SPOTLIGHT: CAIRO 678 and The Carter Center

The Carter Center

The Carter Center

This month, The Carter Center will be screening CAIRO 678, from Global Lens 2013, at their “Winter Weekend” in San Diego—a four-day event featuring guests such as former UN Ambassador Andrew Young, and a town hall with former U.S. President and Nobel laureate Jimmy Carter, and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter.

This is our first time working with the Center, and so we asked Ahna B. Machan, Senior Associate Director of Development, and organizer of the event, to discuss why this particular film was selected for the Winter Weekend, and how it fits with The Carter Center’s mission and vision:

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OPEN MIC: Teaching Global Citizenship Through Film

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If a film is a mirror of the culture that bares it, there is a wealth of information in the images it shows us. A scene from GREY MATTER.

Former intern Andrea Moran on bringing film in the classroom and why a plan for international education is so important…

A few months ago, U.S. Department of Education released its first ever plan for international education. The 16-page report, titled “Succeeding Globally Through International Education and Engagement” is a 4-year strategy for increasing American students’ knowledge and engagement with world affairs.

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INTERVIEW: Real Lives Beneath a Shifting Surface–Director Zhang Yuan on BEIJING FLICKERS

BEIJING FLICKERS director Zhang Yuan explores through film the effect of China’s cultural movement on the subsequent generations.

Rob Avila talks with the legendary director about more than two decades of filmmaking in China, and Zhang’s outsider generation…

A singular pioneer of China’s Sixth Generation of filmmakers, Zhang Yuan graduated from the Beijing Film Academy in 1989. It was the year of Tiananmen Square and the June 4 crackdown, when China’s budding democracy movement—encouraged by reforms set in motion by Deng Xiaoping—met the tanks and guns of Deng’s resolutely authoritarian regime. Zhang’s first film, made at this time, was an auspicious sign of the life that would continue to find avenues of expression beneath the surfaces of an old order and the roiling changes encouraged by its new economic policies.

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NEWS: Ashim Ahluwalia @ San Francisco Film Society, February 23rd-March 9th

Ashim Ahluwalia

Ashim Ahluwalia

SF Film Society announces its newest Artist in Residence and it happens to be one of our filmmakers. How LOVELY…

After what seems to be the longest drum-roll ever, we’re pleased to announce that Indian director (and GFI grantee) Ashim Ahluwalia will be visiting the Bay Area next month as part of the San Francisco Film Society’s Artist in Residence program, February 23rd-March 9th!

The residency will feature the Bay Area premiere of MISS LOVELY–Ashim’s second feature, post Cannes, currently in Rotterdam, big stuff—on Thursday, January 28th (co-presented by GFI–tickets here), and a post-screening discussion moderated by Ivan Jaigirdar (of 3rdi). Also included in the residency will be visits to schools and universities, and in-classroom screenings of Ashim’s first film, JOHN & JANE (students only).

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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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NEW ON DVD: Mohammad Rasoulof’s THE WHITE MEADOWS

The imprisoned director’s stunning visual journey into tradition and the struggle for individual freedom in Iran–available on DVD Janaury 8th.

The Global Film Initiative is pleased to announce the Global Lens DVD release of the award-winning critics’ pick, THE WHITE MEADOWS by Iranian director, Mohammad Rasoulof

Originally featured in Global Lens 2011, THE WHITE MEADOWS gained worldwide attention last year following the arrest and prison sentencing of Rasoulof and fellow filmmaker Jafar Panahi (editor of THE WHITE MEADOWS) for “film-related activities” against the Iranian government. In support of Rasoulof, the Initiative presented the film in over fifty U.S. cities as part of Global Lens 2011 and also in select showcase exhibitions, including a special presentation hosted by actor/director Peter Coyote at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and a “protest” exhibition at the 2011 International Film Festival Rotterdam.

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GRANTING: Put Your Best Foot Forward!

Get a head start on 2013 by submitting your application to our Winter granting cycle today!

NINAH'S DOWRY, dir. Victor Viyuoh, Cameroon was awarded a GFI film production grant in Winter 2010. Be sure to greet the new year with your best foot forward–submit your granting application before our January 15, 2013 deadline! (Photo: Fort Lauderdale IFF)

Well, friends. We made it through December 21, 2012 (and the rest of 2012, as far as I’m concerned) sans an apocalypse, which means that those of us who were eagerly looking forward to leaving behind our worries–like mortgage payments and reality TV–will undoubtedly have to rethink our plans. Thankfully, we’re at the start of a new year (GFI’s tenth), and it’s a great time fora fresh start and a few New Year’s resolutions…

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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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