EDUCATION: In Defense of Foreign Films

Pavel (center) with GFI staff (from left): Global Lens Series Manager Jeremy Quist, Administrative Coordinator Emma Rae Lierley, Acquisitions & Granting Coordinator Angelica Dongallo, Marketing & Publicity Manager Hilary Lawson

Pavel Lozin, GFI Acquisitions intern superstar, presents his top five Global Lens picks!

First of all, please excuse me for my terrible English. Besides that…

I spend the major part of my free time on the cinema: writing screenplays, reading cinema-related books, watching films themselves. Why do I do that?

There are many reasons why I’m passionate about cinema, but one reason in particular is that cinema is yet a very young form of art in contrast to other forms of art like paintings, sculpture and literature. This, along with the fact that it only takes 1-2 hours to watch one film, means I have the potential to watch a fair percent of all films in my lifetime (as compared to books, for example).

In the past two years, I’ve watched more than 1,000 films total from around the world. More than 70 of them were part of GFI’s Global Lens film series, which I watched during my time as a volunteer intern here. I want to recommend my five favorite Global Lens series (2007-2012) films, which are not only attractive because of their cultural aspects, but which are also entertaining to watch:

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NEW ON DVD: MASQUERADES and SHIRLEY ADAMS!

MASQUERADES from Algeria and SHIRLEY ADAMS from South Africa available today!

We’re pleased to announce the DVD release of two new films from the Global Lens film series:

DVD coverMASQUERADES (MASCARADES) Dir. Lyes Salem Algeria, 2008, 92 minutes Arabic, with subtitles in English In a dusty Algerian village, a well-intentioned fib suddenly turns a gardener into a mogul, forcing him to choose between the happiness of his narcoleptic sister and his newfound celebrity; Official Algeria Submission for Best Foreign Language Film, 81st Academy Awards; FIPRESCI Prize at the Dubai International Film Festival.

A smart, expertly made crowd-pleaser. Masterfully sure of what it sets out to accomplish–and wise enough never to take itself too seriously.” -SF360

Undoubtedly, Masquerades markes Salem out as a talent we’ll certainly be seeing more of–and if his next work is as genial as this, the pleasure will be all ours.” -Screen Daily

For more information, visit: http://catalogue.globalfilm.org/masquerades.html

DVD coverSHIRLEY ADAMS Dir. Oliver Hermanus South Africa, 2009, 92 minutes Engish and Afrikaans, with subtitles in English In the depressed Cape Town neighborhood of Cape Flats, a single mother contemplates her fate and cautiously accepts the help of an overeager social worker as she struggles to care for her paraplegic and suicidal son; Best Director and Best Actress at the South

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SHIRLEY ADAMS: The Making Of

Denise Newman and friends take us into the mind, method and man behind SHIRLEY ADAMS

This month we release Oliver Hermanus’s Cape Town ode, SHIRLEY ADAMS, on home video. As most of you know, this is Oliver’s first film and was followed by SKOONHEID–a work supported by the Global Film Initiative, currently taking top honors at festivals worldwide. Of course, we take no credit for the intimate and ideological worlds portrayed in Oliver’s films, as these are brought to life through the skill of actors, such as Denise Newman (in the titular role of Shirley Adams). Below is a conversation with this award-winning actor and other cast members on the making of a masterpiece.

 

Leading Ladies Lead the World

A fast glance at five actresses making headlines on the global indie circuit

Artika Sari Devi

Tannishtha Chatterjee seems to be everywhere nowadays. And in case you hadn’t heard, Artika Sari Devi is starring in a new film and Gina Pareño is nearing 125 film and television productions. It’s rumored that Do Thi Hai Yen is about to be the face of a new Louis Vutton ad-campaign. And, of course, there’s Denise Newman

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Summertime, and the viewing is easy…

New and award-winning Global Lens films on DVD!

It’s summertime, which means school is out, sunglasses are on, and maybe–if you’re lucky–you’ve got some time off. What better way to spend those hot summer nights than with some cool DVDs?

Well, GFI’s got you covered. We’ve got some fantastic films coming to DVD, and even if you’re short on vacation funds, you can still get a glimpse of life in exotic locales around the world this summer! From the beaches of Peru to the dusty roads of Algeria, these films will transport you to other worlds and cultures, all from the comfort of your own home.

Here’s a sneak peek of what’s in store…

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Fruits of Labor: Oliver Hermanus and Leila Kilani Take Center-stage @ Cannes 2011

… And GFI’s native son, Alejandro Chomski, director of ASLEEP IN THE SUN, visits San Francisco

Oliver Hermanus

Two years ago, Jeremy Nathan at Dv8 directed our attention to a new talent from South Africa: Oliver Hermanus. According to Jeremy, Oliver was a young filmmaker with an unusual lens, and his work was certainly “going to be a surprise.” Of course, in the world of cinema, hyperbole is common…

But he was right. In summer 2009, Oliver’s first film about a mixed race family in Cape Town—SHIRLEY ADAMS—so profoundly caught our attention that we acquired its North American rights and, a few months later, released it as part of Global Lens 2010 with a U.S. premiere at MoMA.

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NOW PLAYING: SHIRLEY ADAMS and the African Film Festival Traveling Series

It’s always nice to work with like-minded people. Such as the African Film Festival, New York (AFF), which for years has partnered with GFI to show Global Lens African selections in its Traveling Series.

This year, the Series features a standout from Global Lens 2010: South African tour-de-force, SHIRLEY ADAMS. The film is one of my many favorites from our 2010 series, in part because of its focus on mixed race populations of Cape Town (often underrepresented in South African film) and because it is helmed by a talented director with an unusual eye for intimacy and minimalism: Oliver Hermanus.

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