EDUCATION: Global Lens 2013 Discussion Guides Now Available Online!

Discussion guide for Mohamed Diab’s film, CAIRO 678

Bring the best in independent international film to your classroom with our newest Global Lens Discussion Guides…

And we’re excited to announce that new Global Lens 2013 film discussion guides are now available online!

From social class in India to the 2011 Egyptian revolution, Global Lens guides not only feature film discussion questions , but include background about each country’s unique culture and history.

TAKE INITIATIVE: The Theory (and Story) of Stone Soup

Soup's on: Matt Poland, CEO (far left) and Jerome Meyers, Public Services Director (far right), of the Hartford Public Libary with Jeremy Quist, Global Lens Series Manager and Santhosh Daniel, Director of Programs

Ten years later, the the folk tale is still the best way to define our community, films and programs

Do you know the story of “Stone Soup?” It goes something like this:

Some travelers come to a village, carrying nothing more than an empty cooking pot. Suspicious, the villagers are unwilling to share any of their food with the hungry travelers. So, the travelers go to a stream and fill the pot with water, drop a large stone in it, and place it over a fire…

Eventually, one of the villagers becomes curious and asks what they are doing. The travelers declare, “We’re making stone soup!” “What does it taste like?” asks the villager. And the travelers say, “Why, it tastes wonderful—but could use something to improve the flavor.” Enchanted, the villager decides to give them a few carrots…

A few moments later, another villager walks by. And the travelers again mention their stone soup, which still needs “something” to make it just right. The villager hands them a little bit of seasoning to help them out. Eventually, more and more villagers walk by, each adding another ingredient. And finally, the entire village adds a little something, and

Continue reading TAKE INITIATIVE: The Theory (and Story) of Stone Soup

NEWS: Global Lens 2013 @ MoMA!

Global Lens 2013: Change the Way You See the World

Our tenth anniversary opens with China’s Sixth Generation, Sebastián Silva, the biggest film you’ve ever seen from Brazil (literally), and a host of Global Lens alumnus.…

It’s our tenth year and we’re kicking off Global Lens 2013, January 10th-26th, with ten films at the Museum of Modern Art! It’s going to be some celebration…

BEIJING FLICKERS will open the series on January 10th with a week-run at MoMA and director Zhang Yuan and actor Li Xinjun in attendance, to launch the festivities (a must see: Zhang is the acclaimed director of Beijing Bastards, and part of the gritty Sixth Generation ethos—who in the ‘90s, pushed Chinese filmmaking out of an overly-romanticized lens into the alter-reality of its edgy, urban psyche).

Also in New York for the GL13 opening: Suman Ghosh for the North American premiere of SHYAMAL UNCLE TURNS OFF THE LIGHTS, on January 11th. This film is something to indeed be experienced with the director, as he runs his fingers through the tangled hair of Kolkata’s bureaucracy; an inspired and insightful work that carries a subtle charm, similar to another Global Lens standout.

Continue reading NEWS: Global Lens 2013 @ MoMA!

SUPPORT: Our Roots Are Showing

The Inauguration: MARGARETTE'S FEAST, the first film acquired for Global Lens

After years of ‘pushing the envelope’ and ‘changing the game’ with Global Lens, we went back to the basics for our tenth year…

Global Lens 2013 is just around the corner, and if you haven’t noticed [with all the fanfare], it’s the tenth anniversary of our most beloved series. A ‘decade of film’—from silent to sign language, notes of opera and narrative “firsts.” Baghdad. Mina Gerais. The Caspian Sea…

It’s an accomplishment. Over the years, almost 100 filmmakers, from backgrounds as varied and diverse as the history of cinema, trusted us to take their vision to screen via Global Lens. That we did, with the help of just a few thousand friends. And in just a few short weeks, we’ll be heading to New York to christen this tenth year of Global Lens with our very first friend: the Museum of Modern Art.

Continue reading SUPPORT: Our Roots Are Showing

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.

Continue reading NEW ON DVD: Mohammad Rasoulof’s THE WHITE MEADOWS

NEWS: BELVEDERE and A USEFUL LIFE Now Available Exclusively on Fandor!

We recently announced that Global Lens films are now streaming on Hulu, and we here at the Global Film Initiative are quite excited about it. But what has us equally aflutter at the moment is that two of our most popular films – Ahmed Imamovic’s BELVEDERE and Federico Veiroj’s A USEFUL LIFE – are now streaming exclusively on Fandor!

Continue reading NEWS: BELVEDERE and A USEFUL LIFE Now Available Exclusively on Fandor!

GRANTING: Put Your Best Foot Forward!

Get a head start on 2013 by submitting your application to our Winter granting cycle today!

NINAH'S DOWRY, dir. Victor Viyuoh, Cameroon was awarded a GFI film production grant in Winter 2010. Be sure to greet the new year with your best foot forward–submit your granting application before our January 15, 2013 deadline! (Photo: Fort Lauderdale IFF)

Well, friends. We made it through December 21, 2012 (and the rest of 2012, as far as I’m concerned) sans an apocalypse, which means that those of us who were eagerly looking forward to leaving behind our worries–like mortgage payments and reality TV–will undoubtedly have to rethink our plans. Thankfully, we’re at the start of a new year (GFI’s tenth), and it’s a great time fora fresh start and a few New Year’s resolutions…

Continue reading GRANTING: Put Your Best Foot Forward!

INDUSTRY: A Decade of Film

A retrospective look at Global Lens via the images and ideas that took our signature series from infancy to adulthood…

As writer Robert Mckee said, “Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.”

We agree.

Stories are the basis of humanity. They teach, they entertain, and they shape how we see the world. As humans, we are wired to connect and bond with others.

GFI was created with this purpose: to create global understanding, empathy and connectivity through the powerful medium of film, and to promote and support the vibrant growth of global filmmaking. To date, we have distributed 96 independent films from over 38 countries to North American audiences, and hosted screenings in every U.S. state except North Dakota. (Anyone in North Dakota want to help us with our 2013 New Years Resolution? Contact us!)

Through these films, we hope to inspire people to keep learning about other perspectives and ways of life. In celebration of Global Lens’ 10th year anniversary in January, we take a look at some of our films and the themes they contain from the past decade…

Continue reading INDUSTRY: A Decade of Film

FESTIVALS & AWARDS: São Paulo Association of Art Critics Awards, Dubai IFF, Cairo IFF and more!

SOUTHWEST wins Best Director and Best Cinematographer from the São Paulo Association of Art Critics, CHAOS, DISORDER wins Special Jury Prize at Dubai and WHEN I SAW YOU receives Special Mention at Cairo…

Happy holidays from GFI!

‘Twas a December full of holidays, and all over the world, Global Lens films and grant recipients screened brightly, For cinephiles, both boy and girl.

That might not be quite how the rhyme goes, but we digress…

Global Lens films and grant recipients continue to light up screens through the end of 2012, and we’ve featured the most recent news for you below. To recap, this year we brought you updates from 55 festivals and 5 awards shows–it’s been a busy and beautiful year for our films, and we look forward for what’s to come in 2013!

Here are the headlines from this month (our last update of 2012!):

Continue reading FESTIVALS & AWARDS: São Paulo Association of Art Critics Awards, Dubai IFF, Cairo IFF and more!

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…

Continue reading EDUCATION: Learn Everywhere