INTERVIEW: Real Lives Beneath a Shifting Surface–Director Zhang Yuan on BEIJING FLICKERS

BEIJING FLICKERS director Zhang Yuan explores through film the effect of China’s cultural movement on the subsequent generations.

Rob Avila talks with the legendary director about more than two decades of filmmaking in China, and Zhang’s outsider generation…

A singular pioneer of China’s Sixth Generation of filmmakers, Zhang Yuan graduated from the Beijing Film Academy in 1989. It was the year of Tiananmen Square and the June 4 crackdown, when China’s budding democracy movement—encouraged by reforms set in motion by Deng Xiaoping—met the tanks and guns of Deng’s resolutely authoritarian regime. Zhang’s first film, made at this time, was an auspicious sign of the life that would continue to find avenues of expression beneath the surfaces of an old order and the roiling changes encouraged by its new economic policies.

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INDUSTRY: Behind the Scenes at the Global Lens 2013 MoMA Premiere

(L-R) Eric Schnedecker (Head of Sales-Acquisitions, Urban Distribution International), Rebeca Conget (Vice President Acquisitions and Distribution, Film Movement), Global Lens 2013 director Sebastián Silva, filmmaker Julia Solomonoff and Santhosh Daniel (Director of Programs) enjoy the party.

And this year was especially epic: A celebration of ten years of Global Lens films and the amazing partnerships we’ve formed over the years.

Jytte Jensen and MoMA, our founding partners, were the most gracious hosts ever.

The China Institute threw a wonderful reception to honor Zhang Yuan and our opening film BEIJING FLICKERS (and Zhang Yuan and Li Xinyun stole the show with their presence).

We couldn’t have asked Suman Ghosh and Sebastian Silva for better introductions to their films.

Rob Avila came through in wonderful fashion with director interviews (read our latest with Zhang Yuan here), and a whole host of friends, filmmakers, and film lovers came out to join in all the fun!

As February rolls around, we’re already full-speed ahead into our North American tour: from the Santa Barbara International Film Festival to a local theater in Juneau, Alaska. (Check out our calendar for more info!) Craving more instant updates? Head over to our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter!

And now, the round-up of snapshots from the milestone event!

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REVIEWS: SOUTHWEST, CAIRO 678, BEIJING FLICKERS, and more!

Global Lens 2013 premiered at Museum of Modern Art in New York, with all ten films playing over the course of this month, and we’ve rounded up the latest buzz on some of the films from The New York Times, Twitch and The New York Review of Books!

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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

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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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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.

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NEWS: HOLLOW CITY Leads “Unaccompanied Minors” Exhibit at MoMA

From the Global Lens Collection and MoMA’s Department of Film comes Global Lens filmmaker Maria Joao Ganga’s powerful exploration of innocence and Angola…

We’re very pleased to announce that one of our most favorite curators, and educators, Anne Morra, at the Museum of Modern Art’s Department of Film, has put together a spectacular new film exhibit titled Unaccompanied Minors: From Feeding the Bay to the Hollow City, to run July 22nd-August 14th, in tandem with the Museum’s Century of the Child: Growing by Design, 1900–2000 gallery exhibit. Thirty-one short- and feature-length films are included the exhibit, at the exhibit’s core is Global Lens Collection film HOLLOW CITY :

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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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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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Support a Filmmaker

Read about our support of director Federico Veiroj and how you can contribute to our programs

Federico Veiroj (left) and GFI Director of Programs, Santhosh Daniel, at the U.S. premiere of A USEFUL LIFE

Every year since our founding, we’ve offered our support to filmmakers from around the world through out Granting and Distribution programs. In doing this, we hope to make an impact on the life and career of individuals, but we rarely stop to think about how, every now and then, the individual has an impact on us.

Uruguayan director Federico Veiroj is one example of this. Five years ago, he sent us his short film, AS FOLLOWS. At the time, he had only made this one film and although we neither grant nor distribute short films, we found it to be so entertaining, we decided to include it in our Global Lens 2005 touring series.

A year later, Federico then approached us with a new film: ACNE. This was his first feature-length film and a conceptual continuation of his short, and we encouraged him to apply to our Granting Program. At the time of Federico’s application, Uruguayan cinema was just emerging to be a significant force in independent cinema. And upon reading his script, we believed [Federico] to be a strong representative of this phenomenon and subsequently, awarded him a production grant for his film.

Many years later,

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