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

FEATURE: From Baghdad to San Antonio, QARANTINA Comes to South Texas

UT San Antonio Professor Steven G. Kellman (and former HuffPo contributor) on fighting off the ‘the toxins of cultural provincialism’ with QARANTINA…

A scene from QARANTINA (dir. Oday Rasheed, Iraq)

Though it is the seventh largest city in the United States, San Antonio is, like all but a few other areas in the country, virtually quarantined against foreign cinema. When an imported film does get screened in a local commercial theater, it is almost always from Britain, since, according to the industry’s conventional wisdom, Americans are monolingual, and they do not go to the movies to read; box-office receipts for inferior remakes of The Vanishing, The Debt, and The Seven Samurai exceed those for the subtitled originals. Film is the most portable of the arts, but national aversion to foreign film reflects widespread indifference to anything beyond our borders but violence.

As an antidote to the toxins of cultural provincialism, the San Antonio Museum of Art has scheduled monthly public screenings of works – twice each – provided by the Global Film Initiative. I was invited by SAMA to introduce the films and lead post-screening discussions.

October’s offering, Qarantina, written and directed by Oday Rasheed, is an outstanding demonstration of foreign cinema’s power to bring fresh perspectives to worlds that many hardly knew existed. Set in contemporary Baghdad, Qarantina is a film by Iraqis, about

Continue reading FEATURE: From Baghdad to San Antonio, QARANTINA Comes to South Texas

NEWS: 111 GIRLS, BEIJING FLICKERS and SHYAMAL UNCLE TURNS OFF THE LIGHTS!

Variety and Screen International let slip on three new Global Lens 2013 films by producer Bahman Ghobadi, and directors Zhang Yuan and Suman Ghosh

As the saying goes, ‘good things come in threes.’ Or, a “trio”:

Shyamal Uncle from SHYAMAL UNCLE TURNS OFF THE LIGHTS

(via Variety) Trio of Busan fest pics to get U.S. release San Francisco-based The Global Film Initiative has acquired three Busan Film Festival players for U.S. release, Bahman Ghobadi-produced “111 Girls,” Zhang Yuan’s “Beijing Flickers” and Suman Ghosh’s “Shyamal Uncle Turns Off the Lights.”Helmed by first-timers Bijan Zmanpira and Nahid Ghobadi, “111 Girls” is an Iraqi-Kurdish dramedy produced by Abbas Ghazali and Iranian helmer Bahman Ghobadi (“Turtles Can Fly”). [NEWS: 111 GIRLS, BEIJING FLICKERS and SHYAMAL UNCLE TURNS OFF THE LIGHTS!

FESTIVALS & AWARDS: Festival du Nouveau Cinema, Abu Dhabi FF, Mumbai FF and more!

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!

EDUCATION: ‘Striking Gold’ with Global Lens

Richard Katz, AP Human Geography Teacher at Roosevelt High School, on understanding our ‘universal humanity’ via foreign film…

"We all laughed and came away feeling how universal the experience of film and laughter must be across cultures." -Rik Katz, after screening Global Lens film MASQUERADES to his high school students.

The first time my students and I viewed an international film together, it was eye-opening. We watched a film from Algeria entitled MASQUERADES—we were all prepared for a serious account of this country, but were happily surprised to discover the film was actually a satire! We all laughed and came away feeling how universal the experience of film and laughter must be across cultures. That was when I realized that we had struck gold, and I just had to share this with other members of our school community. The students could also not stop talking about the experience and how transformative it was.

Continue reading EDUCATION: ‘Striking Gold’ with Global Lens

INDUSTRY: Trends in Global Film, by Way of GFI’s Granting Program

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

NOW PLAYING: Let THE FINGER Point You Toward Global Lens!

A gentle political satire set in a remote pueblo in 1980s Argentina…an engaging, often amusing portrait of a community on the cusp of change….” -Variety

Sergio Teubal’s hilarious satire proves its capacity for both belly laughs and observant political barbs.” -Wines of Argentina

Not many political elections involve a severed finger in a jar, but then, this is not your typical election. Far from the debates and attack ads of Romney and Obama’s current race—but still based on actual events—Sergio Teubal’s THE FINGER concerns a moody shopkeeper bent on ensuring his brother’s mayoral victory, even after the beloved candidate turns up dead just weeks before the election. A guaranteed charmer, this dramatic comedy spins a tale of mystery, village life, revenge, and leadership, suggesting that sometimes a dismembered digit can point the way to a better future than an actual, living candidate!

Programmers and curators: View the 2012 lineup now on Vimeo or Festival Scope and email us at bookings@globalfilm.org to schedule the films today!

Film fans and enthusiasts: Read the list below and click on the map to find out where you can catch these fantastic films!

Continue reading NOW PLAYING: Let THE FINGER Point You Toward Global Lens!

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:

Continue reading FESTIVALS & AWARDS: Brazilian Film Week, Academy Awards, Vancouver Latin American FF and more!

SPOTLIGHT: It’s Hip, It’s Happening, It’s Scottsdale!

Global Lens is soon to screen at the Scottsdale International Film Festival for the second time, and Jeremy Quist adds yet another place to his ever-growing list of U.S. cities he’d like to visit…

Back in the mid ‘00s (remember those?) my sister spent two years at the University of Arizona in Tucson, and I never got the chance to visit her there. I always thought it would be fun to meet up with her and then drive together through the Arizona cities listed in the song Route 66―Flagstaff, Kingman, and (don’t forget!) Winona―which obviously was before I learned that Tucson is nowhere near the highway in question. You should know two things about me by now, from my ramblings in this monthly Spotlight column:

1) My geography, not so good. 2) There are a lot of cities that I’d really like to go to.

In regard to item #2, I have a list (a physical, written list!) of cities I’d like to visit. And this month, I add to that list yet another city in Arizona―Scottsdale! You may ask, “Why, Scottsdale, Jeremy?” to which I would answer, “Well, for starters, it has a bustling late-night downtown scene, it’s the spring training home of the San Francisco Giants, and it’s also been consistently included in the ‘100 Best Communities for Young People.’” You might then retort,

Continue reading SPOTLIGHT: It’s Hip, It’s Happening, It’s Scottsdale!

NOW PLAYING: Gustavo Pizzi’s Award-Winning Portrait of an Artist, CRAFT!

It’s been a while since a film captured an actor’s world with the intelligence, creativity and insight of Craft.-Variety

A wonderful and perfectly calibrated film….” -BrazilNYC

Like a well-seasoned actor who has the ability to charm or break your heart, Gustavo Pizzi’s visually rich CRAFT does both — effortlessly and beautifully. Featuring a pitch-perfect performance by Pizzi’s real-life wife, Karine Teles (upon whom the dazzling narrative of a struggling São Paulo actress/celebrity impersonator is based), this debut feature illustrates the kind of thrill and anxiety that often accompanies one’s dedication to a dream. Now available for booking in your festival or theater, along with nine other award-winning and critically acclaimed films from the Global Lens 2012 series!

Programmers and curators: View the 2012 lineup now on Vimeo or Festival Scope and email us at bookings@globalfilm.org to schedule the films today!

Film fans and enthusiasts: Read the list below and click on the map to find out where you can catch these fantastic films!

Continue reading NOW PLAYING: Gustavo Pizzi’s Award-Winning Portrait of an Artist, CRAFT!