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GreenCine Movie Talk
From Albania to Zaire, there's a whole world out there.

Filmed globally, shown locally
Topic by: JGereben
Posted: October 4, 2007 - 11:11 PM PDT
Last Reply: October 4, 2007 - 11:11 PM PDT

author topic: Filmed globally, shown locally
post #1  on October 4, 2007 - 11:11 PM PDT  
The more, ahem, mature movie fans among us remember the time when foreign films were a rarity in this country. If the names of the Thalia in New York and the Surf in San Francisco's Sunset resonate for you, we are in the same ballpark.

Yes, just a few years back, there were only small "art theaters" for movies with subtitles. Thank goodness, those days are gone, and Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Vietnamese, Romanian, Japanese films are available everywhere, at festivals, in commercial theaters, on DVD. Except for...

There is a continued dearth of independent films from developing countries, movies not embraced, championed, and sold by American studios or distributors. And so was Global Lens born four years ago: an annual touring series of award-winning feature-length and short films from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.

The nationwide program is presented by the Global Film Initiative, a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization, headed by founder Susan Weeks Coulter, and supported by a board of such big names as Pedro Almodovar, Mira Nair, Christopher Doyle, and Lars von Trier. Besides distributing films, GFI also provides up to 15 grants of $10,000 annually to emerging film-makers.

Nationally, Global Lens covers the country from coast to coast (and beyond, to Hawaii), with stops in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Arkansas, Utah, and other locations.

At affordable cost (some free) and in unusual San Francisco venues, between Nov. 1 and 15, Global Lens will present nine features and seven shorts. Rather than using multiplexes, these films are being shown in small independent houses, such as the Roxie and the Balboa, in addition to the Bayview Opera House, de Young's Koret Auditorium, S.F. State University, St. John's, El Rio, others.

The "world of voices waiting to be heard" this year is represented by Mozambique ("Another Man's Garden," about a young girl who wants to study medicine in a society still hostile to women), China ("Dam Street," about the friendship between a young woman cast out of her family and a 10-year-old boy), Algeria ("Enough!" - perhaps the best-made film this year, about a wife's search for her journalist husband kidnapped by fundamentalists).

Also, Croatia ("Fine Dead Girls," about life in present-day Zagreb, and "A Wonderful Night in Split," of contemporary chaos in the medieval city), Kurdistan ("Kilometer Zero," set during the 1980s war between Iraq and Iran), Indonesia ("Of Love and Eggs," in a working-class community in Jakarta), Chile ("The Sacred Family," a domestic drama), Argentina ("On Each Side," about a new bridge transforming life on both sides of the river).

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