INDUSTRY: A Decade of Film

A retrospective look at Global Lens via the images and ideas that took our signature series from infancy to adulthood…

As writer Robert Mckee said, “Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.”

We agree.

Stories are the basis of humanity. They teach, they entertain, and they shape how we see the world. As humans, we are wired to connect and bond with others.

GFI was created with this purpose: to create global understanding, empathy and connectivity through the powerful medium of film, and to promote and support the vibrant growth of global filmmaking. To date, we have distributed 96 independent films from over 38 countries to North American audiences, and hosted screenings in every U.S. state except North Dakota. (Anyone in North Dakota want to help us with our 2013 New Years Resolution? Contact us!)

Through these films, we hope to inspire people to keep learning about other perspectives and ways of life. In celebration of Global Lens’ 10th year anniversary in January, we take a look at some of our films and the themes they contain from the past decade…

Continue reading INDUSTRY: A Decade of Film

INTERVIEW: Tolga Karaçelik on A Sincere Work

Rob Avila talks with Tolga Karaçelik about capturing the right chemical reaction on the set and on the screen in TOLL BOOTH…

Tolga Karçelik on the set of the Global Lens 2012 film Toll Booth

TOLL BOOTH, the first Turkish film to receive a weeklong premiere at the New York Museum of Modern Art, is the debut feature of 31-year-old Istanbul native Tolga Karaçelik. It concerns the life and progressive collapse of a tollbooth attendant and bachelor named Kenan (played by the marvelous Serkan Ercan). A poet by longstanding practice and inclination, with a quick mind and generous spirit, Karaçelik studied law before coming to New York City to study filmmaking. It was back in New York, at the MoMA in January, that he sat down to talk about the genesis of his award-winning Toll Booth, the opening night film of the Global Film Initiative’s 2012 Global Lens series.

Continue reading INTERVIEW: Tolga Karaçelik on A Sincere Work

Deconstructing Experience: Life Beyond the TOLL BOOTH

Kenan, the film's protagonist, on his downward emotional spiral: Nothing like a pretty girl and a nice car to obsess over.

Kenan, the film's protagonist, on his emotional downward spiral. Nothing like a pretty girl and a nice car to obsess over.

Intern Andreas Streuli puts his academic pursuits of film and philosophy to work: an interpretation of Global Lens 2012 film TOLL BOOTH, (dir. Tolga Karaçelik, Turkey) tracing the emotional development of the protagonist, to look at the meaning of the film as a whole.

Despite being produced halfway around the world, we are confronted with a film with many parallels to our own lives— it is proof that cinema can be universally understood and appreciated.

Continue reading Deconstructing Experience: Life Beyond the TOLL BOOTH

SPOTLIGHT: It’s All Happening in Portland

It’s like everywhere I turn these days, everything I do, there’s always Portland. For instance, I recently finished this book Wildwood by Colin Meloy. Where was the story set? Portland. Last week a friend of mine forwarded me a clip from this funny show. What was the show about? Portland. I just listened to this great album by Cloetta Paris. Where is her record label located? Portland. There are some really amazing international films touring the country at the moment. Where are they playing? Yeah, you guessed it: PORTLAND.

Specifically, the Northwest Film Center – a longtime screening-partner of ours – will be showcasing Global Lens 2012, beginning Wednesday, July 25, with Tolga Karacelik’s TOLL BOOTH, and running through the end of August. For more than 40 years, the Film Center (which is part of the Portland Art Museum) has been programming foreign, classic, experimental, and independent film year-round through thematic series, special retrospectives, and several annual film festivals. Thanks to the tireless efforts of its wonderful Director, Bill Foster, and its unstoppable Exhibition Program Manager, Ted Hurliman, the Northwest Film Center makes it possible for Portlanders to see new Global Lens films every year. Check our Continue reading SPOTLIGHT: It’s All Happening in Portland

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:

Continue reading EDUCATION: In Defense of Foreign Films

Deep in the Heart of Texas: Global Lens at the San Antonio Museum of Art!

