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: 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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Oday Rasheed on the Making of QARANTINA and Remaking Baghdad in Today’s Iraq

Rob Avila and Iraqi director Oday Rasheed discuss the genesis of inspiration against a backdrop of war, politics and filmmaking

Iraqi director Oday Rasheed talks to Rob Avila during the premiere of Global Lens 2012 at MoMA

Oday Rasheed is one of only a small handful of filmmakers working and producing in Iraq today. His first feature, Underexposure (2005), captured the immediate aftermath of the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in a fictional documentary-style story about a Baghdad filmmaker trying to make sense of the tumult of this period. Soon after its debut, Rasheed left the growing sectarian violence in Baghdad for Berlin, where he immersed himself in film studies, gravitating to the works of Andrei Tarkovsky, among others, and eventually developed the script for his second feature, Qarantina. He returned to Baghdad in 2008 to make the film, which was completed in 2010.

Qarantina is one of ten awarding-winning films featured in the Global Lens 2012 series, premiering this January at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Oday was able to attend his Global Lens screening in New York as part of a short U.S. tour that includes multiple screenings at MoMA, and a presentation of the film at the Council on Foreign Relations on January 25th, and also at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service on January 30th.

Recently, during the premiere of Global Lens

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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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Global Lens on Virgin America has Everyone Seeing RED™

This month marks the 3rd anniversary of our partnership with Virgin America, and in honor of that special occasion, Santhosh Daniel, our Director of Programs, and Alfy Veretto, Manager of IFE Content and Partnerships, took a few moments during the last days of summer to reflect on where it all began—and where it’s all going.

Below is an excerpt of their conversation, which as you can see, reflects the unique style that has come to typify the GFI-Virgin partnership. It’s been a good time for everyone and for those of you who haven’t yet seen what it’s all about, catch a flight and catch a Global Lens film on Virgin RED™!

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Where is Global Cinema Going?

L-R: Yiman Wang, UC Santa Cruz, Jasmina Bojic, UNAFF, Alesia Weston, Sundance Institute and Santhosh Daniel, The Global Film Initiative. Photo courtesy of PAIFF/Francesca Garbagnati (GFI intern and volunteer photographer for the Festival!)

PAIFF Speaker Series: Global Cinema Tomorrow

On September 30th, Director of Programs Santhosh Daniel sat down with Sundance Institute’s Alesia Weston and Jasmina Bojic of the United Nations Association Film Festival at the Palo Alto International Film Festival to talk about the changing face of world cinema.

The Global Film Initiative co-presented THE LIGHT THIEF (Global Lens 2011) at PAIFF, and Santhosh also served as moderator of the panel “Ditching the Divide” at PAIFF. For a full recap of the Global Cinema Tomorrow panel, click here, and see below for an in-depth interview with Santhosh about THE LIGHT THIEF and trends in global cinema.

 

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3 ON 1: The Inside, Upside and Best Side of BECLOUD

This month, as we celebrate our newest addition to the Global Lens DVD family—Becloud (available June 28th)—we’re also taking the opportunity to introduce a new feature to our blog: the 3 on 1 column.

After years of separation, three boyhood friends reunite in Mexico City to overcome a tragedy that scarred their neighborhood, and childhood, years before.

3 on 1—what is it? Well, it’s three people (insiders, outsiders, fans and friends of GFI) speaking about one subject. Films, grantees, events and travel… The list of what we can discuss is endless. And this month, it all begins with Becloud (and three folks who you may already know):

Jeremy Quist (Global Lens Series Manager): Becloud first came to us as a grant-submission, back when we only knew the film as Vaho (its original Spanish-language title). So the forthcoming DVD release of this title is quite significant for us, having seen it first as an unassuming rough cut before the final sound mix was complete, then touring the finished film to great acclaim in Global Lens 2010, and now finally making it available to everyone on home video.

The outstanding technical quality of the DVD comes courtesy of our wonderful authoring facility, AM-DVD, and the packaging features gorgeous artwork from designer Gary Ponzo (who also created this awesome chandelier made completely out of

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WEEK IN REVIEW: GFI, Unsubtitled

What We Watch When We’re Not Watching Global Lens

One of the great perks of working at the Global Film Initiative is that we get to watch interesting, exciting films from around the world. It’s like being a kid in a candy store, except instead of candy, we have shelves full of new and unreleased films–and the mailman brings more every day!

However, just as pastry chefs sometimes feel like a burger or mystery novelists might dabble in haiku from time to time, we also run the gamut when it comes to what we watch “off the clock.” Here’s just a sampling of what the GFI staffers have been filling their screen time with:

Marketing and Publicity Manager Hilary Lawson has worked her way through four seasons of the awesomely-80s action thriller series MacGyver. Obviously, watching Richard Dean Anderson create a bomb using silly putty or a make a magnifying glass with a hair pin and white wine never gets old. Ever.

Granting & Distribution Coordinator Angelica Dongallo, swooned all over again while re-visiting old an old episode of the Mickey Mouse Club. In confessing this to the rest of the staff, she managed to embarrass herself and make us all feel kind of old.

Director of Programs Santhosh Daniel watched Fantastic Mr. Fox for the 30th time, matching his childhood record for reading the

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Seems Like Old Times: Global Lens 2011 @ SIFF and the TIFF Lightbox

If memory serves correctly, the first opening night film gala I ever attended was in 1995, at the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF). The film was Braveheart (which when complemented with a later screening of Swimming With Sharks, effectively convinced me not to work in Hollywood), and it was just before I left for graduate school–and I remember wondering if I would ever return to home to attend another SIFF screening.

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