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The Global Film Initiative announces members of the Film Board

The Global Film Initiative, a non-traditional film distributor specializing in independent films from the developing world, today announced the membership of its Film Board, internationally-recognized filmmakers, producers and visionaries who support the mission of The Initiative. The sixteen charter members of the Film Board span four continents, and share a passion for independent film from the developing world.
Through these industry leaders, The Global Film Initiative reaches out to communities of independent filmmakers around the world.

The Global Film Initiative brings internationally-acclaimed films from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East to American audiences through its annual film series, Global Lens. In collaboration with major cultural institutions across America, The Global Film Initiative is, in the words of one of its institutional partners, helping to “create the next generation of filmgoers – informed audiences who not only see film as an art form, but as an essential resource in developing an understanding of the complex world we share.”

“Filmmakers in every corner of the world bring the rich texture of life into their work,” said Susan Weeks Coulter, Chair of Global Film Initiative. “Our challenge is to introduce American audiences to their remarkable stories, as told in the international medium of cinema. We are delighted to welcome these leaders of independent filmmaking in support of this important work.”

The charter members of The Global Film Initiative Film Board are:

Pedro Almodóvar, Spain Mira Nair, India

Lucy Barreto, Brazil Carlos Reygadas, Mexico

Jean-Pierre Bekolo, Cameroon Pierre Rissient, France

Noah Cowan, Canada Lita Stantic, Argentina

Sandra den Hamer, The Netherlands Béla Tarr, Hungary

Christopher Doyle, China Djamshed Usmonov, Tajikistan

Adoor Gopalakrishnan, India Lars von Trier, Denmark

Rashid Masharawi, Palestine Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand

The Global Film Initiative
The Global Film Initiative is a non-traditional film distributor specializing in independent films from the developing world. The Global Film Initiative was created to promote cross-cultural understanding through the universal language of cinema during a time of political and social disparity throughout the world. The Global Film Initiative offers grants each year to filmmakers and brings outstanding films to U.S. audiences through a 16-18 city theatrical release entitled Global Lens. The theatrical release is supported by an educational outreach program to high school students. The Global Film Initiative is a not-for-profit organization based in New York City. See for more information.

Pedro Almodóvar (Spain)
Co-founder of El Deseo production studios
As writer, actor, director, producer, composer, he has made internationally-acclaimed films for more than two decades
Produced Academy Award –nominated Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988), The Flower of My Secret (1995), Academy Award-winning All About My Mother (1999) and Talk to Her (2002), and Bad Education (2002)

Lucy Barreto (Brazil)
Co-producer with her husband, Luiz Carlos Barreto, the Barreto Group
Collaborated with the Cinema Novo directors, including Glauber Rocha and Nelson Pereira dos Santos
Produced such films as Bye Bye Brazil (1979), O Quatrilho (1995), Four Days in September (1997), Bossa Nova (2000) and The Middle of the World (2003)

Jean-Pierre Bekolo (Cameroon)
A physicist by training, Bekolo studied filmmaking at the Institut National de l’Audiovisuel in France, and taught filmmaking at Duke and the University of North Carolina
First feature film, Quartier Mozart (1992) won the Prix Afrique en Création at Cannes
Most recent film, Les Saignantes (2005), was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival

Noah Cowan (Canada)
Co-Director of the Toronto International Film Festival
Co-creator of The Global Film Initiative
Co-founder of Cowboy Pictures and CodeRed Films

Sandra den Hamer (The Netherlands)
Director, International Film Festival Rotterdam
Joined IFFR in 1986 as assistant to Hubert Bals
Deputy Director, co-Director with Simon Field from 1991 – 2004

