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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NEW ON DVD: The Light Thief and Soul of Sand

The winds of change blow through both SOUL OF SAND (India) and THE LIGHT THIEF (Kyrgyzstan)–releasing on DVD September 25.

New award-winning films from Aktan Arym Kubat and Sidharth Srinivasan present a powerful look into the politics of class, caste, capitalism and environmentalism in a rapidly modernizing world.

THE LIGHT THIEF (SVET-AKE), dir. Aktan Arym Kubat, Kyrgyzstan, 2010, 80 minutes, Kyrgyz, with subtitles in English

A humble electrician intent on enlivening his rural valley with electricity unwittingly strikes a deal with a rich politician whose corrupt ambitions threaten to upend the electrician’s dream to build windmills in his village. FIPRESCI Prize, Eurasia International Film Festival; Official Kyrgyzstan Submission, Best Foreign Language Film category of the 83rd Academy Awards; Official Selection, Directors’ Fortnight, Cannes Film Festival.

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EDUCATION: Enlighten Yourself on Eco-Entrepreneurship Via THE LIGHT THIEF!

Kyrgyz actor-director Aktan Arym Kubat plays the delightful Mr. Light in our newest DVD release: THE LIGHT THIEF.

Our newest Global Lens DVD release comes with a film discussion guide that tells you everything you ever wanted to know about Kyrgyzstan, windmills and Kok-boru

Alright, everyone, time for “Guess That Film!”

I’m thinking of a great title that premiered not very long ago (2010, to be exact), which involves an entrepreneur with a brilliant idea that has the potential to increase connectivity and put power into the people’s hands, only to be complicated by the involvement of greedy investors and corrupt friendships. It’s a beautiful, award-winning film that portrays people who live and work in—you guessed it—a certain “valley.”

I’m sure you’ve named it by now. It is, of course, the one and only…

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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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FESTIVALS & AWARDS: Berlin, Karlovy Vary, Durban and more!

Great news, accolades and accomplishments abound for Global Lens films and GFI grant recipients! Congratulations to the following films and filmmakers:

THE LIGHT THIEF received a World Cinema Fund for distribution at the Berlin International Film Festival! Directed by Aktan Arym Kubat and currently touring in the Global Lens 2011 film series, THE LIGHT THIEF tells the story of an enterprising electrician in Kyrgyzstan and the effect of outside influences on his village—read the film’s review in Screen Daily here.

BELVEDERE screened at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in the East of West section, which focuses on films of the former Eastern Bloc. Directed by Ahmed Imamovic and part of the Global Lens 2011 film series, the film follows a woman searching for her family in the aftermath of the Sbrenica massacre. For more information about the recent burial of the Sbrenica victims, click here.

On the heels of recent success in Cannes, GFI grant recipient SKOONHEID will be screening at the Durban International Film Festival, marking the film’s premiere in it’s native country! To read an interview

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Global Lens @ 54th San Francisco International Film Festival!

GFI co-presents THE LIGHT THIEF and A USEFUL LIFE at the 54th San Francisco International Film Festival

Bay Area film fans, rejoice! The San Francisco International Film Festival kicks off tonight, with nearly 200 films screening over the next two weeks!

We are very proud to co-present two Global Lens films in the festival this year:

THE LIGHT THIEF (dir. Aktan Arym Kubat, Kyrgyzstan): A humble electrician intent on enlivening his windswept valley with electricity unwittingly strikes a deal with a rich politician whose corrupt ambitions threaten to upend the electrician’s dream to build windmills in his village. Included in Redefine Magazine’s festival recommendations!

¿Habla Español? Click here to watch Federico speak about A USEFUL LIFE on NY1 News!

A USEFUL LIFE (dir. Federico Veiroj, Uruguay): After financial troubles and a dwindling audience force an art-house cinema to shut its doors permanently, its most devoted employee is suddenly left without a ‘home’ and forced to adjust to life outside of the theater. Included in the San Francisco Chronicle’s festival highlights!

In addition, two GFI-grant supported films are included in the festival’s lineup: A YEAR WITHOUT SUMMER, by Malaysian director Tan Chui Mui, and ASLEEP IN THE SUN, from Argentine

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NOW PLAYING: Global Lens in the Bay Area!

Did you know that the Global Lens film series has screened in 43 states and one U.S. territory over the past eight years? We’ve even taken to the skies on Virgin American airlines!

Of course, it’s also nice to have Global Lens film shown in our own backyard, and over the next few weeks, the Bay Area will be buzzing with screenings of Global Lens and GFI grant-supported films!

Read on for more about each exciting presentation!

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