FESTIVALS & AWARDS: Durban IFF, Lima FF, Taipei FF and more!

GREY MATTER (Global Lens 2012) showing at Durban International Film Festival

GREY MATTER and ON THE EDGE come full circle, CHICAMA premieres in Lima, and THE MIRROR NEVER LIES shines in Taipei!

A round of applause for all our GFI grant recipients and Global Lens films for lighting up screens at festivals all over the world!

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GRANTING: Summer 2012 Deadline Approaching!

Filmmakers and producers: Apply for GFI production funding with your next narrative feature film project!

A still from BEATRIZ'S WAR (dir. Bety Reis, East Timor, 2011 grant recipient), East Timor's first locally produced and directed narrative feature film! (Photo: Fair Trade Films)

Attention all filmmakers! Ready your printers and prepare your most colorful stamps: GFI is currently accepting applications to our Summer 2012 granting cycle (view our Call for Applications here)!

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FESTIVALS & AWARDS: Seattle IFF, Toronto Jewish FF, Silk Screen Asian American FF and more!

MOURNING and THE MIRROR NEVER LIES meet in Seattle, all eyes on THE PRIZE in Toronto and MOURNING, QARANTINA and TOLL BOOTH show their roots in Pittsburgh!

Congratulations are in order for our GFI grant recipients and Global Lens films, with special mention to those that have recently screened in festivals all over the world:

Latin American films in Global Lens 2012, clockwise from top right: CRAFT (Brazil), FAT, BALD, SHORT MAN (Colombia), THE FINGER (Argentina), THE PRIZE (Argentina).

CHICAGO LATINO FILM FESTIVAL: Citizens of the Windy City had a chance to see four Global Lens 2012 films from Latin America as part of the Chicago Latino Film Festival! CRAFT, (dir. Gustavo Pizzi, Brazil), FAT, BALD SHORT MAN (dir. Carlos Osuna, Colombia), THE FINGER (dir. Sergio Teubal, Argentina) and THE PRIZE (dir. Paula Markovitch, Argentina) all played during the festival’s 28th run.

INSIDE OUT TORONTO LGBT FILM FESTIVAL: BEAUTY (dir. Oliver Hermanus, South Africa, 2010 grant recipient) continues to light up screens, this time at the Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival!

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NEWS: Seyfi Teoman, 1977 – 2012

A tribute to Turkish filmmaker and GFI grant recipient Seyfi Teoman

Turkish filmmaker and friend of GFI, Seyfi Teoman, passed away on May 8. (Photo: Bulut Film)

This week, we received news of the tragic passing of Turkish filmmaker Seyfi Teoman. He was 35.

Seyfi was the director of SAINTS—a recent GFI grant recipient that was scheduled to be completed by the end of this year. In script form, we found the film compelling, thoughtful and unique, all characteristics of Seyfi’s previous works that earned him international recognition. I’m happy we had the chance to tell him how much we appreciated his work.

Although I never had the pleasure of meeting Seyfi in person, SAINTS and his other films speak volumes about Seyfi and how he’ll be remembered by his family and friends.

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GRANTING: GFI’s Winter 2012 Grantees Announced!

Newest grant recipients include five narrative feature film debuts from Albania, Georgia, Rwanda, Venezuela and Turkey! View the trailer of GFI 2012 grant recipient, THE PARDON!

The decisions are in.

We are very pleased to announce that after much deliberation, ten new films have been chosen to receive production funding of up to $10,000 each during the Winter 2012 granting cycle! The grant recipients hail from diverse nations and regions—from Peru’s mountainous countryside to the Philippines’ sandy shores—and include GFI’s first grantees from Croatia, Rwanda and Venezuela! Read the official press release here.

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NEWS: Ugandan Donald Mugisha Receives Largest Grant from World Cinema Fund to Finance Feature Inspired by “Bicycle Thieves” (indieWire)

Boda Boda ThievesGFI grantee BODA BODA THIEVES receives 60,000 € ($81,000) in funding from the World Cinema Fund

(via indieWire) Congrats to Ugandan Donald Mugisha whose feature film project, The Boda Boda Thieves, was one of just 5 projects selected by the World Cinema Fund to receive production funding from its allotted $283,000 grant.

