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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EDUCATION: Learn Everywhere

‘Change the way you see the world’ with the swipe of a library card, click of a mouse, rip of a movie ticket…

(Photo: Creative Commons)

In a previous post, I discussed the values of education through world cinema, specifically among high school students. But we all know that education really extends beyond school and teachers and students (and books and homework, for that matter), and influences us every day of our lives, regardless of whether we’re enrolled in a formal educational institution. Learning takes place anywhere and everywhere, all the time, and even more so among viewers of Global Lens films.

Take, for example, when a patron enters the Hartford Public Library, seeking to learn about war and its influence on the people living in Iraq. The obvious choice would be to find a book or encyclopedia on the topic, but now that the library is one of several in our Global Public program, anyone can use their library card to check out Global Lens 2012 film QARANTINA (dir. Oday Rasheed, Iraq) for a visceral case-study of a family living in Iraq. The film even shows you the point of view of a military tank as it rolls through the streets of Baghdad…

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NEW ON DVD: The Light Thief and Soul of Sand

The winds of change blow through both SOUL OF SAND (India) and THE LIGHT THIEF (Kyrgyzstan)–releasing on DVD September 25.

New award-winning films from Aktan Arym Kubat and Sidharth Srinivasan present a powerful look into the politics of class, caste, capitalism and environmentalism in a rapidly modernizing world.

THE LIGHT THIEF (SVET-AKE), dir. Aktan Arym Kubat, Kyrgyzstan, 2010, 80 minutes, Kyrgyz, with subtitles in English

A humble electrician intent on enlivening his rural 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. FIPRESCI Prize, Eurasia International Film Festival; Official Kyrgyzstan Submission, Best Foreign Language Film category of the 83rd Academy Awards; Official Selection, Directors’ Fortnight, Cannes Film Festival.

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INDUSTRY: Royalties, a Cycle of Exchange

Animation from the short film "Welcome to the Anthropocene," showing trade routes around the world. (Image courtesy of Globaia, Planet Under Pressure, SEI, SRC, CSIRO)

An inside look at how GFI pays it forward…

With our offices located in the heart of San Francisco, three of us at GFI commute into the city from the East Bay via BART train. Right before our trains plunge down into the Bay tunnel, we pass through the Port of Oakland—the fifth busiest port in the United States. In the early morning light the cranes, long-haul semi-trucks, and 1st shifters dutifully continue the pace of a humming port that never sleeps.

The trade lines of global commerce blanket our world (as this short film beautifully depicts), and while globalization is a peculiar force—advantageous for some, exploitative of others, with many a PhD dissertation tracking its effects and the arguments for and against it—Oakland’s port provides a context in which to understand this massive international integration.

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NEW ON DVD: The Tenants and Street Days!

Bad boys and bad medicine: Urban thriller THE TENANTS and junkie chronicle STREET DAYS to release on DVD May 15th

The DVD release of new films from playwright-cum-filmmaker Sérgio Bianchi and Georgian auteur Levan Koguashvili take audiences from the neo-noir nights of São Paulo to the mean streets of Tbilisi:

THE TENANTS (OS INQUILINOS), dir. Sérgio Bianchi, Brazil, 2009, 103 minutes, Portuguese, with subtitles in English

After three mysterious men move into a smoky São Paulo suburb, a neighboring couple becomes obsessed with the men’s clandestine activities and the ozone of violence that descends upon their once-tranquil neighborhood. Best Screenplay, Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival; Official Selection, Vancouver International Film Festival.

“Bianchi’s richly detailed film excavates society’s fear of and fascination with violence—from television’s constant stream of near-pornographic mayhem to venomous suspicion between neighbors, petty feuds within married couples, and quarreling among children—in an indictment of the lowest human impulses.” –Museum of Modern Art

“Stunning performances….A tour-de-force of cinematic tension.” –The Santa Barbara Independent

 

STREET DAYS (QUCHIS DGEEBI), dir. Levan Koguashvili, Georgia, 2010, 86 minutes, Georgian, with subtitles in English

A well-meaning heroin addict whose life and status seem to worsen by the day, finds himself caught between serving a prison sentence and selling out

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NEW ON DVD: MASQUERADES and SHIRLEY ADAMS!

