EDUCATION: Watch, Explore, Contribute: Global Lens-Based Tutorial Now Online!

In BORDER CAFE a woman earns economic independence and wins the love of this man with her cooking.

Kathy Warren, uses two Global Lens films to create unique online learning tutorials on Sophia.org

The Global Film Initiative asked Ms. Warren to describe the educational website and her inspiration for creating a tutorial with some of our award-winning Global Lens films:

GFI: Tell us a little bit about this website?

KW: Sophia.org is a website developed by Capella University, where I am working toward a Ph.D. in online learning design.

It is a free resource available to anyone, anywhere, to develop and run “tutorials” or lesson plans. The website has more than 28,000 tutorials, and lessons can contain videos, audio, links and other resources, for a class at school, or for a group discussion, or for just about any other learning opportunity.

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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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INDUSTRY: A Decade of Film

A retrospective look at Global Lens via the images and ideas that took our signature series from infancy to adulthood…

As writer Robert Mckee said, “Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.”

We agree.

Stories are the basis of humanity. They teach, they entertain, and they shape how we see the world. As humans, we are wired to connect and bond with others.

GFI was created with this purpose: to create global understanding, empathy and connectivity through the powerful medium of film, and to promote and support the vibrant growth of global filmmaking. To date, we have distributed 96 independent films from over 38 countries to North American audiences, and hosted screenings in every U.S. state except North Dakota. (Anyone in North Dakota want to help us with our 2013 New Years Resolution? Contact us!)

Through these films, we hope to inspire people to keep learning about other perspectives and ways of life. In celebration of Global Lens’ 10th year anniversary in January, we take a look at some of our films and the themes they contain from the past decade…

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FEATURE: From Baghdad to San Antonio, QARANTINA Comes to South Texas

UT San Antonio Professor Steven G. Kellman (and former HuffPo contributor) on fighting off the ‘the toxins of cultural provincialism’ with QARANTINA…

A scene from QARANTINA (dir. Oday Rasheed, Iraq)

Though it is the seventh largest city in the United States, San Antonio is, like all but a few other areas in the country, virtually quarantined against foreign cinema. When an imported film does get screened in a local commercial theater, it is almost always from Britain, since, according to the industry’s conventional wisdom, Americans are monolingual, and they do not go to the movies to read; box-office receipts for inferior remakes of The Vanishing, The Debt, and The Seven Samurai exceed those for the subtitled originals. Film is the most portable of the arts, but national aversion to foreign film reflects widespread indifference to anything beyond our borders but violence.

As an antidote to the toxins of cultural provincialism, the San Antonio Museum of Art has scheduled monthly public screenings of works – twice each – provided by the Global Film Initiative. I was invited by SAMA to introduce the films and lead post-screening discussions.

October’s offering, Qarantina, written and directed by Oday Rasheed, is an outstanding demonstration of foreign cinema’s power to bring fresh perspectives to worlds that many hardly knew existed. Set in contemporary Baghdad, Qarantina is a film by Iraqis, about

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Lovely MISS LOVELY!

On the eve of its world premiere, Pardon My Hindi gives Un Certain Regard star MISS LOVELY a seductive new look for the red carpet at Cannes….

<– You saw it here—first! Designer Chiraag Bhakta’s cheeky-cum-risque rendering of Ashim Ahluwalia’s much-anticipated second feature, MISS LOVELY, just before it hits the fabled French Riviera at Cannes.

We can’t tell you where to get the poster, because it’s only a few hours old. But, we can show you a trailer for MISS LOVELY–because who doesn’t love a film about the Bollywood underground (certainly, we do—see credits).

As for Chiraag, some of you may remember him as the graphic hand behind GFI’s education experiment site, Bluescreen. And the rest of you might know him as iconic eye behind Pardon My Hindi (which words can’t describe—so visit the site).

And as for Cannes… You know who’s got our vote.

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NEW ON DVD: Adrift and My Tehran For Sale!