Donald’s project, which he will direct, received the largest chunk of the fund – $81,000, as Norway based Switch Films has signed on to produce.

The film’s synopsis reads:

When Goodman gets a job for his son Abel as driver of a motorbike taxi or “Boda-Boda”, he feels like things are possibly finally going his way, that is, until a gang of thieves robs Abel of his treasured motorbike. We follow Goodman and his son Abel on their quest through the city to find their “Boda Boda” and in the process gain an insider’s view of urban Africa, its underworld and the generation gap between urban migrants and their first generation children. [more…]

GRANTING: Summer 2011 Grantees Announced!

Grantees include eight-director Mexican ensemble production, THE ROOM, and acclaimed Palestinian director Annemarie Jacir’s sophomore feature, WHEN I SAW YOU

On location for Annemarie Jacir's WHEN I SAW YOU

They submitted and we reviewed. Of course, what went into each process cannot be summed up in just a few words.

Nearly 100 films in various stages of production sent in applications, detailing their hard work, passion and vision. From every corner of the world—including first-time submissions from East Timor, Guatemala and Sri Lanka—filmmakers and producers mailed carefully-composed packages that contained the fruits of their labor (thankfully, they didn’t send the blood, sweat and tears shed in the process).

We went through each application (representing 44 nations in all) reading scripts, watching rough cuts, and writing detailed coverage of each film. It wasn’t an easy or obvious decision, but we did end up choosing ten exciting projects to award production funds, and are thrilled by the creativity and brilliance in each one.

Read the official press release now!

SUPPORT: Granting, Global Lens, and Why It All Matters

Click on the map above to view GFI grant recipients and learn more about each project!

This last year, we hit a milestone: 100+ grants to filmmakers from over 40 different nations. And if that weren’t enough, we also logged a few other feathers, including:

Education and participation by the highest number of schools ever in our annual screening programs Filmmaker awards and honors at Cannes and Habana, not to mention a flurry of “Best Films” and FIPRESCIs at festivals worldwide Global Lens and a new distribution platform (along with a new online catalogue) that allows us to reinvest more revenue in our Granting Program

Of course, as many of you know, we also expanded our Granting Program to include our first-ever “Honorable Mention” awards, and expanded our staff and network of partners to include the Smithsonian Institution and the Scottsdale International Film Festival.

But what does all this mean, except to say we’re doing what we set out to do. And as a student visiting our office recently asked, “why does any of this matter?”

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GRANTING: Winter 2011 Grantees Announced–Now Accepting for Summer 2011 Granting Cycle!

The Winter 2011 granting cycle: applications for over 31 different countries!

The GFI team hard at work during the Winter 2011 granting meeting

Granting season at the GFI office is a time of excitement and inspiration, and after reading over many applications and screenplays seeking production funds, it often becomes a time of passionate debate! The choice of grantees is never an easy one, and this year was no different—the projects were truly some of the most unique and impressive we’ve seen yet.

Not surprisingly, many hours and days went into this cycle’s decisions, and in the end, we selected ten projects of which we’re very proud and delighted to support.

Of course, this also means we’re ready to start accepting grant applications for the Summer 2011 granting cycle! Visit http://www.globalfilm.org/granting.htm for guidelines and applications. Good luck!

GRANTING: Victor Viyuoh on Filmmaking in Cameroon

Victor Viyouh (right), director of Ninah's Dowry

Last year, GFI awarded Cameroonian director Victor Viyuoh a production grant to support completion of his film, Ninah’s Dowry. Such grants, as many of you know, are awarded twice a year to filmmakers who present us with unique cinematic visions of the world (or rather, their world). And since our founding, we have supported films that cover every kind of story one might imagine–from a behind the scenes look at Bollywood to films about wrestlers, politics, and, in Victor’s case, marriage in Cameroon.

However, as is often the situation, we sometimes find that the story behind the ‘vision’ is just as engaging as the film it produces–something Victor recently reminded us of after sending an email recounting the various difficulties he and his production crew faced while trying to film Ninah’s Dowry in Cameroon.

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