Ten Projects Awarded Funds by The Global Film Initiative
Previous Grantees Receive Awards from Tribeca and Sundance/NHK

San Francisco, CA – July 1, 2008 – The Global Film Initiative announced today that ten filmmakers have been awarded completion funding for their film projects during the Initiative’s Spring 2008 granting-cycle.

“Our Spring grant-recipients represent some of the best filmmaking from around the world,” says Santhosh Daniel, Director of Programs. “The creativity and depth expressed by these filmmakers reflects an obvious talent that deserves to be recognized and supported.”

The ten projects were selected from a group of fifty-two applications, from twenty-eight different countries, for their artistic excellence, accomplished storytelling, and cultural perspective on daily life around the world.  Funds received from grants are used to subsidize post-production costs, such as laboratory and sound mixing fees, and access to advanced editing systems.

Since its founding in 2002, the Initiative has awarded more than sixty grants to film projects from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. These grants have supported the works of both emerging and established filmmakers, and are part of the Initiative’s continuing effort to promote narrative storytelling traditions and filmmaking from around the world.

The Spring 2008 grant recipients are:

· ADDICTED TO LOVE, Liu Hao (China)
Despite social conventions and disapproving families, two elderly friends struggle with Alzheimer’s and a growing attraction for one another.

· BLIND PIG WHO WANTS TO FLY, Edwin (Indonesia)
The dreams and ambitions of nine Jakarta residents intertwine and unravel amidst ethnic, racial and social tensions of urban Indonesia.

· THE FIFTH STRING, Selma Bargach (Morocco)
A lute player considers pursuing a career as a traditional Andalusian musician despite his family’s desire that he attend university.

· INDEPENDENCE, Raya Martin (Philippines)
As American forces begin the occupation of the Philippines, a mother and son leave their village for the mountains to live in quiet resistance to the colonization.

· K & ALI, Pelin Esmer (Turkey)
A friendship between an aging collector and his doorman leads to an unusual exploration of class and privilege in modern Istanbul.

An epic tale of spirituality and self-discovery is revealed through the eyes of an Internet hacker and his black magician grandfather.

· NATIVE DANCER, Guka Omarova (Kazakhstan)
A mystic healer, displaced from her home by land developers, is enlisted to aid in the search for a missing boy.

· OCTOBER, Daniel Vega Vidal and Diego Vega Vidal (Peru)
Two friends reevaluate their personal and emotional attachments after becoming unwitting caretakers to an abandoned baby.

· QUELEH, Abdi Ismail Jama (Somalia).
After his father is abducted during a civil conflict in 1980s Somalia, a young boy comes-of-age and learns to care for his family.

· THIEF, Jacques Trabi (Ivory Coast)
A man unexpectedly joins a gang of thieves to provide his wife and college-bound children with a more prosperous life.

Recent success of previous grantees:

· HUACHO, Alejandro Fernandez Almendras (Chile). Received a 2008 Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Award. GFI grant awarded 2007.

· RAMCHAND PAKISTANI, Mehreen Jabbar (Pakistan). Selected for the World Narrative Feature Competition at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival (USA). GFI grant awarded 2007.

· ACNE, Federico Veiroj (Uruguay). In the Un Certain Regard competition at the 2008 Festival de Cannes (France). GFI grant awarded 2006.

· MY MARLON AND BRANDO, Hüseyin Karabey (Turkey). Won the Best New Narrative Filmmaker award at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival (USA). GFI grant awarded 2006.

· I AM FROM TITOV VELES, Teona Mitevska (Macedonia). Official selection of the Pavillon les Cinémas du Sud at the 2008 Festival de Cannes (France). GFI grant awarded 2005.

· PANDORA’S BOX, Yesim Ustaoglu (Turkey). Supported with a Hubert Bal’s Fund for post-production in the Spring 2008 Selection Round. GFI grant awarded 2005.

The Global Film Initiative is a U.S.-based, 501(c)3 organization specializing in the acquisition, distribution and support of independent film from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Founded in 2002 with the mission of promoting cross-cultural understanding through cinema, each year the Initiative awards numerous grants to deserving filmmakers from around the world, and supports a touring film series entitled Global Lens.

Santhosh Daniel
The Global Film Initiative