NEW ON DVD: Leo’s Room and Ocean of an Old Man!

LGBT Festival-favorite LEO’S ROOM and Rajesh Shera’s Post-Apocalyptic Gem OCEAN OF AN OLD MAN to Release on DVD November 8th

The Global Film Initiative is pleased to announce the DVD release of two new films from the Global Lens film series:

Dir. Enrique Buchichio Uruguay, 2009, 92 minutes Spanish, with subtitles in English
Shaken by a recent breakup, a troubled but handsome young man dreams of the future and cautiously explores his sexuality with the encouragement of an old friend and a sympathetic therapist. Special Jury Award, Torino GLBT Film Festival; Official Selection of the San Sebastián Film Festival (New Directors), NewFest and Miami International Film Festival.
“A sensitive, engaging and emotive portrayal of a young man coming to terms with his sexuality. Leo’s Room is a triumph of a movie….The understated performances, subtle direction and strong story make Leo’s Room a must-see.” -Entertainment Focus
“Filled with wonderful little touches and character beats….Leo’s Room feels utterly fresh.” -Miami Herald

OCEAN OF AN OLD MAN Dir. Rajesh Shera India, 2008, 84 minutes Hindi, with subtitles in English In the devastating aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, an elderly British schoolteacher comes to grips with his own loss as he searches for

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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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Special Feature: Tom Alter on the Making of OCEAN OF AN OLD MAN

The DVD release is next month, but we’re giving you a peek behind the curtain of this extraordinary film

Indian director Rajesh Shera’s OCEAN OF AN OLD MAN follows a grief-stricken schoolteacher in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami. As Shera’s debut feature and the first film ever to be shot on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the production was no easy feat and is a fascinating story in its own right.

Naturally, when Rajesh sent us a video interview with the film’s star, veteran Indian actor Tom Alter, we knew it would be an essential addition to the DVD’s special features. Through Alter’s narration and behind-the-scenes footage, audiences can witness how the crew converted an old restaurant into a schoolhouse, see the no-frills rooms that the crew stayed in during production, and hear how Alter—a former schoolteacher himself—personally related to his character.

It’s a special feature for a special film—now take it away, Tom:

NEW ON DVD: ORDINARY PEOPLE and THE SHAFT!

Serbian War Drama ORDINARY PEOPLE and Zhang Chi’s Rural Triptych THE SHAFT to release on DVD September 27th

The Global Film Initiative is pleased to announce the DVD release of two new films from the Global Lens film series:

Dir. Vladimir Perisic Serbia, 2009, 79 minutes Serbian, with subtitles in English One quiet afternoon, a busload of young soldiers is unexpectedly forced to question the morality of their profession after being enlisted to execute civilian prisoners at a remote facility in the countryside. Cannes Semaine de la Critique and FIPRESCI Prize, Sarajevo Film Festival.
“A laureate of Cannes’ Cinéfondation program, Perisic pushes the viewer to search for meaning or morality behind his character’s acts—but the only conclusion seems to be that such acts are hopeless, unfathomable and beyond human control.” -Variety
“Quietly devastating, a slow burning fuse that ends with an implosion of heart and mind.-The Brag

THE SHAFT (DIXIA DE TIANKONG) Dir. Zhang Chi China, 2008, 98 minutes Mandarin, with subtitles in English In three intertwined stories, a father, son and daughter fight to hold onto hope and family as they face the harsh realities of life in a poor western Chinese mining town. New Directors/New Films and NETPAC

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OSCARS!!!

[UPDATE – October 1, 2011: GFI grantee SKOONHEID is also going to the Oscars! See full post about all awards here]

Congratulations to Ahmed Imamovic, and Daniel and Diego Vega! Ahmed’s second film, BELVEDERE (currently featured in Global Lens 2011), is Bosnia-Herzegovina’s official submission to the 2011 Academy Awards! And not to be outdone, the Vega brothers’ debut feature [and 2008 GFI grant-recipient], OCTOBER, is Peru’s official submission!

We wish both films much success, with fingers crossed for a golden Oscar (and a clandestine note of luck for GFI grantee Dervis Zaim, whose film SHADOWS AND FACES, is short-listed as Turkey’s official submission)!

NEW ON DVD: MASQUERADES and SHIRLEY ADAMS!

MASQUERADES from Algeria and SHIRLEY ADAMS from South Africa available today!

