FEATURE: Shooting the Past and Present of Albanian Cinema

Thomas Logoreci is a filmmaker, sometime journalist and occasional film festival programmer living and working in the Balkans.

Thomas Logoreci, co-writer of GFI grantee WORLD, discusses the evolution of cinema within an ever-changing landscape of Albania…

Thomas Logoreci here. I used to live in San Francisco. I produced and edited Caveh Zahedi’s Bay Area indie comedy I AM A SEX ADDICT which was released back in 2005. Five years later, I picked up and moved my entire life to the East European nation of Albania. I’m half-Albanian but owing to the country’s fifty years of North Korea-like communism, violent civil unrest in 1997 and the 1998-99 war in neighboring Kosovo, I did not get to Albania for the first time until 2005.

Even though I barely advanced my Albanian language skills, I ended up visiting the country several times, eventually earning a modest income rewriting scripts for some of the country’s foremost filmmakers. In 2008, I was asked to come back to the capital to program the country’s Tirana International Film Festival. During the frantic fest week, I met Iris Elezi, a talented cineaste who pitched me her script titled BOTA (the Albanian word for ’world’), which she intended to direct.

We ended up reshaping the story together – a group of outsiders working in a café at the edge of a haunted swamp cope

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NOW PLAYING: There Will Be No AMNESTY If You Miss Global Lens This Summer!

A subtle exploration of a society in flux and divided between morality and passion.“ -Cineuropa

Even in this, his first feature film, director Bujar Alimani demonstrates an assured hand, timing all his shots with precision so that they are lyrical and contemplative…“ -The Moving Arts Film Journal

The story: A new law allowing conjugal visits in Albanian prisons presents the opportunity for a sympathetic affair between a man and woman visiting their incarcerated spouses—until a prisoner amnesty threatens their fragile new bond.

First-time filmmaker Bujar Alimani’s sensual and pensive drama, AMNESTY (awarded the FIPRESCI Prize and Cineuropa Prize at the 2011 Festival del Cinema Europeo), is now available for booking in your festival or theater, along with nine other award-winning and critically acclaimed films from the new Global Lens 2012 series!

Programmers and curators: View the 2012 lineup now on Festival Scope and email us at bookings@globalfilm.org to schedule the films today!

Film fans and enthusiasts: Read the list below and click on the map to find out where you can catch these fantastic films!

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GLOBAL LENS 2012: Meet the Directors

A long-haired rocker seeking acceptance, an adult returning to the beaches of her childhood and an artist looking for the meaning in monotony are just a few of the minds behind this year’s series…

From left: Gustavo Pizzi (CRAFT, Brazil) and Tolga Karacelik (TOLL BOOTH, Turkey) at the Global Lens 2012 premiere in New York

Every person has a voice. Every voice tells a story. Every story reveals a world.

The Global Lens series trailer opens with these 15 words, and they really do sum up why we’re here. We work with film, but more importantly, we work with people. And by using film to give life to their stories, these people have become the living, breathing embodiment of Global Lens.

With this in mind, we’d like to introduce you to the brilliant filmmakers behind the Global Lens 2012 series, and let them explain the concept, creation & message of their work for themselves.

Sharing these stories is what we’re all about, and the reason why, after all these years, the words of the Global Lens trailer still ring true.

Ladies and gentlemen, here they are, the directors of Global Lens 2012!

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FESTIVALS & AWARDS: Rotterdam, Berlin, Dubai and more!

Global Lens films and GFI grant recipients hit the ground running in 2012 with premieres and awards at festivals around the world!

INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL ROTTERDAM (January 25-February 5, 2012):

Several Global Lens directors and GFI grantees will screen their films and new projects at the International Film Festival Rotterdam—host of one of the largest film markets in the world and a prime place for GFI-related films to intersect! This year’s festival includes:

TIGER AWARDS COMPETITION: The world premiere of 2011 GFI grant recipient VOICE OF MY FATHER (dir. Orhan Eskiköy and Ozgur Doğan, Turkey). BRIGHT FUTURE SECTION: The Dutch premieres of Global Lens film GREY MATTER (dir. Kivu Ruhorahoza, Rwanda), of 2010 GFI grant recipient BEAUTY (dir. Oliver Hermanus, South Africa) and of 2011 GFI grant recipient ON THE EDGE (dir. Leïla Kilani, Morocco). Kivu Ruhorahoza will also be participating in CineMart with his new project, JOMO, through the BOOST! initiative! SPECTRUM SECTION: Premieres of new films by Global Lens directors Cláudio Assis (MANGO YELLOW, Brazil) and Garin Nugroho (OF LOVE AND EGGS and OPERA JAWA, Indonesia), as well as by Raya Martin, director of 2008 GFI grant recipient INDEPENDENCIA

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Global Lens 2012 @ MoMA and Beyond!

This year’s launch in New York set our universe in motion thanks to a host of filmmakers, friends and more than a little help from MoMA and a one-man army…

Angelica in the Stars

Angelica Dongallo, Acquisitions & Granting Dynamo, kicks-off Global Lens 2012 amongst the stars

 

What can we say–it was spectacular. And for as much as we’d really like to tell you about the launch of Global Lens 2012 in New York, pictures do the job so much better. The stars were out and in alignment, and the year began with a big bang, cosmic kismet and maybe even a few good parties–see for yourself!

Next stop: everywhere. Global Lens 2012 will be playing all across the U.S. and Canada, from Palm Springs to Boston, Latin Wave in Houston and Vue d’Afrique in Montreal–check our calendar!

A special thanks to Jytte Jensen, Curator, and Clay Farland, at the MoMA Department of Film; Consul General M. Levent Bilgen, Consul Ismet Erikan and the Turkish Consulate General of New York; Robert Avila; Gary Ponzo; Gianfranco Sorrentino and our friends at Gattopardo; Carlos Gutierrez; Tom Vick at the Smithsonian Institution; Engin “One-Man Army” Yeniduniya; and Global Lens 2012 directors Bujar Alimani, Tolga Karacelik, Carlos Osuna, Gustavo Pizzi, and Oday Rasheed–none of this would’ve been possible without you.

 

 

 

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