Christopher Doyle (China)
Leading cinematographer in Asia, having developed an intuitive, “away with words” style
Collaborated with Chinese filmmaker Wong Kar Wai on Days of Being Wild (1991), Chungking Express (1994), In the Mood for Love (2000) and 2046 (2005)
Director of Photography for Psycho (directed by Gus Van Sant, 1998), Last Life in the Universe (directed by Pen-ed Ratanaruang, 2003), Rabbit-Proof Fence (directed by Philip Noyce, 2002) and Hero (directed by Zhang Yimou, 2002)

Adoor Gopalakrishnan (India)
Won the FIPRESCI prize six times, most recently for Nizhalkkuthu (Shadow Kill – 2002), which was selected for the first Global Lens series
Received The Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters from French government in 2004
Makes documentaries on the performing arts, especially the classical arts of Kerala, and has published three books on cinema (in Malayalam)

Rashid Masharawi (Palestine)
Founded the Mobile Cinema for refugee camps; one of few filmmakers to remain in Palestine to live and work; his most recent film is the acclaimed Arafat My Brother (2005)
Produced more than 15 films, including the BBC documentary Long Days in Gaza (1991), Curfew (1993), Haifa (1995), and Rabab (1997)
The award-winning Ticket to Jerusalem (2002) was selected for the first Global Lens series

Mira Nair (India)
Award-winning documentaries include So Far From India (1982) and India Cabaret (1985)
Among her award-winning feature films are Salaam Bombay! (1988), Mississippi Masala (1991), Monsoon Wedding (2001), and Hysterical Blindness (2002)
Founded Mirabai Films, which this year launched Maisha, its annual filmmaker’s laboratory in support of filmmakers in East Africa and South Asia

Carlos Reygadas (Mexico)
One of a new wave of successful filmmakers in Mexico, regards cinema as “much closer to music” in its ability to convey feeling without representation
Debut feature film Japón (Japan, 2002) received Golden Camera award at Cannes
Second film Batalla en el cielo (Battle in Heaven, 2005) made its North American debut at the Toronto International Film Festival

Pierre Rissient (France)
“Very possibly the least-known man of tremendous influence in the entire world of cinema”
Since the 1970s he has promoted films from the developing world for the festival at Cannes – launching the careers of filmmakers from Asia, Iran, and more recently, Malaysia
Tireless discoverer and promoter of talent, including director Jane Campion (The Piano), Clint Eastwood, the Filipino Lino Brocka, and King Hu from Taiwan

Lita Stantic (Argentina)
Founder of Lita Stantic Producciones, providing production and post-production support to the new wave of Argentine filmmakers since the 1990s
Active in the Cine Liberacion in Argentina in the 1970s
Produced major films, including A Red Bear (Un Oso Rojo, 2002) and The Holy Girl (La Niña Santa, 2004), and co-produced or provided completion support to many others

Béla Tarr (Hungary)
Legendary film Sátántangó (1994) was described by Susan Sontag as one of the “heroic violations of the norms” that will be necessary to shape the future of cinema
Refers to his films as “anti-movies,” made in reaction to Hungarian cinema available during the Communist era
Werckmeister Harmonies (2000) is his most recent completed project, with The Man from London currently in production

Djamshed Usmonov (Tajikistan)
Studied theater at Dushanbe Fine Arts School in Tajikistan, has been actor, director, producer, screenwriter and editor for fiction, animation and documentary films
FIPRESCI Prize for The Flight of the Bee (1998)
Angel on the Right (2002) – winner of awards at film festivals in Tokyo, London and Wiesbaden – was selected for the first Global Lens series

Lars von Trier (Denmark)
Leading filmmaker in Denmark, gaining international acclaim through the television program Medea and the series The Kingdom and The Kingdom II, as well as feature films
Co-founded Dogme, the film collective that brought international attention to filmmaking in Denmark
Produced such films as Zentropa (1991), Dogville (2003), and Mandalay (2005)

Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Thailand)
Prizes at Cannes for Blissfully Yours (2002) and Tropical Malady (2004)
Studied experimental filmmaking at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Leader of experimental and alternative filmmaking in Thailand, through his studio Kick the Machine


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