Lust, Longing and Chuyen’s ADRIFT and Granaz Moussavi’s Controversial MY TEHRAN FOR SALE to release on DVD January 31st

We’re pleased to announce the DVD release of two new films from the Global Lens film series, featuring a charged performance by Vietnamese actress Hai Yen and Moussavi’s “hit and run” chronicle of Tehran’s underground art scene:

 

Adrift DVD CoverADRIFT (CHOI VOI), dir. Bui Thac Chuyen, Vietnam, 2009, 110 minutes, Vietnamese, with subtitles in English

A young wife, ignored by her immature spouse, is caught in a love triangle between her best friend and a handsome stranger during a languorous summer in Hanoi. FIPRESCI Prize, Venice International Film Festival; Official Selection of the International Film Festival Rotterdam (Bright Future).

A subtle, melancholy exploration of erotic angst and uncomfortable awakening…Adrift evokes a culture whose puritanical restraints have begun to loosen, allowing dangerous sparks to fly. Once desire has been unleashed, smugly settling for less is no longer a comfortable option.“ -The New York Times

Beautiful, and tightly focused on the emotional, romantic, and sexual lives of men and women in Hanoi….This is new Vietnamese cinema.” -diaCRITICS

 

My Tehran For Sale DVD CoverMY TEHRAN FOR SALE, dir. Granaz Moussavi, Iran, 2009, 95 minutes, Farsi and English, with subtitles in English

An

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SHIRLEY ADAMS: The Making Of

Denise Newman and friends take us into the mind, method and man behind SHIRLEY ADAMS

This month we release Oliver Hermanus’s Cape Town ode, SHIRLEY ADAMS, on home video. As most of you know, this is Oliver’s first film and was followed by SKOONHEID–a work supported by the Global Film Initiative, currently taking top honors at festivals worldwide. Of course, we take no credit for the intimate and ideological worlds portrayed in Oliver’s films, as these are brought to life through the skill of actors, such as Denise Newman (in the titular role of Shirley Adams). Below is a conversation with this award-winning actor and other cast members on the making of a masterpiece.

 

Leading Ladies Lead the World

A fast glance at five actresses making headlines on the global indie circuit

Artika Sari Devi

Tannishtha Chatterjee seems to be everywhere nowadays. And in case you hadn’t heard, Artika Sari Devi is starring in a new film and Gina Pareño is nearing 125 film and television productions. It’s rumored that Do Thi Hai Yen is about to be the face of a new Louis Vutton ad-campaign. And, of course, there’s Denise Newman

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IMANI @ the San Francisco International Women’s Film Festival!

A scene from IMANI

IMANI, by Ugandan filmmaker Caroline Kamya, will be screening this Saturday as part of the 7th Annual San Francisco International Women’s Film Festival! This evocative film ventures into the lives of three characters—a child soldier, a maid and a hip hop dancer—living in contemporary Uganda. It received a GFI grant in 2009 and has gone on to win Best Film in an African Language at the African Movie Academy Awards and the Silver Award at the Cairo International Film Festival.

This screening marks a new partnership with the Women’s Film Institute, our neighbors at the Ninth Street Independent Film Center. IMANI is playing on Saturday, April 9th at 5:15, and our very own Operations Manager, Marita Murphy, will be introducing the film and speaking about GFI’s Granting program, which has supported filmmakers from over 45 nations to date!

The San Francisco International Women’s Film Festival runs April 6th-10th at the Roxie Theatre in San Francisco’s Mission district. For more information, visit the San Francisco International Women’s Film Festival website.

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GRANTING: Victor Viyuoh on Filmmaking in Cameroon

Victor Viyouh (right), director of Ninah's Dowry

Last year, GFI awarded Cameroonian director Victor Viyuoh a production grant to support completion of his film, Ninah’s Dowry. Such grants, as many of you know, are awarded twice a year to filmmakers who present us with unique cinematic visions of the world (or rather, their world). And since our founding, we have supported films that cover every kind of story one might imagine–from a behind the scenes look at Bollywood to films about wrestlers, politics, and, in Victor’s case, marriage in Cameroon.

However, as is often the situation, we sometimes find that the story behind the ‘vision’ is just as engaging as the film it produces–something Victor recently reminded us of after sending an email recounting the various difficulties he and his production crew faced while trying to film Ninah’s Dowry in Cameroon.

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