Global Film Unveils 2005 Film Series Slate
by Brian Brooks
Non-profit cultural promotion group, Global Film Initiative has announced details of its 2005 distribution slate. The "Global Lens" film series, which begins in Seattle January 6th in partnership with Cinema Seattle, will usher in the slate of developing-world films, which will tour major U.S. cities with titles from nine countries.
Screening in the program are: Vietnamese director Minh Nguyen-vo's "Buffalo Boy," a 2004 Locarno fest coming-of-age tale set in 1940 French-occupied Indochina about a boy and his father raising water buffalo in the country's southern-most region; Algerian director Mehdi Charef's "Daughter of Keltoum," about a young urban woman raised in Switzerland who returns to remote Algeria to reunite with her estranged mother; and "Fuse" by Pjer Zalica of Bosnia/Herzegovina, a comedic look at an opportunistic town in Bosnia preparing for a visit from President Clinton.
From Angolan director Maria Joao Ganga is "Hollow City," the story of an orphan and the characters he meets on the run against the backdrop of the country's 30-year civil war. The film won prizes at the Film Festival of African, Asian and Latin American Cinema, as well as the Paris Film Festival. Also on tap is Assane Kouyate of Mali with "Kabala," a feature about a young African who is exiled in humiliation from his village, but returns years later and witnesses the conflict between local traditions and modernity.
Argentine director Mariano Galperin's comedy "Lili's Apron" screens in the series, about an unemployed man who masquerades as a woman to work as a live-in maid set during the country's economic collapse. From China, meanwhile, is "Uniform" by Diao Yinan, who took prizes in Vancouver and Rotterdam for his film about a couple in an industrial but remote part of the country.
2004 Istanbul fest FIPRESCI-winning feature "What's a Human Anyway" by Reha Erdem, centering on the chaos of daily life among a large cast of characters in Istanbul, is also slated, along with Juan Pablo Rebella and Pablo Stoll's "Whiskey" (Uruguay). The film, which took an Un Certain Regard prize as well as the FIPRESCI at the 2004 Festival de Cannes, revolves around a sock factory owner in Montevideo and an employee who have barely spoken to one another over the years, but are suddenly forced to pose as a long-married couple.
Founded to promote cross-cultural understanding through cinema, the Global Film Initiative has partnerships with cultural institutions in major U.S. cities that present Global Lens annually, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio among others.