Cairo’s Experiment Art Center, The Townhouse, Closed in Censorship Raid


Townhouse Gallery, Rawabet Theater Closed After Interagency Raid

By: Mada Masr

Downtown Cairo’s Townhouse Gallery and Rawabet Theater were shuttered Monday night following a surprise inspection from seven officials who were joined by others, making up a 20-member interagency team from the Censorship Authority, Tax Authority, National Security Agency and local office of the Ministry of Manpower.

Established in 1998, the non-profit Townhouse Gallery, along with the affiliated Rawabet Theater, is part of a small group of art spaces in downtown that has helped promote a fledgling contemporary art and performance scene in the city. The gallery hosts lectures, symposia and performances in addition to visual art exhibitions.

Other contemporary art spaces in Cairo have also been raided in recent months, all with involvement of the Censorship Authority.

At around 7 pm Monday, a group of seven plainclothes officials identifying themselves as working for the Censorship Authority arrived at the Townhouse Gallery. They immediately began inspecting the gallery and offices, including personal laptops, employee IDs and paperwork, office documents, licenses, as well as archival material and artwork on display, according to a Townhouse employee who asked to remain anonymous for security reasons.

Lawyers from the Association of Freedom of Thought and Expression arrived at the scene half an hour after the raid began.

State officials from different bodies, including security and the Ministry of Manpower, continued

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Twelve New Titles from Global Lens Collection just Released on DVD

The Global Film Initiative is pleased to announce that the following films are now available on DVD

The Student | Excuse My French | 10 to 11 | Voice of My Father | Adios Carmen | Pegasus | Image Threads | Nina’s Dowry| The Pardon | Halima’s Path | Pelo Malo/Bad Hair | Southwest

New Festivals and Latest Deadlines on Click For Festivals

Click For Festivals has more than 1030 film festivals! Upload your film and you’ll be able to submit it to any festival you want.

Rumble in the Jungle: Beasts of No Nation









Beasts of No Nation

Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga

While undergoing mandatory initiation — some of it colorfully ritualized, some deeply humiliating — into a unit of mostly adolescent anti-government soldiers in an unnamed, junta-led West African country, pre-teen Agu (Ghanaian first-timer Abraham Attah, a natural on camera) is deposited by these potential comrades-in-arms in a fully dug grave. “You must die before you are reborn!” booms the voice of the Commandant (Idris Elba, in a tour-de-force), a man who can be either extremely sweet or violent but not much in between. Beasts of No Nation, directed by genre-magician Cary Joji Fukunaga (Sin Nombre, Jane Eyre, True Detective), has been labeled and marketed as a film centering on the young combatant, but the formidable Commandant is no less a principal subject.

To reinforce the symbolic significance of death, they add Agu to the other candidates for membership in this fairly autonomous rebel group lined up in front of a firing squad, which executes them with blanks. He passes muster. (Shortly after, the visibly shaken, hesitant boy is forced to kill a pleading prisoner with an ax to the skull — but the sudden rush that overcomes him will motivate him in upcoming confrontations.)

These murders may not be fully distinctive from the real thing in their culture, but they are, for Agu, nothing compared to the ongoing

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CONGRATULATIONS! Global Film Initiative, 2012 grant recipient selected to represent Serbia in upcoming Academy Awards Foreign Language Competition

Enclave Goran Radovanovic’s film is about a tiny Serb community living under UN protection in Kosovo.

Serbia’s nomination for best foreign-language Oscar turns clichés about the bitter civil war in Yugoslavia on their head.

Focused on a tiny Serb community living in a UN-protected enclave in Muslim Kosovo, EnclaveGoran Radovanovic’s second feature – looks at the legacy of ethnic cleansing and internecine conflict through the eyes of a small boy, Nenad.

Every day Nenad is taken to school from his father’s farm in a KFOR armored car to study alone in a school with no other pupils. Like any other boy of his age, all Nenad wants are some friends his own age. Each day, through narrow observation slits in the military vehicle he sees two Albanian boys and a shepherd boy – who has lost his father in the war and hates Serbs.

The film won an audience award last June after a competition screening at the Moscow International Film Festival.

Two Recipients of GFI Film Grants Will Be Screened at the 2015 Carnegie Mellon International Film Festival — Faces of Work

Mellon 2015 Carnegie Mellon International Film Festival Faces of Work Pittsburgh, PA March 18 – April 11

Screening two recipients of GFI film grants and also awarded distribution contracts.

Sunday, March 22

Bad Hair (Pelo Malo) Venezuela | by Mariana Rondon | 93 mins — A showdown loms as 9 year old Junior suspects his haggard, out-of-work single mother would love him more if he straightens the unruly hair he inherited form his absent father.

