MONTH IN REVIEW: Flying High with GFI

Flying high with GFI

Board member Shaari Ergas catches air with Virgin America, Evan Knopf joins our ground crew and our new Facebook page launches across the interwebs…

As the first rains of the season hit the West Coast, it makes us here at GFI want to cuddle up and watch good movies til Spring. Before we do that, however, we’ve had some moves to make–in the air, on the ground, and on the internet.

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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)

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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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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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FESTIVALS & AWARDS: Brazilian Film Week, Academy Awards, Vancouver Latin American FF and more!

CRAFT (and SOUTHWEST–coming soon via Global Lens 2013!) at the Embassy of Brazil, WHEN I SAW YOU goes to the Oscars and FAT, BALD, SHORT MAN pays a visit to lovely Vancouver!

Global Lens 2013 (yes, 2013!) film SOUTHWEST (Brazil) is being featured in a showcase by the Embassy of Brazil!

It’s another busy month for both Global Lens and GFI-funded films, with screenings at festivals and venues all over the world! First up, we’d like to mention a special film showcase in the U.S. capital, featuring a sneak preview of one of our newest additions to Global Lens:

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NEWS: A ‘Useful’ Guide to Uruguayan Cinema

Brian Darr (of Hell on Frisco Bay) reviews A USEFUL LIFE for Fandor and shines a spotlight on Uruguayan Cinema while he’s at it…

Last month Brian Darr, the writer behind Bay Area film blog Hell on Frisco Bay, wrote an excellent article called “A ‘Useful’ Guide to Uruguayan Cinema” for Keyframe, the blog from our friends at Fandor. In the article, Brian makes some illuminating observations about Federico Veiroj’s A USEFUL LIFE, segues into a discussion of the history of filmmaking in Uruguay, and then closes by touching on a couple other Global Lens favorites — WHISKY (dir. Juan Pablo Rebella and Pablo Stoll) and LEO’S ROOM (dir. Enrique Buchichio). Check it out:

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SUPPORT: Living Up To Our Name

mick

The Science of Inertia: don't get him started (photo: Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones)

Looking down the rabbit hole at the genesis of “initiative,” global film and making a difference…

Ever since I was a child, I’ve loved science. The systematic study of structure. Atoms crowding on the head of a pin. Discovery…

As an adult, I haven’t lost this love–ironically, it’s what led me to a career in the arts and The Global Film Initiative. Because I’ve always been fascinated by the [scientific] concepts of “inertia” and “potential energy” (that everything around us is simultaneously resisting change and has the potential to change), and how those concepts apply themselves in other elements of our world…

A stone rolls once pushed. Still water ripples when hit with a stone. Mick Jagger–if you start him up he’ll never stop. All that needs to occur is a decision to act. All that’s required to change a state of inertia or release potential energy is someone or something with… Initiative.

The Global Film Initiative began with this in mind, and it’s this guiding precept that has kept us inspired by what we do. The world around us evolves slowly, imperceptibly or sometimes not at all. But regardless, it is always ready for change. And once that change occurs it can repeat itself like rolling thunder…

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SUPPORT: Change the Way You See the World

Because in an empathic civilization, ‘monkey see, monkey do’ isn’t such a bad thing

Empathic Civilization

WATCH: The Empathic Civilization (courtesy of RSA Animate and Jonathan Rifkin)

Not long ago, Emma Rae Lierley, Administrative Coordinator at GFI, sent me a link to a video on “The Empathic Civilization” (right). Her rationale in sending it was that she felt it encapsulated the basic premise upon which Global Lens was founded: that in our most sympathetic state of human existence, we are all connected.

Of course, nowadays, we hear such things all the time. Technological evolution has certainly connected us with the world outside our physical boundaries. Intellectual curiosity has always found a way to merge minds above borders. And then, without doubt, there is religion.

All are valid points of connection, connectivity. But the video makes a much more basic point. It says that we, as humans, are predisposed to having shared feelings and emotions, or an “empathic” relationship with one another that intuitively draws us together, as a people (see the video’s example of ‘monkey see, monkey do’).

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NEW ON DVD: The Tenants and Street Days!

Bad boys and bad medicine: Urban thriller THE TENANTS and junkie chronicle STREET DAYS to release on DVD May 15th

The DVD release of new films from playwright-cum-filmmaker Sérgio Bianchi and Georgian auteur Levan Koguashvili take audiences from the neo-noir nights of São Paulo to the mean streets of Tbilisi:

THE TENANTS (OS INQUILINOS), dir. Sérgio Bianchi, Brazil, 2009, 103 minutes, Portuguese, with subtitles in English

After three mysterious men move into a smoky São Paulo suburb, a neighboring couple becomes obsessed with the men’s clandestine activities and the ozone of violence that descends upon their once-tranquil neighborhood. Best Screenplay, Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival; Official Selection, Vancouver International Film Festival.

“Bianchi’s richly detailed film excavates society’s fear of and fascination with violence—from television’s constant stream of near-pornographic mayhem to venomous suspicion between neighbors, petty feuds within married couples, and quarreling among children—in an indictment of the lowest human impulses.” –Museum of Modern Art

“Stunning performances….A tour-de-force of cinematic tension.” –The Santa Barbara Independent

 

STREET DAYS (QUCHIS DGEEBI), dir. Levan Koguashvili, Georgia, 2010, 86 minutes, Georgian, with subtitles in English

A well-meaning heroin addict whose life and status seem to worsen by the day, finds himself caught between serving a prison sentence and selling out

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3 on 1: Adapt, Persevere and Thou Shalt Premiere

Bruno Bettati examines Latin American independents from the angle of producer, festival director and de facto industry historian…

Director of the Valdivia International Film Festival Bruno Bettati (left) and GFI Director of Programs Santhosh Daniel at the 39th International Film Festival Rotterdam

Five years ago I had the serendipity to meet Santhosh Daniel and establish a relationship between the Global Film Initiative and Valdivia International Film Festival (FICValdivia). Over that course of time, our institutions have both witnessed and contributed to the steady rise of the Latin American film industry. GFI eventually became a sponsor of FICValdivia activities for film professionals. Recently we met by chance on a distribution and production workshop while in Gijon, Spain—after which i felt compeled to say a few words about the evolution of Latin American film and our joint contribution to the production and distribution of these films. – Bruno Bettati

Against all odds, Latin American film producers continue to show a vitality to get their movies done. Perseverance and adaptation are key; with 36 months the average time it takes from the start of development until the festival première of a fiction feature film, the endurance of the producer is at permanent stake.

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