INDUSTRY: Feast Your Eyes on FICG 28

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“For all hands”

Acquisitions and Granting Manager Angelica Dongallo recounts the sights and sounds of Mexico’s prestigious film festival…

Guadalajara: home of mariachis, tequila country, and the Festival Internacional de Cine en Guadalajara (FICG). I arrived in the “valley of stones” during the wee hours of the day of opening night activities, and contemplated the next few days’ prospects as we drove through the speckled-lit streets of the sleeping city.

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INTERVIEW: The Power of Small Stories–Suman Ghosh Speaks About His Labor of Love, SHYAMAL UNCLE TURNS OFF THE LIGHTS

Director Suman Ghosh

Director Suman Ghosh

Rob Avila talks with director Suman Ghosh about leading a double life…
In the United States he’s a respected economist and academic. In India, he is better known as the award-winning movie director of such critical and box-office successes as Podokkhep (Footsteps), Dwando (The Conflict), and Nobel Chor (Nobel Thief), starring Mithun Chakraborty. But as the Calcutta native discusses below, his early passion for films grew up right alongside his doctoral work in economics at Cornell University through eye-opening studies conducted concurrently in Cornell’s film department.

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INDUSTRY: Happy Hour, How LOVELY

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Cozy up to the bar with us at Churchill!

We raise a toast to MISS LOVELY director and GFI grant recipient Ashim Ahluwahlia–the San Francisco Film Society’s newest Artist-in-Residence!

Is there a better way to offer a warm welcome than by sharing a celebratory cocktail at Churchill? We think not. On February 26, we joined our friends at the San Francisco Film Society in welcoming their new Artist-in-Residence, filmmaker Ashim Ahluwalia (director of MISS LOVELY), and boy, was it a success! Killer drinks, awesome giveaways and the best company around–what could be better?

Thanks to everyone who came out, and if you missed us, fear not! For we have assembled a fine batch of pictures through which to vicariously relive the night…

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FEATURE: THE PARADE @ Human Rights Watch FF Toronto

THE PARADE brings the global conversation on gay rights into focus in Serbia, France and Canada…

ThePARADE

This month, THE PARADE is highlighted in a screening at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival in Toronto, Canada. Srdjan Dragojevic’s darkly humorous film turns a lens on a very real issue being debated right now in Serbia and the rest of the world.

Joël Coppens, a former intern and native Belgian, came across a clip of THE PARADE being discussed on the major French talk show On est pas couché. Joël translated some of the conversation, and weighed in with some of his own thoughts:

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FESTIVALS & AWARDS: Miami IFF, FESPACO, Guadalajara IFF, Berlinale Awards and more!

The forecast is sunny for BEIJING FLICKERS (China), NO AUTUMN, NO SPRING (Ecuador) and SO MUCH WATER (Uruguay) @ Miami!

Just two months into 2013 and already a number of GFI grant recipients and Global Lens films have been stirring up international hype from Berlin to Burkina Faso. Here’s the scoop:

GFI grant recipient NO AUTUMN, NO SPRING (Ecuador) screens in Cartagena and Miami International Film Festivals!

GFI grant recipient NO AUTUMN, NO SPRING (Ecuador) screens in Cartagena and Miami International Film Festivals!

BERLIN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: Annemarie Jacir’s WHEN I SAW YOU (Palestine/Jordan, Summer 2011 honorable mention) took home the NETPAC award from Berlinale! The jury noted after its unanimous vote: “We were all impressed by the film’s distinctive narrative perspective: that of conveying the longing for freedom of an oppressed people in an era when idealism, solidarity and justice still had meaning…” Read on, here!

CARTAGENA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: SO MUCH WATER (dir. Ana Guevara and Leticia Jorge, Uruguay, Summer 2012 honorable mention), following its premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival, won the FIPRESCI Prize after receiving waves of screen time at the Cartagena International Film Festival (FICCI)! The film continues on to several other renowned festivals (see

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INTERVIEW: Real Lives Beneath a Shifting Surface–Director Zhang Yuan on BEIJING FLICKERS

BEIJING FLICKERS director Zhang Yuan explores through film the effect of China’s cultural movement on the subsequent generations.

Rob Avila talks with the legendary director about more than two decades of filmmaking in China, and Zhang’s outsider generation…

A singular pioneer of China’s Sixth Generation of filmmakers, Zhang Yuan graduated from the Beijing Film Academy in 1989. It was the year of Tiananmen Square and the June 4 crackdown, when China’s budding democracy movement—encouraged by reforms set in motion by Deng Xiaoping—met the tanks and guns of Deng’s resolutely authoritarian regime. Zhang’s first film, made at this time, was an auspicious sign of the life that would continue to find avenues of expression beneath the surfaces of an old order and the roiling changes encouraged by its new economic policies.

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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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GRANTING: The World is Our Oyster

Thirty-nine nations in the Winter 2013 grant-cycle comprise what could very well be our most diverse group of applicants (and undiscovered cinematic pearls), to date…

We’re at it again, folks; the Global Film Initiative is diving through our first batch of Granting Program applications for the Winter 2013 Granting Cycle for feature film productions, and what an array of projects to behold during this, our tenth year of granting…

This cycle could very well be our most diverse applicant pools, as Asia is now the leader of the pack, taking Latin America’s long-time lead. At the same time, Africa and the Middle East have increased their representation in our Granting Cycle, proving that our applicant pool is becoming more and more regionally diverse!

While we can’t share too many details until grant awards are announced in April, here are a few highlights to wet your appetite:

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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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