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!

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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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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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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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NOW PLAYING: Global Lens on Festival Scope

Programmers, curators and more–preview our 2012 lineup on Festival Scope!

Every January, just around the time we launch a new season of Global Lens, we get hit with multiple requests from curators and programmers for screening copies of our films. And we love it. The only problem: we can’t always keep up with the demand, especially when those films are making news (i.e. MOURNING, THE PRIZE, PEGASUS, AMNESTY…)

MOURNING (dir. Morteza Farshbaf, Iran) now available on Festival Scope

So, woe is us, such an exquisite difficulty and what’s a boutique nonprofit film organization supposed to do. Or rather, how do we keep the promise made to our filmmakers, of promoting their films to the widest and most geographically diverse audience possible? And how do you get to see Global Lens in your city, festival and theater…

Well, our longtime friend, Alessandro Raja, has an answer: Festival Scope

Festival Scope is our newest promotional partner for Global Lens. Launched in 2010 by Alessandro (formerly of Celluloid Dreams), it’s an online film viewing resource created exclusively for industry professionals who want to review films, immediately, from the wonderful world of festivals. Dubai, Busan, Torino, Toronto–name it and you’ll likely find it on Festival Scope.

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SUPPORT: You Say “Tomato” and I Say “Tomahto”

Global Lens and promoting a difference of opinion for the sake of diversity

Global Lens: grindhouse, arthouse, our house

Every year, we do our best to bring you the best in independent world cinema. And over the years, if there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that tastes vary from person to person and often what we see in a film isn’t always the same as what you see…

Earlier this year, we released what some audiences describe[d] as a “slasher” film–and others describe as an iconic representation of the “Indian New Wave.” For us, Sidharth Srinivasan’s SOUL OF SAND is an eccentric thriller that ‘delves into the dark interstices between Indian modernity and tradition,’ and for Memphis-based critic, John Beifuss:

“A blunt horror-art hybrid… With one foot in the arthouse and the other in the grindhouse.” [more]

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3 ON 1: The Inside, Upside and Best Side of BECLOUD

This month, as we celebrate our newest addition to the Global Lens DVD family—Becloud (available June 28th)—we’re also taking the opportunity to introduce a new feature to our blog: the 3 on 1 column.

After years of separation, three boyhood friends reunite in Mexico City to overcome a tragedy that scarred their neighborhood, and childhood, years before.

3 on 1—what is it? Well, it’s three people (insiders, outsiders, fans and friends of GFI) speaking about one subject. Films, grantees, events and travel… The list of what we can discuss is endless. And this month, it all begins with Becloud (and three folks who you may already know):

Jeremy Quist (Global Lens Series Manager): Becloud first came to us as a grant-submission, back when we only knew the film as Vaho (its original Spanish-language title). So the forthcoming DVD release of this title is quite significant for us, having seen it first as an unassuming rough cut before the final sound mix was complete, then touring the finished film to great acclaim in Global Lens 2010, and now finally making it available to everyone on home video.

The outstanding technical quality of the DVD comes courtesy of our wonderful authoring facility, AM-DVD, and the packaging features gorgeous artwork from designer Gary Ponzo (who also created this awesome chandelier made completely out of

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