NEWS: Eye of the Tiger

After a year of hunkering down and “getting it done,” GFI films make a spectacular splash at Rotterdam…

De Doelen @ IFFR

It’s no secret that since the dawn of our existence, the International Film Festival of Rotterdam (IFFR) has been one of our closest “professional” friends…

We’ve received golden advice from Simon Field on our Granting Program, and Sandra den Hamer sits on our Film Board. And, of course, as our filmmakers know, we’ve run around the world, from Busan to Valdivia, with our friends from Cinemart and Hubert Bals.

In other words, we love IFFR. Not just de Doelen, frites and films. Or the characteristic chill and rooftop cocktails. We love all those things, yes. But ultimately, what we cherish is the inspired purpose of the festival, and how it has launched (and loved), so many of the filmmakers we also support.

So, it’s with a great pride and pleasure that we note this year’s festival, IFFR 2013, is presenting more than just a few of our filmmakers. In Bright Future. Spectrum. And more:

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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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Meet & Frite

GFI Founder and Board Chair Susan Weeks Coulter recounts the sights, sounds (and tastes) of the 41st International Film Festival Rotterdam

Susan with the famous GFI bag–and frites!–in hand at IFFR 2012

The 9-hours-ahead time change left me with the very worst jet-lag—I found myself laying wide awake in my hotel room at 3am, humming “We Shall Overcome” in hopes that perhaps by the third verse, I might doze off.

But the quiet time did allow for a period of reflection about Holland, the Rotterdam International Film Festival, Hubert Bals Fund, and of course, the Dutch people. For those of you new to The Global Film Initiative, it was actually the Hubert Bals people who jump-started our organization back in 2003.

Noah Cowan and I had been wrestling with not only the idea of what we wanted to do in showcasing film from emerging countries/film industries, but we were perplexed at how to structure such an organization. Noah met up with Simon Field who was, at the time, heading up the Hubert Bals efforts, and explained what we wanted to do in the U.S. With Simon’s encouragement, open-mindedness, and welcome, the Global Film Initiative had found an organization “structure” that we felt

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