INDUSTRY: Happy Hour, How LOVELY

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Cozy up to the bar with us at Churchill!

We raise a toast to MISS LOVELY director and GFI grant recipient Ashim Ahluwahlia–the San Francisco Film Society’s newest Artist-in-Residence!

Is there a better way to offer a warm welcome than by sharing a celebratory cocktail at Churchill? We think not. On February 26, we joined our friends at the San Francisco Film Society in welcoming their new Artist-in-Residence, filmmaker Ashim Ahluwalia (director of MISS LOVELY), and boy, was it a success! Killer drinks, awesome giveaways and the best company around–what could be better?

Thanks to everyone who came out, and if you missed us, fear not! For we have assembled a fine batch of pictures through which to vicariously relive the night…

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INDUSTRY: Behind the Scenes at the Global Lens 2013 MoMA Premiere

(L-R) Eric Schnedecker (Head of Sales-Acquisitions, Urban Distribution International), Rebeca Conget (Vice President Acquisitions and Distribution, Film Movement), Global Lens 2013 director Sebastián Silva, filmmaker Julia Solomonoff and Santhosh Daniel (Director of Programs) enjoy the party.

And this year was especially epic: A celebration of ten years of Global Lens films and the amazing partnerships we’ve formed over the years.

Jytte Jensen and MoMA, our founding partners, were the most gracious hosts ever.

The China Institute threw a wonderful reception to honor Zhang Yuan and our opening film BEIJING FLICKERS (and Zhang Yuan and Li Xinyun stole the show with their presence).

We couldn’t have asked Suman Ghosh and Sebastian Silva for better introductions to their films.

Rob Avila came through in wonderful fashion with director interviews (read our latest with Zhang Yuan here), and a whole host of friends, filmmakers, and film lovers came out to join in all the fun!

As February rolls around, we’re already full-speed ahead into our North American tour: from the Santa Barbara International Film Festival to a local theater in Juneau, Alaska. (Check out our calendar for more info!) Craving more instant updates? Head over to our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter!

And now, the round-up of snapshots from the milestone event!

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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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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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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: Saving Birds and Soaking it up in San Sebastian

We’re gearing up for the busiest season of the year here at GFI, with final decisions being made for the Global Lens 2012 lineup, grant applications under review and continuing DVD releases and Global Lens screenings.

In the midst of all this, it seems that each day brings more great news, important events and unexpected surprises. Here’s what we’ve been up to lately, and what’s in store for the near future:

GFI messenger bag

"Look for the yellow bag!" (Our calling card at festivals)

WHEN IN SPAIN: GFI Founder and Board Chair Susan Weeks Coulter traveled to the San Sebastián International Film Festival, where she met with filmmakers from around the world, saw a few unreleased and extremely impressive new projects, and made some new friends—most memorably after missing the last bus and getting stranded in the rain!

Gaston Kabore

Gaston Kabore

A VISIT TO REMEMBER: We’re very excited about Gaston Kabore’s visit during the Mill Valley Film Festival (Oct. 6-16)! The festival features a tribute to the Burkinabe filmmaker and GFI Film Board member, as well as a screening of Kabore’s Buud Yam

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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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