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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FESTIVALS & AWARDS: Durban, San Sebastian, Montreal and more!

There’s a lot to celebrate these days! Congratulations to the following GFI grant recipients and Global Lens films:

 

GFI GRANT RECIPIENTS:

SKOONHEID was awarded Best South African Feature Film and Jury Special Mention Prize at the Durban International Film Festival, and will also be traveling to the Toronto International Film Festival in September! Read an interview with director Oliver Hermanus here.

San Sebastian Film Festival logoON THE PLANK will screen at the San Sebastian International Film Festival as part of the Zabaltegi Specials lineup (ON THE PLANK received the Cinema in Motion award at the festival last year). Watch a video of writer-director Leila Kilani speaking about the film here.

THE DEAD SEA will screen at the Montreal World Film Festival in the First Films Competition. This follows the film gaining CBFC clearance and having a successful world premiere at the FESTIVALS & AWARDS: Durban, San Sebastian, Montreal and more!

The Unforgettable Transcendence of THE WHITE MEADOWS

GFI Director of Programs, Santhosh Daniel, on the U.S. release of Mohammad Rasoulof’s Iranian mythology

Mohammad Rasoulof

In the last year, much has been said about Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof’s narrative masterpiece, THE WHITE MEADOWS; it is an amazing work of cultural insight, universally lauded for its stunning cinematography and narrative complexity, and a film that we are proud to present in Global Lens 2011.

But it’s also a film that is not without controversy. As many know, in late December, Mohammad was sentenced to prison, along with his editor—Iranian director Jafar Panahi—for making this as well as other films, and the circumstances are as a complicated as any conflict between artistic vision, government and culture.

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NOW PLAYING: Global Lens 2011 and MASQUERADES, MY TEHRAN FOR SALE and Other Films from the Global Lens Collection

A scene from MY TEHRAN FOR SALE by director Granaz Moussavi

As Global Lens 2011 opens at the Museum of Modern Art, select films from the current series and the Global Lens Collection are also playing in Washington D.C. at the Smithsonian Institution!

THE WHITE MEADOWS, DOOMAN RIVER and MY TEHRAN FOR SALE (Global Lens 2010) will be playing at the Freer & Sackler Galleriesthroughout January as part of new screening program curated by the Global Film Initiative and programmer, Tom Vick, at the Smithsonian Institution.

Global Lens now playing on Virgin American flights!

Global Lens 2011 at the Museum of Modern Art!

This month, we celebrate the launch of Global Lens 2011 at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)!

Nine new and exciting films will be featured at MoMA from January 13th to the 28th, including the U.S. premiere of A USEFUL LIFE (Uruguay)—winner of Best Film at the Havana International Film Festival—and Mohammad Rasoulof’s mesmerizing Iranian mythology, THE WHITE MEADOWS (Iran) and Georgia’s official submission to the Oscars, STREET DAYS (dir. Levan Koguashvili).

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