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…

granting

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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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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FESTIVALS & AWARDS: Asia Pacific Screen Awards, Fort Lauderdale IFF, Mumbai FF results and more!

THE MIRROR NEVER LIES at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, NINAH’S DOWRY wins big in Fort Lauderdale and AMNESTY continues its European vacation…

The Thanksgiving holiday here in the U.S. has all but ended, but we’re thankful for our films and filmmakers year-round!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading FESTIVALS & AWARDS: Asia Pacific Screen Awards, Fort Lauderdale IFF, Mumbai FF results and more!

FESTIVALS & AWARDS: Festival du Nouveau Cinema, Abu Dhabi FF, Mumbai FF and more!

SOUTHWEST (coming soon via Global Lens 2013!) wins a critics award in Montreal, WHEN I SAW YOU wins Best Arab Film in Abu Dhabi and MISS LOVELY takes the festival circuit by storm!

It’s a new month and that means more festival appearances and awards for our Global Lens and GFI-funded films! See below for the latest updates:

GFI grant recipient WILDLIFE (Philippines) won the NETPAC Award for Best Asian Film at the Warsaw Film Festival! (Photo: Busan IFF)

Continue reading FESTIVALS & AWARDS: Festival du Nouveau Cinema, Abu Dhabi FF, Mumbai FF and more!

GRANTING: GFI Announces Summer 2012 Grant Recipients!

GFI’s newest grant recipients include four projects directed by women, and GFI’s first grants to the Dominican Republic, Guinea-Bissau and Serbia!

(Watch the video to view some production footage of new GFI grant recipient COLORED LIKE THE NIGHT (Dominican Republic)!)

Hear ye, hear ye: Today GFI announced the ten feature length narrative film projects selected to receive production funding in its Granting Program‘s Summer 2012 granting cycle (read the official press release here)! ­­­­

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INTERVIEW: Capturing a Country in Transition

AMNESTY director Bujar Alimani, discusses the role of the artist in Alabania.

Painter-turned-filmmaker Bujar Alimani sat down with Rob Avila to talk about AMNESTY and Albania on the cusp of a new era…

Albanian filmmaker Bujar Alimani was born in the southwestern city of Patos, the center of Albania’s oil industry, in 1969. He trained as a painter and a stage director at the Academy of Fine Arts in Albania’s capital Tirana, before emigrating to Greece at the age of 19 and turning to filmmaking. After making three award-winning and internationally popular short films, he completed feature-length drama AMNESTY—a gorgeously lensed and finely acted story of doomed love set against a backdrop of social change in his native Albania. It won the Berlin International Film Festival’s C.I.C.A.E. Award in 2011 and was Albania’s official submission for Best Foreign Language Film at the 84th Academy Awards. AMNESTY is currently being screened throughout the United States and Canada as part of the Global Film Initiative’s Global Lens 2012 film series.

I met Alimani on a brisk afternoon this past January in New York, a serious-looking man of solid build, with short-cropped black hair and a friendly, thoughtful demeanor. He cut a stoical figure as we sat in the bustling lobby of the Roosevelt Hotel in Midtown Manhattan, not far from the Museum of Modern Art where AMNESTY was making its

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INTERVIEW: Tolga Karaçelik on A Sincere Work

Rob Avila talks with Tolga Karaçelik about capturing the right chemical reaction on the set and on the screen in TOLL BOOTH…

Tolga Karçelik on the set of the Global Lens 2012 film Toll Booth

TOLL BOOTH, the first Turkish film to receive a weeklong premiere at the New York Museum of Modern Art, is the debut feature of 31-year-old Istanbul native Tolga Karaçelik. It concerns the life and progressive collapse of a tollbooth attendant and bachelor named Kenan (played by the marvelous Serkan Ercan). A poet by longstanding practice and inclination, with a quick mind and generous spirit, Karaçelik studied law before coming to New York City to study filmmaking. It was back in New York, at the MoMA in January, that he sat down to talk about the genesis of his award-winning Toll Booth, the opening night film of the Global Film Initiative’s 2012 Global Lens series.

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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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FESTIVALS & AWARDS: Sofia IFF, Festivalissimo, SAFTAs, Berlin IFF and more!

BEAUTY shines at the South African Film and Television Awards, THE BODA BODA THIEVES nabs the top pitching prize in Berlin, and more great news about Global Lens films and GFI grant recipients!

Producers James Tayler and Sarah Muhoho (THE BODA BODA THIEVES, dir. Donald Mugisha, Uganda) at the Berlin International Film Festival! Photo: bizcommunity.com.

The past few weeks have been nothing short of spectacular for Global Lens films and GFI grantees, and we’re very proud to announce the latest scoop!

First, news about GFI grantees:

BEAUTY (dir. Oliver Hermanus, South Africa, 2010 grant recipient) was awarded Best Director and Best Actor at the South African Film and Television Awards!

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Behind the Curtain and After the Final Cut

Go beneath the surface to get the back-story on the films of Global Lens 2012

Click here to learn more about Kivu Ruhorahoza and GREY MATTER, the first narrative feature film produced in Rwanda by a native Rwandan filmmaker

Anyone familiar with the entertainment industry knows that sometimes off-screen activities can overshadow what’s happening in the films themselves. Take, for example, Lars von Trier’s controversy at Cannes last year or the preoccupation with Lindsay Lohan’s after-hours adventures. It’s easy to see why people like having this insider knowledge, but not all of it is scandalous—in fact, hearing the stories and secrets behind this year’s Global Lens films prove that there can be substance behind the curtain and after the final cut.

For example, Kivu Ruhorahoza’s GREY MATTER is about a young Rwandan filmmaker struggling to create a film that might help him reconcile the trauma of genocide. In reality, Kivu was only 12 years old during the 1994 Rwandan genocide and lived in constant fear for his family’s welfare. At the age of 16, he set out to become a filmmaker in a country with scarcely a tripod or sound equipment suitable for his camera. Needless to say, GREY MATTER’s story line of someone battling the odds to make a tough film is a direct expression of his artistic path

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