SPOTLIGHT: A Taste of Gasparilla

Following its January premiere at MoMA, Global Lens 2013 heads to Tampa and marks GFI’s sixth year working with Gasparilla…

Every January, without fail, we premiere a brand new Global Lens film series at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, before it begins its yearlong tour of the country the following month. And this February, the fine folks at the Gasparilla International Film Festival (GIFF) will bring Global Lens to Tampa, FL, for its sixth consecutive year! Starting with Zhang Yuan’s wonderful BEIJING FLICKERS (the opening-night film at the MoMA premiere), GIFF will present two screenings each of all ten films at the Tampa Museum of Art throughout 2013, and most of the series will also be included in the festival proper, which runs from March 19th to the 24th.

Continue reading SPOTLIGHT: A Taste of Gasparilla

TAKE INITIATIVE: The Theory (and Story) of Stone Soup

Soup's on: Matt Poland, CEO (far left) and Jerome Meyers, Public Services Director (far right), of the Hartford Public Libary with Jeremy Quist, Global Lens Series Manager and Santhosh Daniel, Director of Programs

Ten years later, the the folk tale is still the best way to define our community, films and programs

Do you know the story of “Stone Soup?” It goes something like this:

Some travelers come to a village, carrying nothing more than an empty cooking pot. Suspicious, the villagers are unwilling to share any of their food with the hungry travelers. So, the travelers go to a stream and fill the pot with water, drop a large stone in it, and place it over a fire…

Eventually, one of the villagers becomes curious and asks what they are doing. The travelers declare, “We’re making stone soup!” “What does it taste like?” asks the villager. And the travelers say, “Why, it tastes wonderful—but could use something to improve the flavor.” Enchanted, the villager decides to give them a few carrots…

A few moments later, another villager walks by. And the travelers again mention their stone soup, which still needs “something” to make it just right. The villager hands them a little bit of seasoning to help them out. Eventually, more and more villagers walk by, each adding another ingredient. And finally, the entire village adds a little something, and

Continue reading TAKE INITIATIVE: The Theory (and Story) of Stone Soup

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.

Continue reading NEWS: Global Lens 2013 @ MoMA!

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.

Continue reading SUPPORT: Our Roots Are Showing

EDUCATION: Learn Everywhere

‘Change the way you see the world’ with the swipe of a library card, click of a mouse, rip of a movie ticket…

(Photo: Creative Commons)

In a previous post, I discussed the values of education through world cinema, specifically among high school students. But we all know that education really extends beyond school and teachers and students (and books and homework, for that matter), and influences us every day of our lives, regardless of whether we’re enrolled in a formal educational institution. Learning takes place anywhere and everywhere, all the time, and even more so among viewers of Global Lens films.

Take, for example, when a patron enters the Hartford Public Library, seeking to learn about war and its influence on the people living in Iraq. The obvious choice would be to find a book or encyclopedia on the topic, but now that the library is one of several in our Global Public program, anyone can use their library card to check out Global Lens 2012 film QARANTINA (dir. Oday Rasheed, Iraq) for a visceral case-study of a family living in Iraq. The film even shows you the point of view of a military tank as it rolls through the streets of Baghdad…

Continue reading EDUCATION: Learn Everywhere

NEWS: Global Lens @ Great Star Chinatown

A moment in time: The Great Star Theater, in its early days of greatness

GFI hits the streets of SF’s Chinatown with a showcase of Chinese cinema at the iconic Great Star Theater…

San Francisco’s Chinatown—what’s not to love. It’s the oldest and most storied neighborhood of the city (with North Beach and Mission as close competitors for the title), and the site of many untold tales…

Such as the arrival of “Hong Kong cinema” in 60s, via the silvery screen of the Great Star Theater—the landmark arthouse cinema credited with bringing this iconic era of cinema to the States more than fifty years ago–and now experiencing a revival (following its almost near-extinction), and soon to be credited with GFI’s first showcase presentation of Chinese cinema in the city, ever:

[from Asian Week]The Global Film Initiative, in partnership with the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), is pleased to announce the presentation of four award-winning Chinese films from the Global Lens Collection on Friday, November 30th and Saturday, December 1st at the historic Great Star Theater, located in the heart of San Francisco’s Chinatown neighborhood.

Continue reading NEWS: Global Lens @ Great Star Chinatown

INDUSTRY: GFI + the San Francisco Film Society Put On The Happiest of Hours

GFI's Jeremy Quist and Evan Knopf ready for happy hour!

In early November, GFI got together with Bay Area-based friends to raise a toast to the important things in life…

With so much to talk about in the wake of the SF Giants’ World Series triumph and the recent U.S. elections, The Global Film Initiative and the San Francisco Film Society hosted a gathering at Churchill Bar for happy hour festivities.

Continue reading INDUSTRY: GFI + the San Francisco Film Society Put On The Happiest of Hours

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:

Continue reading NEWS: A ‘Useful’ Guide to Uruguayan Cinema

EVENTS: ‘A Perfect Cocktail’ Happy Hour

Gathering at Churchill for an end-of-summer celebration.

GFI’s recent Happy Hour, in partnership with Fandor, the Castro Theatre and CAAM, to present an end-of-summer happy hour at Churchill. It was a perfect way to conclude the season!

Summer is the time to take a break and remember the important things in life. As a globally-focused organization, we also love any opportunity to get together with our friends in our home-town San Francisco. With this in mind, on August 8th, GFI gathered our staff, interns and friends for an end-of-summer celebration. We sipped ‘GFI Mules’—the official drink of the evening—with our pals from Fandor, the Castro Theatre, and Center for Asian American Media (CAAM). It was a perfect cocktail of fun, free giveaways, and festivity.

GFI's Angelica and friends enjoying the night!

Winston Churchill once said: “I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me.” With that inspiration and a location on Church Street, came our host for the evening: Churchill. The space was gorgeous and rustic, pairing wood and leather fixtures with brimming mason jars. The talented bartenders crafted the very delicious GFI Mule: a mix of bourbon, ginger beer, bitters, and lime just for us. It was the perfect spot for

Continue reading EVENTS: ‘A Perfect Cocktail’ Happy Hour

NOW PLAYING: Take a Wild Ride with PEGASUS and Nine Other Global Lens Films that Will Send You Flying!

“Pegasus is a stunning film…a must watch film from a director who is quickly becoming one of the main voices of the New Moroccan cinema wave.” -Africa Screens

This month’s feature, PEGASUS, is all about memory, and you won’t be forgetting this filmmaker’s debut feature anytime soon. Mohamed Mouftakir’s eerie, David Lynch-like mind-twister—and winner of FESPACO’s highest honor, the appropriately titled Golden Stallion award—is now available for booking in your festival or theater, along with nine other award-winning and critically acclaimed films from the new Global Lens 2012 series!

Programmers and curators: View the 2012 lineup now on Festival Scope and email us at bookings@globalfilm.org to schedule the films today!

Film fans and enthusiasts: Read the list below and click on the map to find out where you can catch these fantastic films!

Continue reading NOW PLAYING: Take a Wild Ride with PEGASUS and Nine Other Global Lens Films that Will Send You Flying!