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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FESTIVALS & AWARDS: Berlinale, Rotterdam and Beyond

SO MUCH WATER (Uruguay) and A FOLD IN MY BLANKET (Georgia) @ Berlinale Panorama are just two jewels in a mother lode of GFI films, fests and awards this month….

SO MUCH WATER (Uruguay), GFI grant recipient, premieres at Berlinale!

 

It’s a new year and our Global Lens films and GFI grant recipients are back in a big way, with screenings all over Europe this month for some of the biggest conferences of world cinema on the globe, at Berlin, Rotterdam and beyond. Without further adieu, here are this month’s headlines:

BERLIN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: The Berlin International Film Festival is always host of a wide array of world and European premieres, and this year these premieres include those of six GFI grant recipients—likely our greatest showing at Berlinale to-date!

For those of you attending Berlinale, be sure to catch our grant recipients—from Costa Rica to China—premiering and screening at this year’s festival:

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NEWS: Eye of the Tiger

After a year of hunkering down and “getting it done,” GFI films make a spectacular splash at Rotterdam…

De Doelen @ IFFR

It’s no secret that since the dawn of our existence, the International Film Festival of Rotterdam (IFFR) has been one of our closest “professional” friends…

We’ve received golden advice from Simon Field on our Granting Program, and Sandra den Hamer sits on our Film Board. And, of course, as our filmmakers know, we’ve run around the world, from Busan to Valdivia, with our friends from Cinemart and Hubert Bals.

In other words, we love IFFR. Not just de Doelen, frites and films. Or the characteristic chill and rooftop cocktails. We love all those things, yes. But ultimately, what we cherish is the inspired purpose of the festival, and how it has launched (and loved), so many of the filmmakers we also support.

So, it’s with a great pride and pleasure that we note this year’s festival, IFFR 2013, is presenting more than just a few of our filmmakers. In Bright Future. Spectrum. And more:

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NEWS: Global Lens 2013 @ MoMA!

Global Lens 2013: Change the Way You See the World

Our tenth anniversary opens with China’s Sixth Generation, Sebastián Silva, the biggest film you’ve ever seen from Brazil (literally), and a host of Global Lens alumnus.…

It’s our tenth year and we’re kicking off Global Lens 2013, January 10th-26th, with ten films at the Museum of Modern Art! It’s going to be some celebration…

BEIJING FLICKERS will open the series on January 10th with a week-run at MoMA and director Zhang Yuan and actor Li Xinjun in attendance, to launch the festivities (a must see: Zhang is the acclaimed director of Beijing Bastards, and part of the gritty Sixth Generation ethos—who in the ‘90s, pushed Chinese filmmaking out of an overly-romanticized lens into the alter-reality of its edgy, urban psyche).

Also in New York for the GL13 opening: Suman Ghosh for the North American premiere of SHYAMAL UNCLE TURNS OFF THE LIGHTS, on January 11th. This film is something to indeed be experienced with the director, as he runs his fingers through the tangled hair of Kolkata’s bureaucracy; an inspired and insightful work that carries a subtle charm, similar to another Global Lens standout.

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NEW ON DVD: The Light Thief and Soul of Sand

The winds of change blow through both SOUL OF SAND (India) and THE LIGHT THIEF (Kyrgyzstan)–releasing on DVD September 25.

New award-winning films from Aktan Arym Kubat and Sidharth Srinivasan present a powerful look into the politics of class, caste, capitalism and environmentalism in a rapidly modernizing world.

THE LIGHT THIEF (SVET-AKE), dir. Aktan Arym Kubat, Kyrgyzstan, 2010, 80 minutes, Kyrgyz, with subtitles in English

A humble electrician intent on enlivening his rural valley with electricity unwittingly strikes a deal with a rich politician whose corrupt ambitions threaten to upend the electrician’s dream to build windmills in his village. FIPRESCI Prize, Eurasia International Film Festival; Official Kyrgyzstan Submission, Best Foreign Language Film category of the 83rd Academy Awards; Official Selection, Directors’ Fortnight, Cannes Film Festival.

