FESTIVALS & AWARDS: Africa Movie Academy Awards, Miami IFF, ReelWorld FF and festivals, festivals, FESTIVALS!

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Screening of TANTA AGUA

NINAH’S DOWRY (Cameroon), SO MUCH WATER (Uruguay) and WHEN I SAW YOU (Palestine/Jordan) are just a few titles among a host of Global Lens films and grant recipients keeping our news feed a-buzzing…

The buzz just won’t stop. From nominations, to awards, to screenings in festivals across the globe, GFI grant recipients and Global Lens films are continuing to impress in a big way. Check out the most recent news:

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FEATURE: An Indie from India Comes to SF

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Ashim talks to students at Berkeley High School

Joanne Parsont, Director of Education at the San Francisco Film Society, reflects on SFFS’ incomparable artist in residence, Ashim Ahluwalia…

Each time the San Francisco Film Society (SFFS) invites an international filmmaker to participate in our Artist in Residence program (funded this winter by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences), there’s a mix of eager anticipation and wary uncertainty. We’ve seen their films, but what will they actually be like in person? Will they take full advantage of their two weeks in San Francisco? Will they be any fun to hang out with? For our latest Artist in Residence (and, really, all of our previous residents), the answer to both of these questions is a resounding “yes.”

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SPOTLIGHT: CAIRO 678 and The Carter Center

The Carter Center

The Carter Center

This month, The Carter Center will be screening CAIRO 678, from Global Lens 2013, at their “Winter Weekend” in San Diego—a four-day event featuring guests such as former UN Ambassador Andrew Young, and a town hall with former U.S. President and Nobel laureate Jimmy Carter, and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter.

This is our first time working with the Center, and so we asked Ahna B. Machan, Senior Associate Director of Development, and organizer of the event, to discuss why this particular film was selected for the Winter Weekend, and how it fits with The Carter Center’s mission and vision:

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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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GRANTING: Put Your Best Foot Forward!

Get a head start on 2013 by submitting your application to our Winter granting cycle today!

NINAH'S DOWRY, dir. Victor Viyuoh, Cameroon was awarded a GFI film production grant in Winter 2010. Be sure to greet the new year with your best foot forward–submit your granting application before our January 15, 2013 deadline! (Photo: Fort Lauderdale IFF)

Well, friends. We made it through December 21, 2012 (and the rest of 2012, as far as I’m concerned) sans an apocalypse, which means that those of us who were eagerly looking forward to leaving behind our worries–like mortgage payments and reality TV–will undoubtedly have to rethink our plans. Thankfully, we’re at the start of a new year (GFI’s tenth), and it’s a great time fora fresh start and a few New Year’s resolutions…

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FEATURE: Shooting the Past and Present of Albanian Cinema

Thomas Logoreci is a filmmaker, sometime journalist and occasional film festival programmer living and working in the Balkans.

Thomas Logoreci, co-writer of GFI grantee WORLD, discusses the evolution of cinema within an ever-changing landscape of Albania…

Thomas Logoreci here. I used to live in San Francisco. I produced and edited Caveh Zahedi’s Bay Area indie comedy I AM A SEX ADDICT which was released back in 2005. Five years later, I picked up and moved my entire life to the East European nation of Albania. I’m half-Albanian but owing to the country’s fifty years of North Korea-like communism, violent civil unrest in 1997 and the 1998-99 war in neighboring Kosovo, I did not get to Albania for the first time until 2005.

Even though I barely advanced my Albanian language skills, I ended up visiting the country several times, eventually earning a modest income rewriting scripts for some of the country’s foremost filmmakers. In 2008, I was asked to come back to the capital to program the country’s Tirana International Film Festival. During the frantic fest week, I met Iris Elezi, a talented cineaste who pitched me her script titled BOTA (the Albanian word for ’world’), which she intended to direct.

We ended up reshaping the story together – a group of outsiders working in a café at the edge of a haunted swamp cope

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INDUSTRY: Trends in Global Film, by Way of GFI’s Granting Program

A quick look at the facts, figures and forward movement of our program, after ten years of international film funding…

BUFFALO BOY (Vietnam) was one of four grants we provided to filmmakers when we began our Granting Program almost ten years ago!

Every granting cycle has its own personality, and this Summer’s cycle was no exception (“bad hair,” good politicians—we had it all this round, so read the press release and our blog for the scoop!). But, unlike other cycles, this one also had a bit of “extra” personality…For you see, this year marks our tenth year of awarding grants to filmmakers from around. And oh, how the times have changed…

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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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SUPPORT: E Pluribus Unum

Thousands of stories in the evolution of one world

Nigerian writer Chimanda Ngozi Adichie and the Danger of the Single Story

In just a few days, we’ll be announcing our Winter 2012 grantees–ten films by ten filmmakers that, coincidentally, mark our tenth year of grantmaking.

It’s a significant milestone, and an auspicious occasion. And like all granting cycles, it affords a moment to reflect on the statement we’re making. Because in awarding these grants, we are of course saying that of the hundreds of projects we reviewed, these ten are “the best”… But are they?

A few years ago, Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie gave a TEDtalk about the “danger of the single story.” Her essential point was that no one story, no singular history or perspective, is the only story—and believing otherwise is what leads to the inability of many people to be sympathetic, if not empathetic, toward other cultures.

It’s a simple and true analysis, most people do tend to only hear the story that’s within earshot—whether that comes from their government, history, religion, family or community. And it’s a sentiment that often echoes in mind, especially when we award grants to filmmakers or, choose films for Global Lens: Are we telling a single story?

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