MASQUERADES from Algeria and SHIRLEY ADAMS from South Africa available today!

We’re pleased to announce the DVD release of two new films from the Global Lens film series:

DVD coverMASQUERADES (MASCARADES) Dir. Lyes Salem Algeria, 2008, 92 minutes Arabic, with subtitles in English In a dusty Algerian village, a well-intentioned fib suddenly turns a gardener into a mogul, forcing him to choose between the happiness of his narcoleptic sister and his newfound celebrity; Official Algeria Submission for Best Foreign Language Film, 81st Academy Awards; FIPRESCI Prize at the Dubai International Film Festival.

A smart, expertly made crowd-pleaser. Masterfully sure of what it sets out to accomplish–and wise enough never to take itself too seriously.” -SF360

Undoubtedly, Masquerades markes Salem out as a talent we’ll certainly be seeing more of–and if his next work is as genial as this, the pleasure will be all ours.” -Screen Daily

For more information, visit: http://catalogue.globalfilm.org/masquerades.html

DVD coverSHIRLEY ADAMS Dir. Oliver Hermanus South Africa, 2009, 92 minutes Engish and Afrikaans, with subtitles in English In the depressed Cape Town neighborhood of Cape Flats, a single mother contemplates her fate and cautiously accepts the help of an overeager social worker as she struggles to care for her paraplegic and suicidal son; Best Director and Best Actress at the South

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SHIRLEY ADAMS: The Making Of

Denise Newman and friends take us into the mind, method and man behind SHIRLEY ADAMS

This month we release Oliver Hermanus’s Cape Town ode, SHIRLEY ADAMS, on home video. As most of you know, this is Oliver’s first film and was followed by SKOONHEID–a work supported by the Global Film Initiative, currently taking top honors at festivals worldwide. Of course, we take no credit for the intimate and ideological worlds portrayed in Oliver’s films, as these are brought to life through the skill of actors, such as Denise Newman (in the titular role of Shirley Adams). Below is a conversation with this award-winning actor and other cast members on the making of a masterpiece.

 

SUPPORT: You Say “Tomato” and I Say “Tomahto”

Global Lens and promoting a difference of opinion for the sake of diversity

Global Lens: grindhouse, arthouse, our house

Every year, we do our best to bring you the best in independent world cinema. And over the years, if there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that tastes vary from person to person and often what we see in a film isn’t always the same as what you see…

Earlier this year, we released what some audiences describe[d] as a “slasher” film–and others describe as an iconic representation of the “Indian New Wave.” For us, Sidharth Srinivasan’s SOUL OF SAND is an eccentric thriller that ‘delves into the dark interstices between Indian modernity and tradition,’ and for Memphis-based critic, John Beifuss:

“A blunt horror-art hybrid… With one foot in the arthouse and the other in the grindhouse.” [more]

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After the longest drumroll ever… GFI Happy Hour is back!

Come join us at the Bloodhound next Tuesday for an epic evening. Drink specials and Meat Ballers (think food truck, not barflies). Laissez-faire vs. carpe diem. And, this very excellent ornament to the night:

$10 donation to GFI = a new Global Lens DVD + a shot at winning a Flip Cam, night at the Gaige House in Sonoma, a Mission Ticket (Bi-Rite, Bissap Baobab, Tartine, Ritual Coffee) or a 10-film voucher for SFIFF

So, don’t stay home. Because we won’t be there.

GFI Happy Hour Tuesday, April 12th 6:00 p.m.-onward Bloodhound @ 1145 Folsom Street (between 7th & 8th)

Shazam.