Pat Guerra Joins the Global Film Initiative

Introducing GFI’s new Director of Business Development, and the 2.0 of the Global Film Initiative…

Pat Guerra, GFI Director of Business Development

It’s spring, Global Lens is in full bloom, and GFI is growing a new root: Pat Guerra, Director of Business Development.

Pat joins the current band of genius in our San Francisco office, and brings with him a depth and diversity in social enterprise and operations management, and a generous helping of that entrepreneurial spirit we love so much at the Initiative (he is a current member of the venture investment organization, Band of Angels, and also co-founder of the Global Social Benefit Incubator at Santa Clara University–created to help socially-minded entrepreneurs, worldwide, build sustainable, scalable organizations).

The addition of Pat to our staff couldn’t come at a better time, as 2012 is the Global Film Initiative’s tenth anniversary and the year in which we make some interesting, evolutionary changes. So, look for a new website this fall, and before that time, a few new partners–both within the film industry, and nationally and internationally. Also, keep your eye out for an upcoming announcement about Global Lens streaming (Hulu!).

All good changes. And, at the heart of it all, the same Global Film Initiative and Global Lens. Just with a few improvements ;)

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Global Lens Goes Public!

The Brooklyn Public Library

Our public library program is in full swing this spring with the Brooklyn Public Library! San Francisco and Missoula are next, with Memphis and Park City on the horizon…

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: we love public libraries. From their goals of public education and engagement, to the diverse architecture of buildings large and small all across the country—they are cultural icons that hold a physical space in every community, and represent a truly free exchange of ideas that we cherish.

And so, this month, in homage to our ever-growing affinity for public libraries, our friends at the Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) will be presenting our most favorite film series, Global Lens 2012, to audiences in one of New York’s most celebrated boroughs.

Why? Because BPL is one of a handful of lucky institutions invited this year to join our Global Lens Public Library Program, which we launched last year to promote education and cultural literacy in communities all throughout the United States (some of you may remember that we partnered with the Association for Rural and Small Libraries to kick off the program).

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NEWS: The Global Film Initiative Appoints Three New Members to Board of Directors

New appointments add depth in international relations, fundraising and business development as Initiative enters tenth year

San Francisco, CAFebruary 16, 2012 - The Global Film Initiative announced today the appointment of Michelle van Gilder, Theda Jackson-Mau and Matthew Tollin to its Board of Directors.

The new appointees join the current ten-member Board in advising the Initiative on ongoing programs and strategic initiatives, including a dynamic multi-channel expansion of the Global Lens distribution platform, and domestic and international exhibition partnerships that promote the Initiative’s global philanthropic mission.

New appointments to the Global Film Initiative Board of Directors:

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FEATURE: A Uruguayan in San Francisco

Joanne Parsont, Director of Education at the San Francisco Film Society, on A USEFUL LIFE’S Federico Veiroj as an Artist in Residence (and honorary SF resident)…

From the moment he arrived in San Francisco, Uruguayan filmmaker Federico Veiroj was on the move—and seemingly right at home. As the second participant in the San Francisco Film Society’s new Artist in Residence program (made possible by a grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences), Veiroj spent two action-packed weeks in San Francisco in November. While I knew we had a slew of events and activities planned for his time here, I had no idea how much more he would manage to pack into that time himself.

Federico Veiroj and one of his new SF friends

When I picked him up at SFO on the morning of November 10, he had been traveling for more than 21 hours through 4 airports since his departure from Montevideo. I figured I’d drop him off at the house where he’d be staying (graciously hosted by SFFS Board President Pat McBaine and his wife Susie) and let him get some sleep while I went back

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The Out-of-Towners

L-R: Granting & Distribution Coordinator, Angelica Dongallo, Filmmaker and GFI Film Board member, Gaston Kabore, Administrative Coordinator, Emma Rae Lierley

Administrative Coordinator Emma Rae Lierley on “keeping it local” with GFI’s global guests

‘Promoting cross-cultural understanding through cinema’ is an interesting endeavor in the digital age: most of our work happens at a stationary desk, firmly rooted in our San Francisco office, with new-fangled technology making all of it possible. And while we do take the occasional international trip (such as our recent excursion to Basque country!), we’re often required to be more home-body than jet-setter. Which is exactly why interacting with people outside of our office gives us different perspectives on the world–and why we get so excited when visitors come to our ‘neck of the woods.’