We’re pleased to announce the DVD release of two new films from the Global Lens film series:

DVD coverMASQUERADES (MASCARADES) Dir. Lyes Salem Algeria, 2008, 92 minutes Arabic, with subtitles in English In a dusty Algerian village, a well-intentioned fib suddenly turns a gardener into a mogul, forcing him to choose between the happiness of his narcoleptic sister and his newfound celebrity; Official Algeria Submission for Best Foreign Language Film, 81st Academy Awards; FIPRESCI Prize at the Dubai International Film Festival.

A smart, expertly made crowd-pleaser. Masterfully sure of what it sets out to accomplish–and wise enough never to take itself too seriously.” -SF360

Undoubtedly, Masquerades markes Salem out as a talent we’ll certainly be seeing more of–and if his next work is as genial as this, the pleasure will be all ours.” -Screen Daily

For more information, visit: http://catalogue.globalfilm.org/masquerades.html

DVD coverSHIRLEY ADAMS Dir. Oliver Hermanus South Africa, 2009, 92 minutes Engish and Afrikaans, with subtitles in English In the depressed Cape Town neighborhood of Cape Flats, a single mother contemplates her fate and cautiously accepts the help of an overeager social worker as she struggles to care for her paraplegic and suicidal son; Best Director and Best Actress at the South

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SHIRLEY ADAMS: The Making Of

Denise Newman and friends take us into the mind, method and man behind SHIRLEY ADAMS

This month we release Oliver Hermanus’s Cape Town ode, SHIRLEY ADAMS, on home video. As most of you know, this is Oliver’s first film and was followed by SKOONHEID–a work supported by the Global Film Initiative, currently taking top honors at festivals worldwide. Of course, we take no credit for the intimate and ideological worlds portrayed in Oliver’s films, as these are brought to life through the skill of actors, such as Denise Newman (in the titular role of Shirley Adams). Below is a conversation with this award-winning actor and other cast members on the making of a masterpiece.

 

SUPPORT: You Say “Tomato” and I Say “Tomahto”

Global Lens and promoting a difference of opinion for the sake of diversity

Global Lens: grindhouse, arthouse, our house

Every year, we do our best to bring you the best in independent world cinema. And over the years, if there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that tastes vary from person to person and often what we see in a film isn’t always the same as what you see…

Earlier this year, we released what some audiences describe[d] as a “slasher” film–and others describe as an iconic representation of the “Indian New Wave.” For us, Sidharth Srinivasan’s SOUL OF SAND is an eccentric thriller that ‘delves into the dark interstices between Indian modernity and tradition,’ and for Memphis-based critic, John Beifuss:

“A blunt horror-art hybrid… With one foot in the arthouse and the other in the grindhouse.” [more]

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Leading Ladies Lead the World

A fast glance at five actresses making headlines on the global indie circuit

Artika Sari Devi

Tannishtha Chatterjee seems to be everywhere nowadays. And in case you hadn’t heard, Artika Sari Devi is starring in a new film and Gina Pareño is nearing 125 film and television productions. It’s rumored that Do Thi Hai Yen is about to be the face of a new Louis Vutton ad-campaign. And, of course, there’s Denise Newman

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NEW ON DVD: Becloud and Gods!

BECLOUD from Mexico and GODS from Peru Available June 28th!

We’re pleased to announce the DVD release of two new films from the Global Lens film series:

BECLOUD (VAHO) Dir. Alejandro Gerber Bicecci Mexico, 2009, 117 minutes Spanish, with subtitles in English After years of separation, three boyhood friends reunite in Mexico City to overcome a tragedy that scarred their neighborhood, and childhood, years before; Special Mention at the Morelia International Film Festival and awarded the Jury Prize at the Marrakech International Film Festival.

Vividly shot…surprising and devastating.” -Variety

Naturalistic acting, the almost documentary quality of the filming and the setting in the real-life barrios of Mexico City heightens the sense of realism and the feeling that you’re catching a glimpse of the unvarnished truth of daily life in Mexico.” -St. Louis Beacon

GODS (DIOSES) Dir. Josué Méndez Peru, 2008, 91 minutes Spanish, with subtitles in English A wealthy industrialist’s working-class fiancee plunges into the extravagance of her lavish new life as her future stephchildren self-destruct in a series of desperate attempts to escape their privileged upbringing; awarded the Best Film at the Biarritz Film Festival and Best Peruvian Film at the Lima Film Festival.

Méndez’s coolly scathing satire of Peru’s upper classes conveys the anguished hollowness beneath

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