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!

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INDUSTRY: Feast Your Eyes on FICG 28

hands

“For all hands”

Acquisitions and Granting Manager Angelica Dongallo recounts the sights and sounds of Mexico’s prestigious film festival…

Guadalajara: home of mariachis, tequila country, and the Festival Internacional de Cine en Guadalajara (FICG). I arrived in the “valley of stones” during the wee hours of the day of opening night activities, and contemplated the next few days’ prospects as we drove through the speckled-lit streets of the sleeping city.

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MONTH IN REVIEW: Food, Friends & Getting Stranded in Cyberspace

After an eventful April, GFI knows what it wants, needs and can’t live without…

For a nonprofit international arts organization with a full-time staff of only five, we are used to being frugal, lean and mean fighting machines. The eventful month of April gave us a chance to take a good hard look into our wants and needs: What is necessary in running GFI, and what is just really, really nice to have. Turns out, GFI is lucky enough to often be blessed with both.

Let’s start with the wants:

Oday Rasheed speaks with a student at the Berkeley High School screening of QARANTINA

GUESTS OF HONOR: We love when friends stop by for long visits, as director Oday Rasheed (QARANTINA, Global Lens 2012) did at the beginning of the month, gracing the Bay with his cool charm for a full two weeks while he participated in the San Francisco Film Society’s Artist in Residence program. While in San Francisco, GFI co-presented a screening of his film Qarantina with the SF Film Society, bringing in the imbedded journalist-extraordinaire Terry McCarthy, who spent several tours in Iraq as a U.S. news correspondent, to lead the Q&A afterward.

A CANNES-DO ATTITUDE: There’s only so much that can be done from our office—sometimes we have to take to the road. In a few weeks, GFI

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EDUCATION: All Eyes on the Screen!

Staffer Angelica Dongallo, coordinator of GFI’s educational screening programs, explains why world cinema deserves a place in the classroom…and vice versa

Angelica Dongallo speaks to students and teachers attending our first-ever World Cinema Week screening @ Ninth Street!

Pencils down!

Before you naysayers say nay—just as the parents described in this post did—about screening films to students in the classroom, hear me out. I’m not referring to the Hollywood blockbusters used by many teachers (we’ve all encountered at least one during our school days) as mindless background noise at pizza parties or as a last-minute time-filler on days with no lesson plans. Rather, I speak of cinema (particularly independent world cinema) and its unique value when shown with an intent, a lesson plan, critical discussion questions, the works.

Yes, contrary to popular belief, it can and should be done. But first, some context…

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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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The Out-of-Towners

L-R: Granting & Distribution Coordinator, Angelica Dongallo, Filmmaker and GFI Film Board member, Gaston Kabore, Administrative Coordinator, Emma Rae Lierley

Administrative Coordinator Emma Rae Lierley on “keeping it local” with GFI’s global guests

‘Promoting cross-cultural understanding through cinema’ is an interesting endeavor in the digital age: most of our work happens at a stationary desk, firmly rooted in our San Francisco office, with new-fangled technology making all of it possible. And while we do take the occasional international trip (such as our recent excursion to Basque country!), we’re often required to be more home-body than jet-setter. Which is exactly why interacting with people outside of our office gives us different perspectives on the world–and why we get so excited when visitors come to our ‘neck of the woods.’

Last month, the Mill Valley Film Festival (MVFF) brought new and old friends to the Bay Area. Paula Markovitch, director of The Prize and Anas El Baz, lead actor of Pegasus, both visited our neighbors on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge, and gave audiences at MVFF a sneak preview of two standout films from Global Lens 2012–which has its official release in January.

The festival also paid tribute to our old friend and GFI Film Board Member Gaston Kabore with screenings

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WEEK IN REVIEW: GFI, Unsubtitled

What We Watch When We’re Not Watching Global Lens

One of the great perks of working at the Global Film Initiative is that we get to watch interesting, exciting films from around the world. It’s like being a kid in a candy store, except instead of candy, we have shelves full of new and unreleased films–and the mailman brings more every day!

However, just as pastry chefs sometimes feel like a burger or mystery novelists might dabble in haiku from time to time, we also run the gamut when it comes to what we watch “off the clock.” Here’s just a sampling of what the GFI staffers have been filling their screen time with:

Marketing and Publicity Manager Hilary Lawson has worked her way through four seasons of the awesomely-80s action thriller series MacGyver. Obviously, watching Richard Dean Anderson create a bomb using silly putty or a make a magnifying glass with a hair pin and white wine never gets old. Ever.

Granting & Distribution Coordinator Angelica Dongallo, swooned all over again while re-visiting old an old episode of the Mickey Mouse Club. In confessing this to the rest of the staff, she managed to embarrass herself and make us all feel kind of old.

Director of Programs Santhosh Daniel watched Fantastic Mr. Fox for the 30th time, matching his childhood record for reading the

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We’ve Got Mail!

From simple packages tied with twine to florescent envelopes covered in flashy characters and graphics, the daily mail call is always full of surprises.

During each GFI granting cycle, our mailbox receives every form of postage and packaging imaginable, and each day, we send materials to venues, schools and journalists across the country. Luckily, GFI intern Angelica Dongallo makes sure everything comes in and goes out smoothly. Here, she highlights a few misadventures while shipping and handling at GFI and pays tribute to the timeless appeal of snail mail.

When I first started my internship at GFI, I had no idea what the difference was between first class and media mail. Or how you have to go to the post office to send a package if it weighs more than 13 ounces. Or how to calculate how much postage goes on different-sized packages.

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Differentiating Kazakhstan from Kyrgyzstan: a GFI Geography Lesson

Intern Angelica Dongallo talks about gaining an education while learning “the business” at the Global Film Initiative

GFI Intern Angelica Dongallo

When I began an internship at the Global Film Initiative in the summer of 2009, I had never heard of Kyrgyzstan. If you’d have asked me to locate it on a globe, I would’ve twirled my pointer finger around Western Asia and Europe without a firm indication of where it should land. And while geography still isn’t my strong suit, thanks to my time at GFI I at least now know that Kyrgyzstan is a very interesting country, indeed (it’s also home to one of our Global Lens 2011 films: THE LIGHT THIEF).

At GFI, all our programs (Granting, Acquisitions, Distribution and Education) rely on staffers with a keen sense of geography. Granting and Acquisitions require an understanding of the world to ensure that we choose projects and films that were made across a spectrum of world regions. Distribution and Education are more domestically-oriented and motivate us to find venues and institutions throughout the U.S. and Canada where we can exhibit our films.

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