FEATURE: SOUTHWEST Screened at San Francisco’s Historic Clay Theater in 35mm

photoA birth, a death, a lifetime–Eduardo Nunes’ incredible debut feature film contains the longest measure of time imaginable in a single day and on April 10, GFI hosted one unforgettable screening of the film

The Global Film Initiative held an event for local friends that might be called a purist-cinephile’s dream–a screening of Eduardo Nunes’ visually striking, black and white film, SOUTHWEST, in 35mm, at San Francisco’s historic Clay Theater. It was a return to the collective spectatorship that went hand-in-hand with the cinematic experience in days before the advent of personal computers and televisions, a celebration of film and the connectivity it can provide.

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EDUCATION: TILT and GFI–A Match Made in Film Education Heaven

Angelica Dongallo speaks to students and teachers at last year's screening

Angelica Dongallo speaks to students and teachers at last year’s screening

World Cinema Week is just around the corner, and with it comes our second annual educational screening with our neighbors at Ninth Street, TILT…

As March draws to a close, it’s impossible not to notice a change in the San Francisco air. The weather is getting warmer, the birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, and here at The Global Film Initiative we know that this can only mean one thing: World Cinema Week is right around the corner!

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FEATURE: An Indie from India Comes to SF

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Ashim talks to students at Berkeley High School

Joanne Parsont, Director of Education at the San Francisco Film Society, reflects on SFFS’ incomparable artist in residence, Ashim Ahluwalia…

Each time the San Francisco Film Society (SFFS) invites an international filmmaker to participate in our Artist in Residence program (funded this winter by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences), there’s a mix of eager anticipation and wary uncertainty. We’ve seen their films, but what will they actually be like in person? Will they take full advantage of their two weeks in San Francisco? Will they be any fun to hang out with? For our latest Artist in Residence (and, really, all of our previous residents), the answer to both of these questions is a resounding “yes.”

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INDUSTRY: Happy Hour, How LOVELY

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Cozy up to the bar with us at Churchill!

We raise a toast to MISS LOVELY director and GFI grant recipient Ashim Ahluwahlia–the San Francisco Film Society’s newest Artist-in-Residence!

Is there a better way to offer a warm welcome than by sharing a celebratory cocktail at Churchill? We think not. On February 26, we joined our friends at the San Francisco Film Society in welcoming their new Artist-in-Residence, filmmaker Ashim Ahluwalia (director of MISS LOVELY), and boy, was it a success! Killer drinks, awesome giveaways and the best company around–what could be better?

Thanks to everyone who came out, and if you missed us, fear not! For we have assembled a fine batch of pictures through which to vicariously relive the night…

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NEWS: Ashim Ahluwalia @ San Francisco Film Society, February 23rd-March 9th

Ashim Ahluwalia

Ashim Ahluwalia

SF Film Society announces its newest Artist in Residence and it happens to be one of our filmmakers. How LOVELY…

After what seems to be the longest drum-roll ever, we’re pleased to announce that Indian director (and GFI grantee) Ashim Ahluwalia will be visiting the Bay Area next month as part of the San Francisco Film Society’s Artist in Residence program, February 23rd-March 9th!

The residency will feature the Bay Area premiere of MISS LOVELY–Ashim’s second feature, post Cannes, currently in Rotterdam, big stuff—on Thursday, January 28th (co-presented by GFI–tickets here), and a post-screening discussion moderated by Ivan Jaigirdar (of 3rdi). Also included in the residency will be visits to schools and universities, and in-classroom screenings of Ashim’s first film, JOHN & JANE (students only).

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NEWS: Global Lens @ Great Star Chinatown

A moment in time: The Great Star Theater, in its early days of greatness

GFI hits the streets of SF’s Chinatown with a showcase of Chinese cinema at the iconic Great Star Theater…

San Francisco’s Chinatown—what’s not to love. It’s the oldest and most storied neighborhood of the city (with North Beach and Mission as close competitors for the title), and the site of many untold tales…

Such as the arrival of “Hong Kong cinema” in 60s, via the silvery screen of the Great Star Theater—the landmark arthouse cinema credited with bringing this iconic era of cinema to the States more than fifty years ago–and now experiencing a revival (following its almost near-extinction), and soon to be credited with GFI’s first showcase presentation of Chinese cinema in the city, ever:

[from Asian Week]The Global Film Initiative, in partnership with the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), is pleased to announce the presentation of four award-winning Chinese films from the Global Lens Collection on Friday, November 30th and Saturday, December 1st at the historic Great Star Theater, located in the heart of San Francisco’s Chinatown neighborhood.

