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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MY TEHRAN FOR SALE Star Behind Bars (The Australian)

The fate of Marzieh Vafamehr, the star of the Australian film MY TEHRAN FOR SALE, remains in limbo after she was jailed in Iran.

Iranian actress Marzieh Vafarmehr in MY TEHRAN FOR SALE

(via The Australian) Although the Iranian judiciary said she would be released on bail last week, she is believed to still be imprisoned. Vafamehr starred in the South Australian-financed and produced film that was filmed largely guerilla-style in Iran. She appeared in the film—which is now more than two years old—without a hijab and shaved her head, though the reason for her imprisonment remains unclear other than being part of a broader Iranian crackdown. [more…]

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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NOW PLAYING: Museum of the Moving Image, Northwest Film Forum, the Los Angeles Latino Film Festival and more!

Films from the Global Lens 2011 film series are now playing at the following venues and festivals across the U.S. and Canada (and beyond!):

Asia Society (Hong Kong): THE WHITE MEADOWS (dir. Mohammad Rasoulof, Iran) July 14th-31st

Brooks Museum of Art/Indie Memphis (Memphis, TN): Presenting the complete Global Lens 2011 film series Check the film calendar for screening information

Cinema St. Louis/Webster University (St. Louis, MO): Presenting the complete Global Lens 2011 film series Check the film calendar for screening information

Danish Film Institute Cinematheque (Copenhagen, Denmark): THE WHITE MEADOWS (dir. Mohammad Rasoulof, Iran) June 25th

 

Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (Los Angeles, CA): THE INVISIBLE EYE (dir. Diego Lerman, Argentina) A USEFUL LIFE (dir. Federico Veiroj, Uruguay) July 17th-25th

Global Lens now playing on Virgin American flights!

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LISTEN: Director Granaz Moussavi on filmmaking in Iran

Director Granaz Moussavi

Global Lens director, Granaz Moussavi, and Carter Long, Film Programmer at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston recently sat down with Emily Rooney at WGBH radio to talk about the director’s screening of MY TEHRAN FOR SALE (featured in Global Lens 2010) at the Museum, embattled director and colleague Mohammad Rasoulof, and how, despite popular belief, it is possible to make a film in Iran. Listen below!

The Unforgettable Transcendence of THE WHITE MEADOWS

GFI Director of Programs, Santhosh Daniel, on the U.S. release of Mohammad Rasoulof’s Iranian mythology

Mohammad Rasoulof

In the last year, much has been said about Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof’s narrative masterpiece, THE WHITE MEADOWS; it is an amazing work of cultural insight, universally lauded for its stunning cinematography and narrative complexity, and a film that we are proud to present in Global Lens 2011.

But it’s also a film that is not without controversy. As many know, in late December, Mohammad was sentenced to prison, along with his editor—Iranian director Jafar Panahi—for making this as well as other films, and the circumstances are as a complicated as any conflict between artistic vision, government and culture.

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