NEW ON DVD: The Light Thief and Soul of Sand

The winds of change blow through both SOUL OF SAND (India) and THE LIGHT THIEF (Kyrgyzstan)–releasing on DVD September 25.

New award-winning films from Aktan Arym Kubat and Sidharth Srinivasan present a powerful look into the politics of class, caste, capitalism and environmentalism in a rapidly modernizing world.

THE LIGHT THIEF (SVET-AKE), dir. Aktan Arym Kubat, Kyrgyzstan, 2010, 80 minutes, Kyrgyz, with subtitles in English

A humble electrician intent on enlivening his rural valley with electricity unwittingly strikes a deal with a rich politician whose corrupt ambitions threaten to upend the electrician’s dream to build windmills in his village. FIPRESCI Prize, Eurasia International Film Festival; Official Kyrgyzstan Submission, Best Foreign Language Film category of the 83rd Academy Awards; Official Selection, Directors’ Fortnight, Cannes Film Festival.

Kubat is irresistible…This is not how the West sees the East, but how someone from the East views the downward spiral of his country.” -The Hollywood Reporter

An illuminating parable about the clash of tradition and modernity.” -The Guardian



SOUL OF SAND (PAIRON TALLE), dir. Sidharth Srinivasan, India, 2010, 98 minutes, Hindi, with subtitles in English

A watchman at an abandoned mine is drawn into a bizarre triangle after a wealthy landlord’s daughter and her lower-caste lover seek refuge from a masked killer wreaking havoc across the Indian countryside. Bright Future, International Film Festival Rotterdam; Discovery Programme, Toronto International Film Festival; Official Selection, Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

Srinivasan makes a bold break with traditional Indian art cinema…a film of extraordinarily striking aesthetics…a sharp cry for social change…urgent, relevant, artful and new.“ -IndieWire

A savage stab at the ‘Shining India’ myth…Compellingly shot by S. Nalla Muthu on HD, the film draws powerful performances from Dibyendu Bhattacharya and Saba Joshi.” ­-Forbes India

THE LIGHT THIEF’s evocative portrayal of a rural, working class man dedicated to bettering his community won over audiences at the Cannes, Toronto, BFI London and San Francisco International Film Festivals, and was awarded the FIPRESCI Prize at the Eurasia International Film Festival in 2010. The beautifully lensed SOUL OF SAND generated critical controversy and praise by “straying from the formulaic Bollywood approach” (Buzzine Bollywood), and was a highlight of the Toronto, Rotterdam and Santa Barbara International Film Festivals. Both films toured as part of the Global Lens 2011 film series and are also featured on Virgin America airlines, along with other Global Lens films.

DVDs will be available for purchase through the Global Film Initiative’s website ( on September 25th. Both releases also include DVD-ROM discussion guides with director’s statements, comprehensive background information about each country’s geographical setting and history and commentary on cultural references within each film.

Upcoming DVD releases:

BELVEDERE,dir. Ahmed Imamović, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Fifteen years after the ethnic cleansing of Bosnian Muslims during the Balkan conflict, a determined widow searching for the remains of her husband and son quietly attempts to rebuild her life by caring for her troubled extended family. Official Selection, Karlovy Vary International Film Festival; Official Submission, Best Foreign Language Film category of the 84th Academy Awards; Official Selection, Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

Shooting in stark black and white–counterpointed with the glossy, color ‘Big Brother’ sequences–Imamović evokes a classical atmosphere that lends both weight and timelessness.” -IndieWire



Rowing through the salty waters of a vast marsh, a boatman quietly collects and combines the tears and confessions of nearby island residents into a dreamlike mythology of modern Iran. Official Selection of the Tribeca Film Festival and Sydney Film Festival.

A rich film packed with ideas and commentary on misogyny, questions about family and even the tears of a nation that go unchecked.“ -Film Threat




Other recent DVD releases:

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

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

The Global Film Initiative is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization. All proceeds from the Global Lens film series support international filmmaker grants, educational programming and resources, touring film exhibitions and other philanthropic initiatives and programs sponsored by the Global Film Initiative.

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