th! The presentation, as many of you know, is part of our annual and ongoing collaboration with the Museum, and is organized by Jytte Jensen, Senior Curator in MoMA’s Department of Film. And what can we say except…

It’s one of our best series yet. Global Lens 2012 includes GREY MATTER, the first narrative feature film produced in Rwanda by a native Rwandan filmmaker; the oh-so-lovable Farfan, star of FAT, BALD SHORT MAN (the first-ever rotoscope feature for Global Lens); and top picks from Pusan, FESPACO, Morelia and Guadalajara international film festivals (and, not to mention, Albania’s official submission to the Oscars: AMNESTY).

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FESTIVALS & AWARDS: Academy Awards, Pusan IFF, Mumbai Film Fest and more!

We’re extremely proud of our Global Lens films and GFI grant recipients—read on for the latest good news!

The following films were selected as Foreign Language submissions to the 84th Academy Awards:

BELVEDERE (dir. Ahmed Imamović, Bosnia & Herzegovina), included in the Global Lens 2011 film series OCTOBER (dir. Daniel Vega Vidal and Diego Vega Vidal, Peru), awarded a GFI grant in 2008 SKOONHEID (dir. Oliver Hermanus, South Africa), awarded a GFI grant in 2010

In other GFI grant recipient news…

 

THE MIRROR NEVER LIES (dir. Kamila Andini, Indonesia), was selected for the New Currents section of the Pusan International Film Festival! Watch the film’s trailer here.

THE DEAD SEA (dir. Leena Manimekalai, India) is the only Indian film chosen for the International First Films Competition at the Mumbai Film Festival (October 13-20).

OSCARS!!!

[UPDATE – October 1, 2011: GFI grantee SKOONHEID is also going to the Oscars! See full post about all awards here]

Congratulations to Ahmed Imamovic, and Daniel and Diego Vega! Ahmed’s second film, BELVEDERE (currently featured in Global Lens 2011), is Bosnia-Herzegovina’s official submission to the 2011 Academy Awards! And not to be outdone, the Vega brothers’ debut feature [and 2008 GFI grant-recipient], OCTOBER, is Peru’s official submission!

We wish both films much success, with fingers crossed for a golden Oscar (and a clandestine note of luck for GFI grantee Dervis Zaim, whose film SHADOWS AND FACES, is short-listed as Turkey’s official submission)!