NEW ON DVD: Mohammad Rasoulof’s THE WHITE MEADOWS

The imprisoned director’s stunning visual journey into tradition and the struggle for individual freedom in Iran–available on DVD Janaury 8th.

The Global Film Initiative is pleased to announce the Global Lens DVD release of the award-winning critics’ pick, THE WHITE MEADOWS by Iranian director, Mohammad Rasoulof

Originally featured in Global Lens 2011, THE WHITE MEADOWS gained worldwide attention last year following the arrest and prison sentencing of Rasoulof and fellow filmmaker Jafar Panahi (editor of THE WHITE MEADOWS) for “film-related activities” against the Iranian government. In support of Rasoulof, the Initiative presented the film in over fifty U.S. cities as part of Global Lens 2011 and also in select showcase exhibitions, including a special presentation hosted by actor/director Peter Coyote at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and a “protest” exhibition at the 2011 International Film Festival Rotterdam.

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NEWS: BELVEDERE and A USEFUL LIFE Now Available Exclusively on Fandor!

We recently announced that Global Lens films are now streaming on Hulu, and we here at the Global Film Initiative are quite excited about it. But what has us equally aflutter at the moment is that two of our most popular films – Ahmed Imamovic’s BELVEDERE and Federico Veiroj’s A USEFUL LIFE – are now streaming exclusively on Fandor!

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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:

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OPEN MIC: Sight(read)ing Music’s Unique Tones in Film

The film OPERA JAWA, based on Javanese legends.

GFI intern Natasha Hull-Richter sings out about the daring Global Lens film OPERA JAWA, and the ways in which music and film can change the way you see the world…

As a musician, I am particularly interested in the similarities between film and music. The many common elements that I have seen from previous experience and through my internship at GFI include the cultural importance and storytelling of music, of film and of music in film. A particular song or score at just the right moment in a film can express so much more than the scene alone.

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EDUCATION: Globally Minded Teachers Are Key to Globally Minded Citizens

In anticipation of the new school year—and International Education Week 2012—here’s a spotlight on a group of inspiring teachers who know how to think outside the box…

Teachers. They make the world go ‘round…and we love them for that.

In particular, there are a number of globally minded high school teachers who definitely deserve a shout-out for recently screening Global Lens films to their students during World Cinema Week (an annual event sponsored by our Education Program). Get inspired by these educators’ stories, especially as we look forward to the new school year and to our next Education Program-sponsored event: International Education Week (November 12-16, 2012)!

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NEWS: Spend a special night of your USEFUL LIFE at the Castro Theatre!

GFI presents Federico Veiroj’s cineaste classic at San Francisco’s historic theatre, and then makes the film available online exclusively on Fandor!

The last time I made it out to the beautiful Castro Theatre was a little over a year ago, for a special screening of a newly restored 70mm print (!) of Hitchcock’s Vertigo (the Castro is the only San Francisco venue equipped to project this format). I know, I know… It’s a complete shame that I haven’t frequented the theatre more often, and I really have no excuse (other than the fact that I work too much, live in a not-so-convenient suburb, and have a rambunctious one-and-a half year-old at home). I mean, come on, it’s the CASTRO – San Francisco’s famous, historic movie palace – and it’s right in my backyard!

A USEFUL LIFE screens at the Castro Theatre on August 16th

Well, that all changes in a few weeks because on Thursday, August 16th, the Castro – as part of its month-long celebration of the theatre’s 90th anniversary – is screening Federico Veiroj’s still-wonderful A USEFUL LIFE. There’s no way I’m missing the chance to see this new classic in such a perfectly appropriate setting, and you shouldn’t either. And although the August

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FEATURE: A Uruguayan in San Francisco

Joanne Parsont, Director of Education at the San Francisco Film Society, on A USEFUL LIFE’S Federico Veiroj as an Artist in Residence (and honorary SF resident)…

From the moment he arrived in San Francisco, Uruguayan filmmaker Federico Veiroj was on the move—and seemingly right at home. As the second participant in the San Francisco Film Society’s new Artist in Residence program (made possible by a grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences), Veiroj spent two action-packed weeks in San Francisco in November. While I knew we had a slew of events and activities planned for his time here, I had no idea how much more he would manage to pack into that time himself.

Federico Veiroj and one of his new SF friends

When I picked him up at SFO on the morning of November 10, he had been traveling for more than 21 hours through 4 airports since his departure from Montevideo. I figured I’d drop him off at the house where he’d be staying (graciously hosted by SFFS Board President Pat McBaine and his wife Susie) and let him get some sleep while I went back

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FESTIVALS & AWARDS: Durban, San Sebastian, Montreal and more!

There’s a lot to celebrate these days! Congratulations to the following GFI grant recipients and Global Lens films:

 

GFI GRANT RECIPIENTS:

SKOONHEID was awarded Best South African Feature Film and Jury Special Mention Prize at the Durban International Film Festival, and will also be traveling to the Toronto International Film Festival in September! Read an interview with director Oliver Hermanus here.

San Sebastian Film Festival logoON THE PLANK will screen at the San Sebastian International Film Festival as part of the Zabaltegi Specials lineup (ON THE PLANK received the Cinema in Motion award at the festival last year). Watch a video of writer-director Leila Kilani speaking about the film here.

THE DEAD SEA will screen at the Montreal World Film Festival in the First Films Competition. This follows the film gaining CBFC clearance and having a successful world premiere at the FESTIVALS & AWARDS: Durban, San Sebastian, Montreal and more!

Closing Thoughts: Independent Theaters Take a Final Curtain Call

The Red Vic in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury neighborhood (Photo courtesy of the Bay Citizen)

Art imitates life as San Francisco pays homage to an arthouse icon and A USEFUL LIFE

On Monday, July 25th, San Francisco’s iconic and eclectic Red Vic Movie House will roll its reels for the last time. After 31 years filled with unconventional programming, squeaky bench seating, and a spice rack filled with popcorn accompaniments, the theater’s first film, “Harold and Maude,” will become it’s last. It’s a sad day for film lovers in San Francisco.

Rumors of closure had been swirling since last year, but financial troubles and dwindling attendance numbers finally conquered the beloved movie house. Of course, just because it’s been a slow goodbye doesn’t make it any easier. In an interview with the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Red Vic collective member Claudia Lehan called the process “’kind of like doing a bit of grief counseling. People who you tell are really sad about it. I think for us we’re sad but we’re kind of at the acceptance stage…. It’s just a different world.’”

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NOW PLAYING: Museum of the Moving Image, Northwest Film Forum, the Los Angeles Latino Film Festival and more!

Films from the Global Lens 2011 film series are now playing at the following venues and festivals across the U.S. and Canada (and beyond!):

Asia Society (Hong Kong): THE WHITE MEADOWS (dir. Mohammad Rasoulof, Iran) July 14th-31st

Brooks Museum of Art/Indie Memphis (Memphis, TN): Presenting the complete Global Lens 2011 film series Check the film calendar for screening information

Cinema St. Louis/Webster University (St. Louis, MO): Presenting the complete Global Lens 2011 film series Check the film calendar for screening information

Danish Film Institute Cinematheque (Copenhagen, Denmark): THE WHITE MEADOWS (dir. Mohammad Rasoulof, Iran) June 25th

 

Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (Los Angeles, CA): THE INVISIBLE EYE (dir. Diego Lerman, Argentina) A USEFUL LIFE (dir. Federico Veiroj, Uruguay) July 17th-25th

Global Lens now playing on Virgin American flights!

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