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.

For me, it is seventh time I’ve launched a new season of the series, and it’s a moment tinged with nostalgia.  In part because I’ve always loved the chaotic energy of creation, when an idea first takes root, explodes into the world–and like any “parent,” there’s a bit of sentimentality in watching that energy evolve into something greater than ever imagined.  And also because in the midst of that “energy” is where/when I found LA VIDA ME MATA, or LIFE KILLS ME.

The Science of Discovery: LIFE KILLS ME

LIFE KILLS ME is Chilean director Sebastian Silva’s debut feature, and it’s an inspired piece of filmmaking that set sail his career six years ago.  It’s also the first film I ever tried to acquire for Global Lens, which so many years after discovery, finally made into the series, for our tenth year.   I would’ve never seen it if it weren’t for a chance meeting in 2007 on the Valdivia River–made possible by yet another friend, Bruno Bettati, director of Festival Internacional de Cine de Valdivia (FICV)–in which Sebastian pushed a copy of the film into my hands and said ‘I know you’re gonna like it’…

I did like Sebastian’s film, perhaps because back then, we were all a bunch of idealists.   Bruno had just taken over FICV, I had just taken over programs at GFI and Sebastian—he had just finished his first film.  There was nowhere to go but up, out and forward.  And everything about Sebastian’s film seemed to fit that mood…

So many years later, all those things we wanted to do have been done, in some degree.  Bruno has now built FICV into one of the more influential festivals in Latin America.  Sebastian is now on his fourth film—which happens to be opening Sundance, just after the premiere of  Global Lens 2013.  And I’ve worked with a spectacular group of people to bring a one-of-a-kind film series to it’s tenth season…

Sebastian Silva, back in the day, circa 2007

But for all that I’ve tried to do, what I wasn’t able to do, all these years, was acquire LIFE KILLS ME.  The timing was never right, nothing ever seemed to click.  Until recently, as I was sitting in my office, thinking about how to curate our tenth year, and make a subtle statement about what defines Global Lens.  And it dawned on me that for however well-known he is now, this small and bizarre bit of spectacular by Sebastian had never seen much light…

And so we decided to include LIFE KILLS ME in our tenth anniversary edition.  Because “old” that it is, it fit perfectly with one of the very basic mission directives that seduced me to work for the Initiative:  to bring to light the best [and sometimes overlooked] cinematic perspectives of the world.  Thus, the first film I ever tried to put in Global Lens, became the final film, the finishing touch, for our tenth year [cue music: nostalgia].

Global Lens 2013 is set to hit the stage on January 10th, and like every year, it will be unforgettable.  I say in the headline that “our roots are showing” and “we went back to the basics” with this year and such is the case, indeed.  Filmmakers like Sebastian are our roots, and our relationship with them is the basic foundation that has drawn almost a 100+ filmmakers, from backgrounds as varied and diverse as the history of cinema, to trust us, as friends, to take their vision to screen via Global Lens.

 Global Lens 2013 will premiere January 10th-26th at the Museum of Modern Art.  Come join us in celebrating our tenth season!

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