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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Noah Cowan and the Genesis of GFI

On the eve of 9/11′s tenth anniversary, GFI’s co-founder recalls the impetus, purpose and passion behind the Initiative

Noah Cowan, co-founder of the Global Film Initiative

It is my enormous pleasure to add my voice to the growing tributes to the Global Film Initiative this year and its vital work on behalf of developing world filmmakers and audiences across North America. I would also like to offer my profound congratulations to Susan Weeks Coulter for her unstinting belief in and support of this very special and unique project; a project which could not be closer to my own heart.

It is most humbling to witness an idea, hatched by Susan and me, that has, over the years, inspired so many people. It all started over a cup of tea in China, as so many worthy things do these days…

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