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EVENTS: ‘A Perfect Cocktail’ Happy Hour

Gathering at Churchill for an end-of-summer celebration.

GFI’s recent Happy Hour, in partnership with Fandor, the Castro Theatre and CAAM, to present an end-of-summer happy hour at Churchill. It was a perfect way to conclude the season!

Summer is the time to take a break and remember the important things in life. As a globally-focused organization, we also love any opportunity to get together with our friends in our home-town San Francisco. With this in mind, on August 8th, GFI gathered our staff, interns and friends for an end-of-summer celebration. We sipped ‘GFI Mules’—the official drink of the evening—with our pals from Fandor, the Castro Theatre, and Center for Asian American Media (CAAM). It was a perfect cocktail of fun, free giveaways, and festivity.

GFI's Angelica and friends enjoying the night!

Winston Churchill once said: “I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me.” With that inspiration and a location on Church Street, came our host for the evening: Churchill. The space was gorgeous and rustic, pairing wood and leather fixtures with brimming mason jars. The talented bartenders crafted the very delicious GFI Mule: a mix of bourbon, ginger beer, bitters, and lime just for us. It was the perfect spot for

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NEWS: Spend a special night of your USEFUL LIFE at the Castro Theatre!

GFI presents Federico Veiroj’s cineaste classic at San Francisco’s historic theatre, and then makes the film available online exclusively on Fandor!

The last time I made it out to the beautiful Castro Theatre was a little over a year ago, for a special screening of a newly restored 70mm print (!) of Hitchcock’s Vertigo (the Castro is the only San Francisco venue equipped to project this format). I know, I know… It’s a complete shame that I haven’t frequented the theatre more often, and I really have no excuse (other than the fact that I work too much, live in a not-so-convenient suburb, and have a rambunctious one-and-a half year-old at home). I mean, come on, it’s the CASTRO – San Francisco’s famous, historic movie palace – and it’s right in my backyard!

A USEFUL LIFE screens at the Castro Theatre on August 16th

Well, that all changes in a few weeks because on Thursday, August 16th, the Castro – as part of its month-long celebration of the theatre’s 90th anniversary – is screening Federico Veiroj’s still-wonderful A USEFUL LIFE. There’s no way I’m missing the chance to see this new classic in such a perfectly appropriate setting, and you shouldn’t either. And although the August

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NOW PLAYING: There Will Be No AMNESTY If You Miss Global Lens This Summer!

A subtle exploration of a society in flux and divided between morality and passion.“ -Cineuropa

Even in this, his first feature film, director Bujar Alimani demonstrates an assured hand, timing all his shots with precision so that they are lyrical and contemplative…“ -The Moving Arts Film Journal

The story: A new law allowing conjugal visits in Albanian prisons presents the opportunity for a sympathetic affair between a man and woman visiting their incarcerated spouses—until a prisoner amnesty threatens their fragile new bond.

First-time filmmaker Bujar Alimani’s sensual and pensive drama, AMNESTY (awarded the FIPRESCI Prize and Cineuropa Prize at the 2011 Festival del Cinema Europeo), is now available for booking in your festival or theater, along with nine other award-winning and critically acclaimed films from the new Global Lens 2012 series!

Programmers and curators: View the 2012 lineup now on 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!

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MONTH IN REVIEW: Food, Friends & Getting Stranded in Cyberspace

After an eventful April, GFI knows what it wants, needs and can’t live without…

For a nonprofit international arts organization with a full-time staff of only five, we are used to being frugal, lean and mean fighting machines. The eventful month of April gave us a chance to take a good hard look into our wants and needs: What is necessary in running GFI, and what is just really, really nice to have. Turns out, GFI is lucky enough to often be blessed with both.

Let’s start with the wants:

Oday Rasheed speaks with a student at the Berkeley High School screening of QARANTINA

GUESTS OF HONOR: We love when friends stop by for long visits, as director Oday Rasheed (QARANTINA, Global Lens 2012) did at the beginning of the month, gracing the Bay with his cool charm for a full two weeks while he participated in the San Francisco Film Society’s Artist in Residence program. While in San Francisco, GFI co-presented a screening of his film Qarantina with the SF Film Society, bringing in the imbedded journalist-extraordinaire Terry McCarthy, who spent several tours in Iraq as a U.S. news correspondent, to lead the Q&A afterward.

A CANNES-DO ATTITUDE: There’s only so much that can be done from our office—sometimes we have to take to the road. In a few weeks, GFI

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