Global Lens @ 54th San Francisco International Film Festival!

GFI co-presents THE LIGHT THIEF and A USEFUL LIFE at the 54th San Francisco International Film Festival

Bay Area film fans, rejoice! The San Francisco International Film Festival kicks off tonight, with nearly 200 films screening over the next two weeks!

We are very proud to co-present two Global Lens films in the festival this year:

THE LIGHT THIEF (dir. Aktan Arym Kubat, Kyrgyzstan): A humble electrician intent on enlivening his windswept 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. Included in Redefine Magazine’s festival recommendations!

¿Habla Español? Click here to watch Federico speak about A USEFUL LIFE on NY1 News!

A USEFUL LIFE (dir. Federico Veiroj, Uruguay): After financial troubles and a dwindling audience force an art-house cinema to shut its doors permanently, its most devoted employee is suddenly left without a ‘home’ and forced to adjust to life outside of the theater. Included in the San Francisco Chronicle’s festival highlights!

In addition, two GFI-grant supported films are included in the festival’s lineup: A YEAR WITHOUT SUMMER, by Malaysian director Tan Chui Mui, and ASLEEP IN THE SUN, from Argentine

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NOW PLAYING: Global Lens in the Bay Area!

Did you know that the Global Lens film series has screened in 43 states and one U.S. territory over the past eight years? We’ve even taken to the skies on Virgin American airlines!

Of course, it’s also nice to have Global Lens film shown in our own backyard, and over the next few weeks, the Bay Area will be buzzing with screenings of Global Lens and GFI grant-supported films!

Read on for more about each exciting presentation!

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Veiroj Vérité

Rob Avila and Global Lens filmmaker, Federico Veiroj, discuss sexual rites of passage, Montevideo’s Jewish community and the director’s short film, AS FOLLOWS

With something more like resignation than enthusiasm, 13-year-old Rafael Bregman (Diego Radzewicz) prepares for his bar mitzvah. At the rabbi’s desk, he dutifully mouths the ceremonial Hebrew that comes so much less naturally to him than his native Spanish. But it’s all part of becoming a man in this Jewish enclave of Montevideo, Uruguay—and, as follows here, will no doubt prove a complex memory some day. (Perhaps it’s his own bar mitzvah that Bregman senior (Omar Varela) is remembering as he slumbers on his analyst’s couch!)

Federico Veiroj’s 13-minute short, As Follows (Bregman, el siguiente)—which GFI is distributing alongside the 35-year-old Uruguayan filmmaker’s feature film, A Useful Life (La Vida Útil)—is a wry, charming story of a rich Latin American subculture and a boy set on the uncertain, ambiguous cusp of manhood. Watch the entire film below and read on for an interview with Federico Veiroj!

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Support a Filmmaker

Read about our support of director Federico Veiroj and how you can contribute to our programs

Federico Veiroj (left) and GFI Director of Programs, Santhosh Daniel, at the U.S. premiere of A USEFUL LIFE

Every year since our founding, we’ve offered our support to filmmakers from around the world through out Granting and Distribution programs. In doing this, we hope to make an impact on the life and career of individuals, but we rarely stop to think about how, every now and then, the individual has an impact on us.

Uruguayan director Federico Veiroj is one example of this. Five years ago, he sent us his short film, AS FOLLOWS. At the time, he had only made this one film and although we neither grant nor distribute short films, we found it to be so entertaining, we decided to include it in our Global Lens 2005 touring series.

A year later, Federico then approached us with a new film: ACNE. This was his first feature-length film and a conceptual continuation of his short, and we encouraged him to apply to our Granting Program. At the time of Federico’s application, Uruguayan cinema was just emerging to be a significant force in independent cinema. And upon reading his script, we believed [Federico] to be a strong representative of this phenomenon and subsequently, awarded him a production grant for his film.

Many years later,

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Global Lens 2011 at the Museum of Modern Art!

This month, we celebrate the launch of Global Lens 2011 at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)!

Nine new and exciting films will be featured at MoMA from January 13th to the 28th, including the U.S. premiere of A USEFUL LIFE (Uruguay)—winner of Best Film at the Havana International Film Festival—and Mohammad Rasoulof’s mesmerizing Iranian mythology, THE WHITE MEADOWS (Iran) and Georgia’s official submission to the Oscars, STREET DAYS (dir. Levan Koguashvili).

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