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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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:

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

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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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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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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SUPPORT: Our Roots Are Showing

The Inauguration: MARGARETTE'S FEAST, the first film acquired for Global Lens

After years of ‘pushing the envelope’ and ‘changing the game’ with Global Lens, we went back to the basics for our tenth year…

Global Lens 2013 is just around the corner, and if you haven’t noticed [with all the fanfare], it’s the tenth anniversary of our most beloved series. A ‘decade of film’—from silent to sign language, notes of opera and narrative “firsts.” Baghdad. Mina Gerais. The Caspian Sea…

It’s an accomplishment. Over the years, almost 100 filmmakers, from backgrounds as varied and diverse as the history of cinema, trusted us to take their vision to screen via Global Lens. That we did, with the help of just a few thousand friends. And in just a few short weeks, we’ll be heading to New York to christen this tenth year of Global Lens with our very first friend: the Museum of Modern Art.

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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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