Last month, the Mill Valley Film Festival (MVFF) brought new and old friends to the Bay Area. Paula Markovitch, director of The Prize and Anas El Baz, lead actor of Pegasus, both visited our neighbors on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge, and gave audiences at MVFF a sneak preview of two standout films from Global Lens 2012–which has its official release in January.

The festival also paid tribute to our old friend and GFI Film Board Member Gaston Kabore with screenings

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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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THE IMAGE THREADS, a Feast for the “i”

East meets West as this Indian cyber adventure makes its West Coast premiere

A scene from Vipin Vijay's THE IMAGE THREADS

We’re pleased to announce that Vipin Vijay’s THE IMAGE THREADS (formerly titled THE LEGEND OF THE HOLY NET POTATO) will be screening as part of the 3rd i’s Ninth Annual San Francisco International South Asian Film Festival!

THE IMAGE THREADS received a GFI grant in 2008 and went on to screen at the São Paulo International Film Festival (New Filmmakers Competition) and the International Film Festival Rotterdam (In Competition). It is one of our more unusual films and definitely deserves a second (or third, or fourth) look. Read the review from Twitch below:

(via Twitch) What better country to make a film about the internet age than India, the largest IT labor exporting country? This serene, visual contemplation on the nature of the virtual world and finding one’s identity in it starts with an ironic quote: “I had a dream about reality. It was such a relief to wake up.” by a Polish aphorist Stanislaw J. Lec, which sets the tone of The Image Threads.

An IT professor named Hari, ‘pimping (in his own words)’ the information technology laborers to the US

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NOW PLAYING: St. Louis International Film Festival, Bijou Cinema, Kent State University and more!

Films from the Global Lens 2011 film series are now playing at the following venues and festivals across the U.S. and Canada:

Click on the map above to find a Global Lens screening near you!

St. Louis International Film Festival (St. Louis, MO): Presenting the complete Global Lens 2011 film series Check the film calendar for screening information

Palm Springs Art Museum (Palm Springs, CA): Presenting the complete Global Lens 2011 film series Check the film calendar for screening information

Tampa Museum of Art/Gasparilla International Film Festival (Tampa, FL): Presenting the complete Global Lens 2011 film series Check the film calendar for screening information

University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign, IL): Presenting the complete Global Lens 2011 film series Check the film calendar for screening information

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WEEK IN REVIEW: Saving Birds and Soaking it up in San Sebastian

We’re gearing up for the busiest season of the year here at GFI, with final decisions being made for the Global Lens 2012 lineup, grant applications under review and continuing DVD releases and Global Lens screenings.

In the midst of all this, it seems that each day brings more great news, important events and unexpected surprises. Here’s what we’ve been up to lately, and what’s in store for the near future:

GFI messenger bag

"Look for the yellow bag!" (Our calling card at festivals)

WHEN IN SPAIN: GFI Founder and Board Chair Susan Weeks Coulter traveled to the San Sebastián International Film Festival, where she met with filmmakers from around the world, saw a few unreleased and extremely impressive new projects, and made some new friends—most memorably after missing the last bus and getting stranded in the rain!

Gaston Kabore

Gaston Kabore

A VISIT TO REMEMBER: We’re very excited about Gaston Kabore’s visit during the Mill Valley Film Festival (Oct. 6-16)! The festival features a tribute to the Burkinabe filmmaker and GFI Film Board member, as well as a screening of Kabore’s Buud Yam

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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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