Granting Program | Acquisitions Program | Distribution Program | Education Program
From 1965 to about 1980 films from every part of the globe were regularly available for viewing throughout the United States. Great filmmakers came from all parts of the developing world. Brazil, Cuba and Argentina had national cinemas to rival France and Spain. The Philippines was a leader in political melodrama. India gave us Satyajit Ray; Egypt, Youssef Chahine. Both had films featured in cinemas throughout Europe and North America.
But economic upheavals and geopolitical change in the 1980s eliminated most of these thriving film cultures. As cinema industries gradually recovered, they encountered a very different world. They faced much more competition at home from Hollywood films and, in the United States, a changed audience, its passion for foreign-language films replaced by cunningly marketed American "independent" cinema. Dispatches from film festivals and internationally-minded critics indicate that plenty of worthy cinema is being created in the developing world; and consumers in these countries are once again embracing their locally produced work — an excellent sign for the future of their film industries.
The Acquisitions Program ensures that American audiences will have the opportunity to have a sustained relationship with films from the developing world. The Initiative will monitor major international film festivals to ensure that the very best of global cinema will be available to as many Americans as possible. The Acquisitions Program will buy rights to films from the developing world that would otherwise be unavailable through conventional distributors. To ensure that the Initiative is not competing with American distribution companies, the Initiative’s board sets an annually adjusted flat fee price for the rights it purchases.