MONTH IN REVIEW: Food, Friends & Getting Stranded in Cyberspace

After an eventful April, GFI knows what it wants, needs and can’t live without…

For a nonprofit international arts organization with a full-time staff of only five, we are used to being frugal, lean and mean fighting machines. The eventful month of April gave us a chance to take a good hard look into our wants and needs: What is necessary in running GFI, and what is just really, really nice to have. Turns out, GFI is lucky enough to often be blessed with both.

Let’s start with the wants:

Oday Rasheed speaks with a student at the Berkeley High School screening of QARANTINA

GUESTS OF HONOR: We love when friends stop by for long visits, as director Oday Rasheed (QARANTINA, Global Lens 2012) did at the beginning of the month, gracing the Bay with his cool charm for a full two weeks while he participated in the San Francisco Film Society’s Artist in Residence program. While in San Francisco, GFI co-presented a screening of his film Qarantina with the SF Film Society, bringing in the imbedded journalist-extraordinaire Terry McCarthy, who spent several tours in Iraq as a U.S. news correspondent, to lead the Q&A afterward.

A CANNES-DO ATTITUDE:  There’s only so much that can be done from our office—sometimes we have to take to the road. In a few weeks, GFI founder and Board Chair Susan Weeks Coulter will attend the 65th Cannes Film Festival, where she’ll meet with filmmakers, producers and sales agents to talk distribution and funding. (She’ll be sure to pack some extra energy and stamina for the notoriously intense pace of the festival!)

The ladies of Moya (Photo: Urban Solutions)

AUDITING OUR AUDIT: It’s tax season, and we want to pay our taxes, we promise. Not only because we would like to stay on the good side of the Internal Revenue Service, but also because it provides us with a chance to literally take stock of the work we have done in the past year—to see what we have accomplished, where we could improve, and what we want to do in the next (tax) year.

THE SPICE OF LIFE: If we are what we eat, we’ve been particularly worldly lately, thanks to a vegan taco and salsa extravaganza (delivered by bike) and an Ethiopian feast at Moya, GFI’s new neighbor across the street. After all, if you can use film to change the way you see the world, why not use food to change the way you taste the world?

Now that we know what’s really nice to have, what do we need? Well, for starters:

Angelica Dongallo, Aquisitions & Granting

A DREAM TEAM: Acquisitions and Granting Coordinator Angelica Dongallo celebrated her one-year anniversary of full-time employment at GFI, and man, do we need her. Also, we are so happy to say that Pat Guerra has newly joined our team as Director of Business Development, bringing years of experience and exuberance up from Silicon Valley weekly by way of a Cal Train commute.

AWARENESS AND UNDERSTANDING: This is best acquired beginning when young, but its never too late to start. As part of our Education Program, we hope to get independent international film into every classroom in the United Sates, to provide an alternative view of the world than the one produced by Hollywood. And sometimes, we are able to get the classrooms to come to us. For this year’s World Cinema Week, more than 60 students from Bay Area schools joined us at the Ninth Street Independent Film Center, along with our co-presenter TILT, for a screening of Global Lens film Getting Home, which was introduced and discussed afterward with a representative of the Chinese Cultural Foundation.

DOT COM BOMB PROTECTION: Last, but certainly not least, we need the internet. That may seem a little obvious in this day and age, and especially given our national and international reach as an organization, but after nearby construction crews severed an underground AT&T communications cable, leaving our office without phone or internet service for the entire third week of April, we now understand that its imperative for our daily functions. Who knew, right?

Print Friendly
Facebook Twitter Email

Leave a Reply