Now Playing: Global Lens Dives Into Summer

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THE PARADE (Global Lens 2013) plays The Human Rights Watch Film Festival in New York this June

THE PARADE, STUDENT and the rest of Global Lens 2013 soak up the summer screen…

Global Lens 2013 is heating up screens across the country all through the summer! This month in the spotlight:

Srdjan Dragojević’s THE PARADE is set to screen at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival this month (June 13-23) in New York City. Through its humane and shrewdly comedic story, this powerful film exposes us to gay rights issues that many face in Serbia today.

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GRANTING: Ten Years to the Day in Global Film Funding

Ten years ago today, GFI announced the recipients of the inaugural granting program, and look at us now…

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On April 10, The Global Film Initiative announced it’s most recent grant recipients from the Winter 2012 granting cycle. The list of grantees features 11 works from both emerging and established filmmakers, representing 10 different countries around the world, and each project demonstrates great promise and vision. As Susan Weeks Coulter, Founder and Board Chair, said in the announcement: “We are pleased to identify and support these eleven unique and powerful narratives.”

What makes this granting cycle particularly special, however, is that it is the most recent in GFI’s now decade-old granting program. Ten years ago to the day, the very first round of grantees were announced on May 16, 2003. In celebration of this milestone, we’re taking a look back on the films GFI has funded over the years.

Again and again, our grantees represent filmmakers who are not afraid to challenge convention–to make sometimes dangerous, but always fiercely truthful statements about the society, and the world, that reflect them. These films often represent new perspectives and voices in storytelling–voices which are too often silenced or misrepresented in the mainstream–and hold promise in heralding a new generation of filmmakers.

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INTERVIEW: Life, Death and Moving On with Sebastián Silva

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Filmmaker Sebastán Silva

Rob Avila asks the [young] veteran about his very first feature, LIFE KILLS ME, and whether there’s any truth to the saying ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’…

Rob Avila met Sebastián Silva–the 34-year-old New York-based Chilean filmmaker, who received international acclaim in 2009 with his beautifully wrought, darkly funny drama, THE MAID (LA NANA)–at the beginning of a very big week. Silva debuted not one but two new films at the 2013 Sundance Film FestivalCRYSTAL FAIRY and MAGIC MAGIC—both featuring popular Canadian actor Michael Cera. Even before that happened, Silva headed to the Museum of Modern Art for the New York premiere of yet another of his films–his very first, 2007’s LIFE KILLS ME (LA VIDA ME MATA), as part of the Global Film Initiative’s Global Lens 2013 series.

LIFE KILLS ME centers on a taciturn young man, Gaspar (Gabriel Díaz), emotionally immobile and feebly suicidal with grief since the death of his idolized older brother. Gaspar lives with his older sister, his senile mother, and his dying grandfather, but occupies his time working as a cinematographer on a short horror film written and directed by, as well as starring, a flamboyant and irrepressible no-talent named Susana (the scene-stealing Claudia Celedón, who with costar Catalina Saavedra would go

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FEATURE: The Conservation of SHYAMAL UNCLE TURNS OFF THE LIGHTS

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A scene from SHYAMAL UNCLE TURNS OFF THE LIGHTS

As Earth Day approaches, GFI intern Isabella Lyle-Durham shares her thoughts on the global environmental landscape in both the Global Lens 2013 film SHYAMAL UNCLE TURNS OFF THE LIGHTS and reality…

On April 22nd, Earth Day, we dedicate 24 hours, as a global society, to thinking about our physical future. And sometimes that “thinking” means we step away from the rhetoric, and into films like SHYAMAL UNCLE TURNS OFF THE LIGHTS—shining a light not just on what we can do to preserve the earth, but also on how what we’re currently doing may not be working and may actually contradict the idea of ‘conservation.’

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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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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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FEATURE: Global Migration–More Than The Birds

HofburgFounder and Board Chair Susan Weeks Coulter traveled to Vienna this past week to take part in the UNAOC panel on media and intercultural dialogue…

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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…

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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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NEWS: GFI Joins the UNAOC Global Forum

UNAOC_logoFounder and Board Chair Susan Weeks Coulter travels to Vienna this week to take part in the UNAOC panel on media and intercultural dialogue…

Every year, the Global Film Initiative makes it presence known around the world—via screenings, grants and most visibly, attendance of festivals and film industry events (the most recent of which are Goa, and upcoming Guadalajara).

But this is just one dimension of our global identity. As many of you know, we often present on education and cultural diplomacy via the arts, and using film as a tool to rethink how we connect as communities, cultures and societies. And every now and then, we do this with a few thousand colleagues…

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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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