SUPPORT: E Pluribus Unum

Thousands of stories in the evolution of one world

Nigerian writer Chimanda Ngozi Adichie and the Danger of the Single Story

In just a few days, we’ll be announcing our Winter 2012 grantees–ten films by ten filmmakers that, coincidentally, mark our tenth year of grantmaking.

It’s a significant milestone, and an auspicious occasion. And like all granting cycles, it affords a moment to reflect on the statement we’re making. Because in awarding these grants, we are of course saying that of the hundreds of projects we reviewed, these ten are “the best”… But are they?

A few years ago, Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie gave a TEDtalk about the “danger of the single story.” Her essential point was that no one story, no singular history or perspective, is the only story—and believing otherwise is what leads to the inability of many people to be sympathetic, if not empathetic, toward other cultures.

It’s a simple and true analysis, most people do tend to only hear the story that’s within earshot—whether that comes from their government, history, religion, family or community. And it’s a sentiment that often echoes in mind, especially when we award grants to filmmakers or, choose films for Global Lens: Are we telling a single story?

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FESTIVALS & AWARDS: Sofia IFF, Festivalissimo, SAFTAs, Berlin IFF and more!

BEAUTY shines at the South African Film and Television Awards, THE BODA BODA THIEVES nabs the top pitching prize in Berlin, and more great news about Global Lens films and GFI grant recipients!

Producers James Tayler and Sarah Muhoho (THE BODA BODA THIEVES, dir. Donald Mugisha, Uganda) at the Berlin International Film Festival! Photo: bizcommunity.com.

The past few weeks have been nothing short of spectacular for Global Lens films and GFI grantees, and we’re very proud to announce the latest scoop!

First, news about GFI grantees:

BEAUTY (dir. Oliver Hermanus, South Africa, 2010 grant recipient) was awarded Best Director and Best Actor at the South African Film and Television Awards!

Continue reading FESTIVALS & AWARDS: Sofia IFF, Festivalissimo, SAFTAs, Berlin IFF and more!

NEW ON DVD: Adrift and My Tehran For Sale!

Lust, Longing and Chuyen’s ADRIFT and Granaz Moussavi’s Controversial MY TEHRAN FOR SALE to release on DVD January 31st

We’re pleased to announce the DVD release of two new films from the Global Lens film series, featuring a charged performance by Vietnamese actress Hai Yen and Moussavi’s “hit and run” chronicle of Tehran’s underground art scene:

 

Adrift DVD CoverADRIFT (CHOI VOI), dir. Bui Thac Chuyen, Vietnam, 2009, 110 minutes, Vietnamese, with subtitles in English

A young wife, ignored by her immature spouse, is caught in a love triangle between her best friend and a handsome stranger during a languorous summer in Hanoi. FIPRESCI Prize, Venice International Film Festival; Official Selection of the International Film Festival Rotterdam (Bright Future).

A subtle, melancholy exploration of erotic angst and uncomfortable awakening…Adrift evokes a culture whose puritanical restraints have begun to loosen, allowing dangerous sparks to fly. Once desire has been unleashed, smugly settling for less is no longer a comfortable option.“ -The New York Times

Beautiful, and tightly focused on the emotional, romantic, and sexual lives of men and women in Hanoi….This is new Vietnamese cinema.” -diaCRITICS

 

My Tehran For Sale DVD CoverMY TEHRAN FOR SALE, dir. Granaz Moussavi, Iran, 2009, 95 minutes, Farsi and English, with subtitles in English

An

Continue reading NEW ON DVD: Adrift and My Tehran For Sale!

FESTIVALS & AWARDS: Rotterdam, Berlin, Dubai and more!

Global Lens films and GFI grant recipients hit the ground running in 2012 with premieres and awards at festivals around the world!

INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL ROTTERDAM (January 25-February 5, 2012):

Several Global Lens directors and GFI grantees will screen their films and new projects at the International Film Festival Rotterdam—host of one of the largest film markets in the world and a prime place for GFI-related films to intersect! This year’s festival includes:

TIGER AWARDS COMPETITION: The world premiere of 2011 GFI grant recipient VOICE OF MY FATHER (dir. Orhan Eskiköy and Ozgur Doğan, Turkey). BRIGHT FUTURE SECTION: The Dutch premieres of Global Lens film GREY MATTER (dir. Kivu Ruhorahoza, Rwanda), of 2010 GFI grant recipient BEAUTY (dir. Oliver Hermanus, South Africa) and of 2011 GFI grant recipient ON THE EDGE (dir. Leïla Kilani, Morocco). Kivu Ruhorahoza will also be participating in CineMart with his new project, JOMO, through the BOOST! initiative! SPECTRUM SECTION: Premieres of new films by Global Lens directors Cláudio Assis (MANGO YELLOW, Brazil) and Garin Nugroho (OF LOVE AND EGGS and OPERA JAWA, Indonesia), as well as by Raya Martin, director of 2008 GFI grant recipient INDEPENDENCIA

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Global Lens 2012 @ MoMA and Beyond!

This year’s launch in New York set our universe in motion thanks to a host of filmmakers, friends and more than a little help from MoMA and a one-man army…

Angelica in the Stars

Angelica Dongallo, Acquisitions & Granting Dynamo, kicks-off Global Lens 2012 amongst the stars

 

What can we say–it was spectacular. And for as much as we’d really like to tell you about the launch of Global Lens 2012 in New York, pictures do the job so much better. The stars were out and in alignment, and the year began with a big bang, cosmic kismet and maybe even a few good parties–see for yourself!

