FESTIVALS & AWARDS: Berlinale, Rotterdam and Beyond

SO MUCH WATER (Uruguay) and A FOLD IN MY BLANKET (Georgia) @ Berlinale Panorama are just two jewels in a mother lode of GFI films, fests and awards this month….

SO MUCH WATER (Uruguay), GFI grant recipient, premieres at Berlinale!

 

It’s a new year and our Global Lens films and GFI grant recipients are back in a big way, with screenings all over Europe this month for some of the biggest conferences of world cinema on the globe, at Berlin, Rotterdam and beyond. Without further adieu, here are this month’s headlines:

BERLIN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: The Berlin International Film Festival is always host of a wide array of world and European premieres, and this year these premieres include those of six GFI grant recipients—likely our greatest showing at Berlinale to-date!

For those of you attending Berlinale, be sure to catch our grant recipients—from Costa Rica to China—premiering and screening at this year’s festival:

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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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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.

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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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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…

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SUPPORT: Change the Way You See the World

Because in an empathic civilization, ‘monkey see, monkey do’ isn’t such a bad thing

Empathic Civilization

WATCH: The Empathic Civilization (courtesy of RSA Animate and Jonathan Rifkin)

Not long ago, Emma Rae Lierley, Administrative Coordinator at GFI, sent me a link to a video on “The Empathic Civilization” (right). Her rationale in sending it was that she felt it encapsulated the basic premise upon which Global Lens was founded: that in our most sympathetic state of human existence, we are all connected.

Of course, nowadays, we hear such things all the time. Technological evolution has certainly connected us with the world outside our physical boundaries. Intellectual curiosity has always found a way to merge minds above borders. And then, without doubt, there is religion.

All are valid points of connection, connectivity. But the video makes a much more basic point. It says that we, as humans, are predisposed to having shared feelings and emotions, or an “empathic” relationship with one another that intuitively draws us together, as a people (see the video’s example of ‘monkey see, monkey do’).

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GLOBAL LENS 2012: Meet the Directors

A long-haired rocker seeking acceptance, an adult returning to the beaches of her childhood and an artist looking for the meaning in monotony are just a few of the minds behind this year’s series…

From left: Gustavo Pizzi (CRAFT, Brazil) and Tolga Karacelik (TOLL BOOTH, Turkey) at the Global Lens 2012 premiere in New York

Every person has a voice. Every voice tells a story. Every story reveals a world.

The Global Lens series trailer opens with these 15 words, and they really do sum up why we’re here. We work with film, but more importantly, we work with people. And by using film to give life to their stories, these people have become the living, breathing embodiment of Global Lens.

With this in mind, we’d like to introduce you to the brilliant filmmakers behind the Global Lens 2012 series, and let them explain the concept, creation & message of their work for themselves.

Sharing these stories is what we’re all about, and the reason why, after all these years, the words of the Global Lens trailer still ring true.

Ladies and gentlemen, here they are, the directors of Global Lens 2012!

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NEW ON DVD: Adrift and My Tehran For Sale!

Lust, Longing and Chuyen’s ADRIFT and Granaz Moussavi’s Controversial MY TEHRAN FOR SALE to release on DVD January 31st

We’re pleased to announce the DVD release of two new films from the Global Lens film series, featuring a charged performance by Vietnamese actress Hai Yen and Moussavi’s “hit and run” chronicle of Tehran’s underground art scene:

 

Adrift DVD CoverADRIFT (CHOI VOI), dir. Bui Thac Chuyen, Vietnam, 2009, 110 minutes, Vietnamese, with subtitles in English

A young wife, ignored by her immature spouse, is caught in a love triangle between her best friend and a handsome stranger during a languorous summer in Hanoi. FIPRESCI Prize, Venice International Film Festival; Official Selection of the International Film Festival Rotterdam (Bright Future).

A subtle, melancholy exploration of erotic angst and uncomfortable awakening…Adrift evokes a culture whose puritanical restraints have begun to loosen, allowing dangerous sparks to fly. Once desire has been unleashed, smugly settling for less is no longer a comfortable option.“ -The New York Times

Beautiful, and tightly focused on the emotional, romantic, and sexual lives of men and women in Hanoi….This is new Vietnamese cinema.” -diaCRITICS

 

My Tehran For Sale DVD CoverMY TEHRAN FOR SALE, dir. Granaz Moussavi, Iran, 2009, 95 minutes, Farsi and English, with subtitles in English

An

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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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NEW ON DVD: My Time Will Come and Those Three!

MY TIME WILL COME from Ecuador and THOSE THREE from Iran Available March 29th!

The Global Film Initiative is pleased to announce the DVD release of two new films from the Global Lens film series:

MY TIME WILL COME (CUANDO ME TOQUE A MI) Dir. Víctor Arregui Ecuador, 2008, 90 minutes Spanish, with subtitles in English A moody, Altman-esque portrait of five intertwined lives in Quito, hailed by the Museum of Modern Art as a “brooding, poignant film…a poetic ode to Ecuador’s capital city.” Official Selection of the AFI Latin American Film Festival and the Miami and Locarno International Film Festivals.

THOSE THREE (AN SEH) Dir. Naghi Nemati Iran, 2007, 80 minutes Farsi and Turkish, with subtitles in English A stark and surrealist epic about three army deserters who escape into the barren, snow-swept mountains of Iran. According to Screen Daily, “This austerely shot existential odyssey … seems tailor-made to illustrate Fellini’s claim that ‘cinema uses the language of dreams.’” Awarded the NETPAC Award at the Locarno International Film Festival.

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