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About the Inititative

The Global Film Initiative was created to promote cross-cultural understanding through the medium of cinema. Although American film continues to thrive in the global marketplace, developing world filmmaking has suffered from shifting economic conditions in film financing and distribution. As a result, audiences in the United States have been denied the rich cultural lessons these films have to offer.

The Initiative has developed four complementary programs, all involving film from the developing world, to address this situation:

Granting
Acquisitions
Distribution
Education

 

 

The Distribution Program

Granting Program | Acquisitions Program | Distribution Program | Education Program

Twenty years ago, virtually every city in America had a commercial movie theater devoted to foreign language films and thousands of film societies exposed young people throughout the United States to foreign language film in schools and universities. Now most cities are lucky to get a one-week "foreign film festival" to spotlight this work — and there are fewer than two dozen film societies still in operation devoted to films with subtitles.

The Initiative sees these reductions as a void in this nation’s cultural life. As people get exposed less and less to foreign language film, and especially films from the developing world, a negative cycle begins: people lose their taste for other cultures and are less aware about the world beyond America’s borders. Fewer foreign language films then enter the distribution system, and so on.

The Global Lens Film Series ensures that the best of emerging world cinema is available on screens throughout the United States, with a particular focus on films in languages other than English. Every year, eight to ten films representing the diversity and excellence of cinema from Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East are chosen by the Initiative for Global Lens, and launched as traveling series in collaboration with the Museum of Modern Art, New York (MoMA). Following the launch at MoMA, the series then screens in a variety of festivals and in up to 35 major cities in partnership with cultural institutions across the U.S. Partners are invited to participate based on their demonstrated excellence in community outreach, commitment to broad educational programming and regional balance.

Distribution Partnerships
In its continuing effort to support and promote the diverse cinematic perspectives of the Global Lens Film Series, the Global Film Initiative has established dynamic distribution partnerships with Virgin America airlines, First Run Features, Asia Pacific Films, Link TV and Venevision. In addition, the Initiative also offers subsidized and discounted pricing for film exhibition to theatrical, community and educational partners, and provides the opportunity to purchase Global Lens films directly through its website. All proceeds from rental, sale and licensing of the series are redirected to the Granting Program, thereby creating a cycle of support between audiences in the United States and filmmakers abroad.

 
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