Now Playing: Global Lens Inside . . . your public library!

libraries buildDespite tough economic times, public libraries across the country have a full calendar of cultural programs, including artists and music, discussion of current events and issues, dancing, films and poetry.  With tight budgets and scarce resources, they’re finding creative ways to reach their audiences, including social media.  Libraries are posting announcements and event calendars on blogs, invitations and RSVPs on Facebook, last minute updates on Twitter.

We think this kind of creativity deserves our support!  How about a film and discussion program that recognizes libraries across the country for using low-cost, high impact marketing strategies?

The Global Film Initiative introduces Global Lens Inside, a film and discussion program with social media marketing support that grants a full set of critically-acclaimed Global Lens films to public libraries.  Global Lens films explore characters and stories from countries around the world, such as China, Brazil, Lebanon, India, Angola, Serbia and Mexico, and come with discussion guides to encourage lively film and discussion programs.  Participating libraries keep the Global Lens films for their permanent collections.

Libraries interested in participating in Global Lens Inside should contact kathy@globalfilm.org for an application.

Now Playing: Global Lens Dives Into Summer

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THE PARADE (Global Lens 2013) plays The Human Rights Watch Film Festival in New York this June

THE PARADE, STUDENT and the rest of Global Lens 2013 soak up the summer screen…

Global Lens 2013 is heating up screens across the country all through the summer! This month in the spotlight:

Srdjan Dragojević’s THE PARADE is set to screen at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival this month (June 13-23) in New York City. Through its humane and shrewdly comedic story, this powerful film exposes us to gay rights issues that many face in Serbia today.

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GRANTING: Ten Years to the Day in Global Film Funding

Ten years ago today, GFI announced the recipients of the inaugural granting program, and look at us now…

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On April 10, The Global Film Initiative announced it’s most recent grant recipients from the Winter 2012 granting cycle. The list of grantees features 11 works from both emerging and established filmmakers, representing 10 different countries around the world, and each project demonstrates great promise and vision. As Susan Weeks Coulter, Founder and Board Chair, said in the announcement: “We are pleased to identify and support these eleven unique and powerful narratives.”

What makes this granting cycle particularly special, however, is that it is the most recent in GFI’s now decade-old granting program. Ten years ago to the day, the very first round of grantees were announced on May 16, 2003. In celebration of this milestone, we’re taking a look back on the films GFI has funded over the years.

Again and again, our grantees represent filmmakers who are not afraid to challenge convention–to make sometimes dangerous, but always fiercely truthful statements about the society, and the world, that reflect them. These films often represent new perspectives and voices in storytelling–voices which are too often silenced or misrepresented in the mainstream–and hold promise in heralding a new generation of filmmakers.

Continue reading GRANTING: Ten Years to the Day in Global Film Funding

INTERVIEW: Life, Death and Moving On with Sebastián Silva

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Filmmaker Sebastán Silva

Rob Avila asks the [young] veteran about his very first feature, LIFE KILLS ME, and whether there’s any truth to the saying ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’…

Rob Avila met Sebastián Silva–the 34-year-old New York-based Chilean filmmaker, who received international acclaim in 2009 with his beautifully wrought, darkly funny drama, THE MAID (LA NANA)–at the beginning of a very big week. Silva debuted not one but two new films at the 2013 Sundance Film FestivalCRYSTAL FAIRY and MAGIC MAGIC—both featuring popular Canadian actor Michael Cera. Even before that happened, Silva headed to the Museum of Modern Art for the New York premiere of yet another of his films–his very first, 2007’s LIFE KILLS ME (LA VIDA ME MATA), as part of the Global Film Initiative’s Global Lens 2013 series.

LIFE KILLS ME centers on a taciturn young man, Gaspar (Gabriel Díaz), emotionally immobile and feebly suicidal with grief since the death of his idolized older brother. Gaspar lives with his older sister, his senile mother, and his dying grandfather, but occupies his time working as a cinematographer on a short horror film written and directed by, as well as starring, a flamboyant and irrepressible no-talent named Susana (the scene-stealing Claudia Celedón, who with costar Catalina Saavedra would go on to work with Silva in THE MAID and his 2010 feature, OLD CATS).