Okay, everyone, full disclosure here: I’m ashamed to admit it, but I know next to nothing about San Antonio. I know a little bit about the Alamo, sure, but not nearly as much as I should. I know that Carol Burnett and Joan Crawford are both from there, but I learned that just now from the Internets. What I do know quite well, however, is that if you happen to be in San Antonio and you’re looking for the best in world cinema, then you’re in luck. All you have to do is head over to the San Antonio Museum of Art and drop in on a Global Lens 2012 film!

This is the Museum’s first year hosting the series, and we couldn’t be happier to be working with them. Responsible for the collaboration are the delightful Katie Erickson (Director of Education) and the equally delightful Nicole McLeod (Assistant Director of Education) who’s mutual love of movies inspired them to explore different ways of offering film programming at their (beautiful) institution, tailoring the programming to SAMA’s permanent collection. When speaking to her over the phone recently, Katie noted that she and Nicole first became interested in GFI because their collection is encyclopedic in nature — spanning continents and many cultures — and so Global Lens seemed to be a

Continue reading Deep in the Heart of Texas: Global Lens at the San Antonio Museum of Art!

FESTIVALS & AWARDS: Sofia IFF, Festivalissimo, SAFTAs, Berlin IFF and more!

BEAUTY shines at the South African Film and Television Awards, THE BODA BODA THIEVES nabs the top pitching prize in Berlin, and more great news about Global Lens films and GFI grant recipients!

Producers James Tayler and Sarah Muhoho (THE BODA BODA THIEVES, dir. Donald Mugisha, Uganda) at the Berlin International Film Festival! Photo: bizcommunity.com.

The past few weeks have been nothing short of spectacular for Global Lens films and GFI grantees, and we’re very proud to announce the latest scoop!

First, news about GFI grantees:

BEAUTY (dir. Oliver Hermanus, South Africa, 2010 grant recipient) was awarded Best Director and Best Actor at the South African Film and Television Awards!

Continue reading FESTIVALS & AWARDS: Sofia IFF, Festivalissimo, SAFTAs, Berlin IFF and more!

Behind the Curtain and After the Final Cut

Go beneath the surface to get the back-story on the films of Global Lens 2012

Click here to learn more about Kivu Ruhorahoza and GREY MATTER, the first narrative feature film produced in Rwanda by a native Rwandan filmmaker

Anyone familiar with the entertainment industry knows that sometimes off-screen activities can overshadow what’s happening in the films themselves. Take, for example, Lars von Trier’s controversy at Cannes last year or the preoccupation with Lindsay Lohan’s after-hours adventures. It’s easy to see why people like having this insider knowledge, but not all of it is scandalous—in fact, hearing the stories and secrets behind this year’s Global Lens films prove that there can be substance behind the curtain and after the final cut.

For example, Kivu Ruhorahoza’s GREY MATTER is about a young Rwandan filmmaker struggling to create a film that might help him reconcile the trauma of genocide. In reality, Kivu was only 12 years old during the 1994 Rwandan genocide and lived in constant fear for his family’s welfare. At the age of 16, he set out to become a filmmaker in a country with scarcely a tripod or sound equipment suitable for his camera. Needless to say, GREY MATTER’s story line of someone battling the odds to make a tough film is a direct expression of his artistic path

Continue reading Behind the Curtain and After the Final Cut

GLOBAL LENS 2012: Meet the Directors

A long-haired rocker seeking acceptance, an adult returning to the beaches of her childhood and an artist looking for the meaning in monotony are just a few of the minds behind this year’s series…

From left: Gustavo Pizzi (CRAFT, Brazil) and Tolga Karacelik (TOLL BOOTH, Turkey) at the Global Lens 2012 premiere in New York

Every person has a voice. Every voice tells a story. Every story reveals a world.

The Global Lens series trailer opens with these 15 words, and they really do sum up why we’re here. We work with film, but more importantly, we work with people. And by using film to give life to their stories, these people have become the living, breathing embodiment of Global Lens.

With this in mind, we’d like to introduce you to the brilliant filmmakers behind the Global Lens 2012 series, and let them explain the concept, creation & message of their work for themselves.

Sharing these stories is what we’re all about, and the reason why, after all these years, the words of the Global Lens trailer still ring true.

Ladies and gentlemen, here they are, the directors of Global Lens 2012!

Continue reading GLOBAL LENS 2012: Meet the Directors

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.

 

 

 

Continue reading Global Lens 2012 @ MoMA and Beyond!