Sunday, March 29

Excuse My French Egypt | by Amr Salama | 99 mins — 12 year old Hany tries to fit in at his new governmental school after his father suddenly drops dead, leaving his mother in debt and unable to continue to afford his private education.

Director Amr Salama will attend screening and Q&A at the McConomy Auditorium.

Nine Global Lens Films Featured in April 2015 Series at MOMA

Kazakhstan flag

New York audiences have a second chance to view 9 Global Lens films that they might have been overlooked during their initial screenings. Our special thanks to Curator Jytte Jensen who has championed GFI’s activities for the past twelve years, and for her role as an uncompromising supporter of films from emerging nations.

The films and the dates of screenings are as follows:

Saturday, April 4

About 111 Girls (Darbare 111 Doktar)

Iraq | Directed by Nahid Ghobadi & Bijan Zamanpira (79 mins.) — A government official, carrying a message from Iran’s president, travels across Iranian Kurdistan with his driver and a young guide on a mission to stop 111 young Kurdish women from committing suicide.

Sunday, April 5

Cairo 678

Egypt | Directed by Mohamed Diab (100 mins.)– Three Cairene women from different backgrounds join together in uneasy solidarity to combat the sexual harassment that has impacted each of their lives.


Kazakhstan by Darezhan Omirbayev (90 mins.)–A solitary philosophy student steers his directionless life toward the commission of a violent crime.

Monday, April 6


Morocco | Directed by Mohamed Mouftakir (104 mins.)–An emotionally exhausted psychiatrist assigned to a pregnant young woman found in the street muttering about “The Lord of the Hope.”


Iraq | Directed by Oday Rasheed (90 mins.)–A broken family with

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Recipient of 2012 Global Film Initiative Grant Factory Girl – Congratulations!

Cairo, Egypt | Friday- 6 February, 2015

In a fresh breakthrough for Mohamed Khan‘s Factory Girl across film festivals worldwide, Arab Cinema in Sweden (ACIS), a distribution arm under the umbrella of Malmo Arab Film Festival, has announced the theatrical release of Factory Girl across Sweden on Friday, April 24th, 2015. Marking the film’s first release beyond the Arab world, Factory Girl is part of the European Film Market (EFM) within 65th Berlin International Film Festival.

Across Sweden where the largest Arabic-speaking community resides in Europe, Factory Girl will release in 12 screening venues including, Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö, Norrkoping, Fajo, Umeå, Luleå, Lund and Hillsburg.

Produced by Mohamed Samir‘s DayDream Art Production, MAD Solution handled the distribution of Factory Girl in the Arab world, which also helms the Arab Cinema Center in its 1st edition at Berlinale as part of its long-term strategy to support and promote the Arab filmmaking industry in the Arab world.

Alaa Karkouti, CEO and Co-founder of MAD Solutions commented, “Factory Girl‘s theatrical release across Sweden is going to function as a new window on the Arab cinema for all film lovers in Sweden. He further added, “Our collaboration with the ACIS is an important step to us, as the screening of Factory Girl will highlight the artistic diversity and abundance of the Arab cinema. Since its inception, Malmo Arab Film Festival has been playing a crucial role in backing Arab filmmakers and this step marks a culmination of these long-standing efforts.”

Expressing his eagerness

Continue reading Recipient of 2012 Global Film Initiative Grant Factory Girl – Congratulations!

The foreign-language features will be distributed by FilmRise


Post on 9-27 for GFI

‘Bad Hair’

The Global Film Initiative has chosen 10 films from around the world for its 2014 Global Lens Films Series, which is distributed by the New York-based FilmRise. The 10 titles also will be added to the 96-title GFI library, whose exclusive distribution rights FilmRise, headed by CEO Danny Fisher, acquired last year.

The new film lineup includes Turkey’s 11’e 10 kala (10 to 11) and Babamin sesi (Voice of My Father), India’s Chitra Sutram (The Image Threads), Armenia’s Yerku ashkharhic i hishatak (From Two Worlds as a Keepsake), Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Halimin put (Halima’s Path), Venezuela’s Pelo Malo (Bad Hair) Rwanda’s Imbabazi (The Pardon), Morocco’s Wadaan Carmen (Adios Carmen), Cameroon’s Ninah’s Dowry and Egypt’s La Moakhza (Excuse My French).

Over the past 10 years, the Global Film Initiative has provided grants and distribution support for the Global Lens series, which supports filmmakers in the developing world by providing programming for festivals, libraries, cultural institutions, schools and art house cinemas throughout North America.

“We are excited to leverage our partnership with FilmRise as we continue our work to present the very best of world cinema as a means of promoting cross-cultural understanding,” Susan Weeks Coulter, founder and board chair of the Global Film Initiative, said.

GFI’s long-time EDU writer, Kathy Warren, receives her Phd in online learning! Congratulations, Kathy!

Kathy Warren