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,

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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!

INDUSTRY: Expression, Grace and Life — Film by Film

Cathlene Stubbs, founder of the first annual Zendegi Film Festival, on making a difference in her community… one film at a time.

A couple months ago we were contacted by a young woman in Nevada City, CA, who wanted to make a difference in her community. Her dream was to create a small festival that focused on the beauty of Middle Eastern and North African culture, rather than heavy political statements – and that idea has grown into the first annual Zendegi Film Festival (Zendegi means “life” in Farsi). We were very impressed with Cathlene’s project and her enthusiasm, and so we asked her to write a guest post about why she decided to put this festival together, and why she contacted GFI. Here’s what she had to say:

As Americans, we are primarily exposed to western media, giving ourselves a relatively limited cultural view of the world. Our news and popular entertainment, especially in times of political unrest, can sometimes further misunderstandings and contribute to fear-based decisions. Historically, the image of the Middle East and North Africa has been portrayed strictly as lower class, violent and oppressive. And very rarely are these regions represented as diverse and deeply rich in cultural tradition and vibrant lifestyles.

Artistic expression is the foundation of everyday life across the globe, and so I wanted to showcase in my community the voices of expression that exist throughout the Middle

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SPOTLIGHT: Cinema Comes to Life in Salt Lake City

As the Salt Lake Film Society prepares to present Global Lens 2012, Jeremy Quist reveals some secrets about his relationship with Utah, and makes you an offer you can’t refuse…

Although I’ve spent very little time there, the great state of Utah has managed to figure quite prominently in my life. For starters – and this is where we all get to learn a little something about Jeremy – I used to clog when I was (much) younger, and every summer we would sharpen our skills by attending the BYU Cougar Clogging Classic dance camp in Provo. Secondly, almost four years ago my wife and I decided to move from New York to San Francisco, and the memory of driving our rental truck for several hours through the salt flats of western Utah, still remains unbelievably vivid in my mind. And last but certainly not least, when I started working for the Global Film Initiative several years ago, the Salt Lake Film Society (SLFS) was one of the very first Global Lens screening-partners I spoke to, and they have been a pleasure to work with ever since.

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NOW PLAYING: Take a Wild Ride with PEGASUS and Nine Other Global Lens Films that Will Send You Flying!

“Pegasus is a stunning film…a must watch film from a director who is quickly becoming one of the main voices of the New Moroccan cinema wave.” -Africa Screens

This month’s feature, PEGASUS, is all about memory, and you won’t be forgetting this filmmaker’s debut feature anytime soon. Mohamed Mouftakir’s eerie, David Lynch-like mind-twister—and winner of FESPACO’s highest honor, the appropriately titled Golden Stallion award—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!

Continue reading NOW PLAYING: Take a Wild Ride with PEGASUS and Nine Other Global Lens Films that Will Send You Flying!

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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NEWS: HOLLOW CITY Leads “Unaccompanied Minors” Exhibit at MoMA

From the Global Lens Collection and MoMA’s Department of Film comes Global Lens filmmaker Maria Joao Ganga’s powerful exploration of innocence and Angola…

We’re very pleased to announce that one of our most favorite curators, and educators, Anne Morra, at the Museum of Modern Art’s Department of Film, has put together a spectacular new film exhibit titled Unaccompanied Minors: From Feeding the Bay to the Hollow City, to run July 22nd-August 14th, in tandem with the Museum’s Century of the Child: Growing by Design, 1900–2000 gallery exhibit. Thirty-one short- and feature-length films are included the exhibit, at the exhibit’s core is Global Lens Collection film HOLLOW CITY :

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NOW PLAYING: All Eyes on THE PRIZE and Nine Other Global Lens Films!

Wonderfully natural acting and evocative imagery….” -The Hollywood Reporter

“The Prize faces us with a piece of our history that hurts. That touches us. That puts us on the alert. With the strength and intensity of someone who has experienced what is being told, Paula Markovitch succeeds in creating a deep and sensitive story about freedom, identity and unwavering hope.” -Mar del Plata International Film Festival

The story: A political activist’s life-in-hiding on an isolated stretch of Argentina’s coastline is jeopardized after her seven-year-old daughter is selected to participate in a local school’s patriotic essay contest.

THE PRIZE — Paula Markovitch’s quietly powerful debut feature — blends personal nostalgia with an underlying sense of dread as it transports the viewer to Argentina in the years of the dictatorship and its notorious Dirty War. Featuring an utterly captivating performance by Paula Galinelli Hertzog as the 7-year-old Cecilia, THE PRIZE 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!

Continue reading NOW PLAYING: All Eyes on THE PRIZE and Nine Other Global Lens Films!

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!

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

OPEN MIC: An Antidote to Lost Opportunities

Alejandro A. Riera, of the Chicago Latino Film Festival, on giving Latin American cinema the respect it deserves, and working with GFI to bring new Global Lens films to the Windy City

As we celebrate our third year with GFI, Global Lens Series Manager Jeremy Quist asked me to reflect on the state of Latin American film distribution in the United States. And the more I thought about the subject, I found myself asking: When will Latin American cinema get the respect it deserves?

Yes, our cinema has an illustrious history that dates back to the silent era and includes such high points as the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema; the rise of Brazil’s Cinema Novo movement in the 50s and 60s; the emergence of post-Revolutionary Cuban cinema in the 60s and 70s; and, more recently, what some critics describe as the “New Argentinean Cinema.” And yet, even when countries such as Ecuador, Bolivia and Venezuela — not exactly film production powerhouses — are coming out with powerfully moving visual narratives, Latin America cinema keeps getting short shrift by media, critics and film distributors alike in this country, even though the growth of the Latino population outpaced any and all estimates.

Case in point: Miss Bala, Gerardo Naranjo’s extraordinary film about a beauty pageant contestant who unwittingly

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