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Meet & Frite

GFI Founder and Board Chair Susan Weeks Coulter recounts the sights, sounds (and tastes) of the 41st International Film Festival Rotterdam

Susan with the famous GFI bag–and frites!–in hand at IFFR 2012

The 9-hours-ahead time change left me with the very worst jet-lag—I found myself laying wide awake in my hotel room at 3am, humming “We Shall Overcome” in hopes that perhaps by the third verse, I might doze off.

But the quiet time did allow for a period of reflection about Holland, the Rotterdam International Film Festival, Hubert Bals Fund, and of course, the Dutch people. For those of you new to The Global Film Initiative, it was actually the Hubert Bals people who jump-started our organization back in 2003.

Noah Cowan and I had been wrestling with not only the idea of what we wanted to do in showcasing film from emerging countries/film industries, but we were perplexed at how to structure such an organization. Noah met up with Simon Field who was, at the time, heading up the Hubert Bals efforts, and explained what we wanted to do in the U.S. With Simon’s encouragement, open-mindedness, and welcome, the Global Film Initiative had found an organization “structure” that we felt

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FESTIVALS & AWARDS: Rotterdam, Berlin, Dubai and more!

Global Lens films and GFI grant recipients hit the ground running in 2012 with premieres and awards at festivals around the world!

INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL ROTTERDAM (January 25-February 5, 2012):

Several Global Lens directors and GFI grantees will screen their films and new projects at the International Film Festival Rotterdam—host of one of the largest film markets in the world and a prime place for GFI-related films to intersect! This year’s festival includes:

TIGER AWARDS COMPETITION: The world premiere of 2011 GFI grant recipient VOICE OF MY FATHER (dir. Orhan Eskiköy and Ozgur Doğan, Turkey). BRIGHT FUTURE SECTION: The Dutch premieres of Global Lens film GREY MATTER (dir. Kivu Ruhorahoza, Rwanda), of 2010 GFI grant recipient BEAUTY (dir. Oliver Hermanus, South Africa) and of 2011 GFI grant recipient ON THE EDGE (dir. Leïla Kilani, Morocco). Kivu Ruhorahoza will also be participating in CineMart with his new project, JOMO, through the BOOST! initiative! SPECTRUM SECTION: Premieres of new films by Global Lens directors Cláudio Assis (MANGO YELLOW, Brazil) and Garin Nugroho (OF LOVE AND EGGS and OPERA JAWA, Indonesia), as well as by Raya Martin, director of 2008 GFI grant recipient INDEPENDENCIA

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NOW PLAYING: Global Lens on Festival Scope

Programmers, curators and more–preview our 2012 lineup on Festival Scope!

Every January, just around the time we launch a new season of Global Lens, we get hit with multiple requests from curators and programmers for screening copies of our films. And we love it. The only problem: we can’t always keep up with the demand, especially when those films are making news (i.e. MOURNING, THE PRIZE, PEGASUS, AMNESTY…)

MOURNING (dir. Morteza Farshbaf, Iran) now available on Festival Scope

So, woe is us, such an exquisite difficulty and what’s a boutique nonprofit film organization supposed to do. Or rather, how do we keep the promise made to our filmmakers, of promoting their films to the widest and most geographically diverse audience possible? And how do you get to see Global Lens in your city, festival and theater…

Well, our longtime friend, Alessandro Raja, has an answer: Festival Scope

Festival Scope is our newest promotional partner for Global Lens. Launched in 2010 by Alessandro (formerly of Celluloid Dreams), it’s an online film viewing resource created exclusively for industry professionals who want to review films, immediately, from the wonderful world of festivals. Dubai, Busan, Torino, Toronto–name it and you’ll likely find it on Festival Scope.

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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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