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.

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FEATURE: Education and Your Public Library

As more and more libraries join GFI’s Global Public program, Laura Brewer discusses how public libraries aren’t just for books anymore…

The dazzling interior of the Seattle Public Library.

Fall, or “Back-to-school” season, used to be one of my favorite times of year. I loved checking school supply items off my lengthy list. I looked forward to pouring over syllabi, seeing my friends more regularly, and holing up in the library doing research for term papers. But more than anything, by the end of August I was eager to leave summer’s freeform behind for the structure of the academic year.

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MONTH IN REVIEW: Seasonal Changes

San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge in summer.

“The coldest winter I ever spent was summer in San Francisco.” – not Mark Twain

June saw the start of San Francisco’s official “summer,” when the fog bank rolls in off Ocean Beach around 5pm and stays there until Noon the next day. Sometimes, it doesn’t burn off at all, which makes for a cold, blustery “summer” day that San Franciscans know well, and which begs the often-quoted and incorrectly attributed Mark Twain-ish phrase: “The coldest winter I ever spent was summer in San Francisco.”

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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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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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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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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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NOW PLAYING: Museum of the Moving Image, Northwest Film Forum, the Los Angeles Latino Film Festival 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 (and beyond!):

Asia Society (Hong Kong): THE WHITE MEADOWS (dir. Mohammad Rasoulof, Iran) July 14th-31st

Brooks Museum of Art/Indie Memphis (Memphis, TN): Presenting the complete Global Lens 2011 film series Check the film calendar for screening information

Cinema St. Louis/Webster University (St. Louis, MO): Presenting the complete Global Lens 2011 film series Check the film calendar for screening information

Danish Film Institute Cinematheque (Copenhagen, Denmark): THE WHITE MEADOWS (dir. Mohammad Rasoulof, Iran) June 25th

 

Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (Los Angeles, CA): THE INVISIBLE EYE (dir. Diego Lerman, Argentina) A USEFUL LIFE (dir. Federico Veiroj, Uruguay) July 17th-25th

Global Lens now playing on Virgin American flights!

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Seems Like Old Times: Global Lens 2011 @ SIFF and the TIFF Lightbox

If memory serves correctly, the first opening night film gala I ever attended was in 1995, at the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF). The film was Braveheart (which when complemented with a later screening of Swimming With Sharks, effectively convinced me not to work in Hollywood), and it was just before I left for graduate school–and I remember wondering if I would ever return to home to attend another SIFF screening.

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