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!

FOCUS: An Indian Indie

From dodging debt to clearing censorship, SOUL OF SAND director, Sidharth Srinivasan, discusses the genesis of a film fueled by “passion, persistence, patience–and pig headedness!”

(Image courtesy of Sidharth Srinivasan)

It’s been three achingly long years from script to screen. We shot PAIRON TALLE (SOUL OF SAND) as an utter indie, sans any form of corporate funding let alone guarantee of completion, on love, not-so-fresh air and foolhardiness, in the fall of 2008. To embark on such a venture one has to contend with a veritable host of naysayers—aghast outsiders, concerned family members and frowning well-wishers, and during pre-production I could almost smell the cast and crew clandestinely questioning the folly of my endeavors behind my back, but supporting me nonetheless for my very personal Waterloo (bless their souls). I say stick to your guns if the project has stuck with you for as long as it has—independent filmmaking is the exclusive domain of masochists who revel in the pleasure/pain principle…

Once principal photography began in earnest everyone was disbelievingly stunned into action, as it were, and spirits ran alarmingly high – the joy of a successful shoot is akin to chasing that ubiquitous dragon. But the low that came post-shooting hit like a ton of bricks – case in point, our film was in the proverbial can but we were over-budget (despite having completed

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Global Lens Gets a Library Card!

Global Lens makes its long-awaited debut at public libraries across the U.S.

Big books, small books, magazines and catalogs. Shelves that stretch like buildings on a city block. Millions of words by thousands of people, pressed onto paper and compressed into a building…

Ever since I was a child, I’ve had an affinity for libraries. For me, they represent a space without limits or borders, a place of collected knowledge that lends itself to the imagination. In fact, I wrote my first poem in a library (after checking out a book on haiku), and spent many afternoons as a teenager cultivating my then-nascent interest in film, sitting in a corner watching the classics [on a VHS player].

Of course, libraries have evolved since my childhood, and none more profoundly than the American public library; what once began with Benjamin Franklin and a social-activity of lending books to his friends has now evolved into a community institution, media center and learning resource. And also, a crossroads of people and cultures, a place where new immigrants meet old residents, artists share space with academics and every language is within arm’s reach on a shelf.

And so, it’s only natural that we bring Global Lens to that environment.

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Sneak Preview: Global Lens 2012!

The official announcement is a few weeks away, but we’re spilling the beans. Here’s an exclusive glimpse of a few films from next year’s lineup! Drumroll please…

We’ll start with two very special films: AMNESTY, by Albanian newcomer Bujar Alimani and FAT, BALD, SHORT MAN—Carlos Osuna’s unique and endearing [rotoscope] portrait of a man in the middle of, well, middle age.

Both films will have their official Global Lens release in New York this January, but if you’d like a sneak preview, check them out at the Chicago International Film Festival (October 6th-20th)!

Hmmm…want more? Well, we don’t want to give too much away. But, as an additional teaser, check out the trailer below for another excellent film from the 2012 series: CRAFT, by Brazilian auteur Gustavo Pizzi!

Global Lens on Virgin America has Everyone Seeing RED™

This month marks the 3rd anniversary of our partnership with Virgin America, and in honor of that special occasion, Santhosh Daniel, our Director of Programs, and Alfy Veretto, Manager of IFE Content and Partnerships, took a few moments during the last days of summer to reflect on where it all began—and where it’s all going.

Below is an excerpt of their conversation, which as you can see, reflects the unique style that has come to typify the GFI-Virgin partnership. It’s been a good time for everyone and for those of you who haven’t yet seen what it’s all about, catch a flight and catch a Global Lens film on Virgin RED™!

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Noah Cowan and the Genesis of GFI

On the eve of 9/11′s tenth anniversary, GFI’s co-founder recalls the impetus, purpose and passion behind the Initiative

Noah Cowan, co-founder of the Global Film Initiative

It is my enormous pleasure to add my voice to the growing tributes to the Global Film Initiative this year and its vital work on behalf of developing world filmmakers and audiences across North America. I would also like to offer my profound congratulations to Susan Weeks Coulter for her unstinting belief in and support of this very special and unique project; a project which could not be closer to my own heart.

It is most humbling to witness an idea, hatched by Susan and me, that has, over the years, inspired so many people. It all started over a cup of tea in China, as so many worthy things do these days…

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Picture This: Reinventing the Single-Screen Cinema in Westchester

GFI chats with Global Lens partner The Picture House about history, change, and making the switch from commercial theater to arthouse cinematheque

A single screen, many stories

Last week we posted about the unfortunate closure of the Red Vic Movie House, one of San Francisco’s most unique and celebrated arthouse theaters for the past 31 years. As an antidote to that sad event, today we bring you a profile of The Picture House, Westchester County’s gorgeous single-screen theater that specializes in showing the best in independent, international and classical cinema.

A new screening-partner of ours, The Picture House hosted Global Lens 2011 last month, which of course included A USEFUL LIFE, Federico Veiroj’s bittersweet homage to cinephile culture. But unlike the film’s Cinemateca Uruguay, which is forced to close after the archive fails to make financial ends meet (and as other theaters across the United States are actively moving away from arthouse fare in favor of the latest blockbusters), the Picture House recently made the bold decision to a switch from a first-run commericial theater to an arthouse cinematheque. This past week we caught up with Jennifer Christman, Executive Director of The Picture House, to discuss this impressive move and the future of their institution.

Can you give our readers a brief overview of The Picture House, its history

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3 ON 1: The Inside, Upside and Best Side of BECLOUD

This month, as we celebrate our newest addition to the Global Lens DVD family—Becloud (available June 28th)—we’re also taking the opportunity to introduce a new feature to our blog: the 3 on 1 column.

After years of separation, three boyhood friends reunite in Mexico City to overcome a tragedy that scarred their neighborhood, and childhood, years before.

3 on 1—what is it? Well, it’s three people (insiders, outsiders, fans and friends of GFI) speaking about one subject. Films, grantees, events and travel… The list of what we can discuss is endless. And this month, it all begins with Becloud (and three folks who you may already know):

Jeremy Quist (Global Lens Series Manager): Becloud first came to us as a grant-submission, back when we only knew the film as Vaho (its original Spanish-language title). So the forthcoming DVD release of this title is quite significant for us, having seen it first as an unassuming rough cut before the final sound mix was complete, then touring the finished film to great acclaim in Global Lens 2010, and now finally making it available to everyone on home video.

The outstanding technical quality of the DVD comes courtesy of our wonderful authoring facility, AM-DVD, and the packaging features gorgeous artwork from designer Gary Ponzo (who also created this awesome chandelier made completely out of

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NOW PLAYING: Global Lens 2011 and MASQUERADES, MY TEHRAN FOR SALE and Other Films from the Global Lens Collection

A scene from MY TEHRAN FOR SALE by director Granaz Moussavi

As Global Lens 2011 opens at the Museum of Modern Art, select films from the current series and the Global Lens Collection are also playing in Washington D.C. at the Smithsonian Institution!

THE WHITE MEADOWS, DOOMAN RIVER and MY TEHRAN FOR SALE (Global Lens 2010) will be playing at the Freer & Sackler Galleriesthroughout January as part of new screening program curated by the Global Film Initiative and programmer, Tom Vick, at the Smithsonian Institution.

Global Lens now playing on Virgin American flights!