Next stop: everywhere. Global Lens 2012 will be playing all across the U.S. and Canada, from Palm Springs to Boston, Latin Wave in Houston and Vue d’Afrique in Montreal–check our calendar!

A special thanks to Jytte Jensen, Curator, and Clay Farland, at the MoMA Department of Film; Consul General M. Levent Bilgen, Consul Ismet Erikan and the Turkish Consulate General of New York; Robert Avila; Gary Ponzo; Gianfranco Sorrentino and our friends at Gattopardo; Carlos Gutierrez; Tom Vick at the Smithsonian Institution; Engin “One-Man Army” Yeniduniya; and Global Lens 2012 directors Bujar Alimani, Tolga Karacelik, Carlos Osuna, Gustavo Pizzi, and Oday Rasheed–none of this would’ve been possible without you.

 

 

 

Continue reading Global Lens 2012 @ MoMA and Beyond!

NOW PLAYING: Global Lens on Festival Scope

Programmers, curators and more–preview our 2012 lineup on Festival Scope!

Every January, just around the time we launch a new season of Global Lens, we get hit with multiple requests from curators and programmers for screening copies of our films. And we love it. The only problem: we can’t always keep up with the demand, especially when those films are making news (i.e. MOURNING, THE PRIZE, PEGASUS, AMNESTY…)

MOURNING (dir. Morteza Farshbaf, Iran) now available on Festival Scope

So, woe is us, such an exquisite difficulty and what’s a boutique nonprofit film organization supposed to do. Or rather, how do we keep the promise made to our filmmakers, of promoting their films to the widest and most geographically diverse audience possible? And how do you get to see Global Lens in your city, festival and theater…

Well, our longtime friend, Alessandro Raja, has an answer: Festival Scope

Festival Scope is our newest promotional partner for Global Lens. Launched in 2010 by Alessandro (formerly of Celluloid Dreams), it’s an online film viewing resource created exclusively for industry professionals who want to review films, immediately, from the wonderful world of festivals. Dubai, Busan, Torino, Toronto–name it and you’ll likely find it on Festival Scope.

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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: Malatya IFF, Cinema Tropical Awards, Thessaloniki IFF and more!

THE FINGER points the way to success, OCTOBER has another great month, and WHEN I SAW YOU’s audience likes what it sees…

GLOBAL LENS FILMS:

 

THE FINGER (dir. Sergio Teubal, Argentina) was awarded Best Screenplay, Best Actor, and Best Score at the Malatya International Film Festival in Ankara, Turkey! THE FINGER will premiere as part of the Global Lens 2012 film series in January at MoMA—watch the film trailer here!

 

GFI GRANT RECIPIENTS:

ON THE EDGE (2011 GFI grant recipient), directed by Leila Kilani of Morocco, received the following awards:

FIPRESCI Prize, Films from the South Festival (Oslo, Norway) Best International Feature-Length Film, International Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival (Antalya, Turkey) Film Critics’ Jury Prize, Most Innovative Film, Tübingen-Stuttgart International French-language Film Festival (Tubingen, Germany) Special Jury Prize and Best Actress, Brussels International Independent Film Festival (Brussels, Belgium) Grand Prize, Arte Mare Festival du Film et des Cultures Mediterraneennes (Bastia, France) Special Mention, Continue reading FESTIVALS & AWARDS: Malatya IFF, Cinema Tropical Awards, Thessaloniki IFF and more!

NEWS: Ugandan Donald Mugisha Receives Largest Grant from World Cinema Fund to Finance Feature Inspired by “Bicycle Thieves” (indieWire)

Boda Boda ThievesGFI grantee BODA BODA THIEVES receives 60,000 € ($81,000) in funding from the World Cinema Fund

(via indieWire) Congrats to Ugandan Donald Mugisha whose feature film project, The Boda Boda Thieves, was one of just 5 projects selected by the World Cinema Fund to receive production funding from its allotted $283,000 grant.

Donald’s project, which he will direct, received the largest chunk of the fund – $81,000, as Norway based Switch Films has signed on to produce.

The film’s synopsis reads:

When Goodman gets a job for his son Abel as driver of a motorbike taxi or “Boda-Boda”, he feels like things are possibly finally going his way, that is, until a gang of thieves robs Abel of his treasured motorbike. We follow Goodman and his son Abel on their quest through the city to find their “Boda Boda” and in the process gain an insider’s view of urban Africa, its underworld and the generation gap between urban migrants and their first generation children. [more…]

SUPPORT: Beyond Sun-Tzu

Santhosh Daniel, GFI Director of Programs, on the business of doing “good business”

A scene from MOURNING, by Iranian director Morteza Farshbaf (Global Lens 2012)

A few days ago, at the blink of midnight, we closed a distribution deal for the Iranian film MOURNING, by Morteza Farshbaf. And, like all late-night business, it was a harried affair, replete with heavy texting and the adrenalin rush of knowing we had acquired a film that, only a few hours earlier, took top awards at the 2011 Busan International Film Festival—Asia’s largest festival and film market.

For us, it was the culmination of a long four days in Busan and also, a modest pinnacle of achievement. Normally, we don’t make a play for films that are fresh out of a festival, covered in the glitter of awards—not because we don’t see the value of the work, but simply because the strength of our endeavor has never been about being the proverbial “player,” making a deal and beating our competitors for the “hot” film on the market.

But this film struck a very different and distinct chord, and so we decided to make an offer. And in the afterglow of signing it for our 2012 lineup (Global Lens 2012), it afforded us the opportunity to consider how such a deal, for such a film, was possible…

Continue reading SUPPORT: Beyond Sun-Tzu