It’s through Susana that Gaspar meets an oddball drifter named Alvaro (Diego Muñoz), who appears obsessed with death and somewhat headless of the normal bounds of decency. It doesn’t take long before Gaspar comes to believe Alvaro is the reincarnation of his brother, and the two form a bond that is for Gaspar both therapeutic and morbid, perhaps even potentially dangerous.  Continue reading INTERVIEW: Life, Death and Moving On with Sebastián Silva

FEATURE: SOUTHWEST Screened at San Francisco’s Historic Clay Theater in 35mm

photoA birth, a death, a lifetime–Eduardo Nunes’ incredible debut feature film contains the longest measure of time imaginable in a single day and on April 10, GFI hosted one unforgettable screening of the film

The Global Film Initiative held an event for local friends that might be called a purist-cinephile’s dream–a screening of Eduardo Nunes’ visually striking, black and white film, SOUTHWEST, in 35mm, at San Francisco’s historic Clay Theater. It was a return to the collective spectatorship that went hand-in-hand with the cinematic experience in days before the advent of personal computers and televisions, a celebration of film and the connectivity it can provide.

Continue reading FEATURE: SOUTHWEST Screened at San Francisco’s Historic Clay Theater in 35mm

FEATURE: The Conservation of SHYAMAL UNCLE TURNS OFF THE LIGHTS

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A scene from SHYAMAL UNCLE TURNS OFF THE LIGHTS

As Earth Day approaches, GFI intern Isabella Lyle-Durham shares her thoughts on the global environmental landscape in both the Global Lens 2013 film SHYAMAL UNCLE TURNS OFF THE LIGHTS and reality…

On April 22nd, Earth Day, we dedicate 24 hours, as a global society, to thinking about our physical future.  And sometimes that “thinking” means we step away from the rhetoric, and into films like SHYAMAL UNCLE TURNS OFF THE LIGHTS—shining a light not just on what we can do to preserve the earth, but also on how what we’re currently doing may not be working and may actually contradict the idea of ‘conservation.’

Continue reading FEATURE: The Conservation of SHYAMAL UNCLE TURNS OFF THE LIGHTS

NEWS: Eleven New Films Awarded Funds by the Global Film Initiative

Grant recipients include projects from Mauritius and Tibet and films by seven first-time feature-length narrative filmmakers…

The Global Film Initiative announced today that eleven film projects have been selected to receive production funding as part of the Initiative’s Winter 2013 granting cycle.

“Filmmaking artistry continues to develop in and appear from all corners of the world, with story telling that is original and heart-felt,” says Susan Weeks Coulter, Founder and Board Chair of the Global Film Initiative. “We are pleased to identify and support these eleven unique and powerful narratives.”

Continue reading NEWS: Eleven New Films Awarded Funds by the Global Film Initiative

NOW PLAYING: Bright Lights on BEIJING FLICKERS


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Beijing Flickers looks deep into the psyches of this generation that doesn’t know quite what it wants, and finds at least flickers of hope that they can, together, make their own future.” – Vancouver International Film Festival

The accolades continue to roll in as Global Lens 2013 enters the Spring! This month in the spotlight: BEIJING FLICKERS, which recently played at both Chapman University’s Busan West Film Festival and the Miami International Film Festival, where it won the Miami Future Cinema Critics Award.

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FESTIVALS & AWARDS: Africa Movie Academy Awards, Miami IFF, ReelWorld FF and festivals, festivals, FESTIVALS!

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Screening of TANTA AGUA

NINAH’S DOWRY (Cameroon), SO MUCH WATER (Uruguay) and WHEN I SAW YOU (Palestine/Jordan) are just a few titles among a host of Global Lens films and grant recipients keeping our news feed a-buzzing…

The buzz just won’t stop.  From nominations, to awards, to screenings in festivals across the globe, GFI grant recipients and Global Lens films are continuing to impress in a big way.  Check out the most recent news:

Continue reading FESTIVALS & AWARDS: Africa Movie Academy Awards, Miami IFF, ReelWorld FF and festivals, festivals, FESTIVALS!

EDUCATION: TILT and GFI–A Match Made in Film Education Heaven

Angelica Dongallo speaks to students and teachers at last year's screening

Angelica Dongallo speaks to students and teachers at last year’s screening

World Cinema Week is just around the corner, and with it comes our second annual educational screening with our neighbors at Ninth Street, TILT…

As March draws to a close, it’s impossible not to notice a change in the San Francisco air. The weather is getting warmer, the birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, and here at The Global Film Initiative we know that this can only mean one thing: World Cinema Week is right around the corner!

Continue reading EDUCATION: TILT and GFI–A Match Made in Film Education Heaven