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Films by Region

The Global Lens Series annually features eight to ten narrative feature films from Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East that are presented to audiences in theatrical locations across the United States and Canada.

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AMNESTY (Amnistia)
Director: Bujar Alimani
Albania   |   2011   |   83 minutes
Albanian, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis A new national law allowing conjugal visits for inmates brings together a man and woman visiting the same prison to meet their incarcerated spouses. Elsa’s dutiful contact with her husband is part of a routine consumed with job searching, raising her two sons, and getting along with her father-in-law. When she meets Spetim, a quiet man visiting his imprisoned wife in equally passionless encounters, they slowly find the sympathy and companionship missing from their lives. A prisoner amnesty, however, soon threatens their fragile bond in this closely observed, sensual and contemplative drama highlighting a period of subtle but profound social transformation.


About the Director Bujar Alimani was born in Patos, Albania in 1969. He studied painting and stage directing at the University of Arts in Tirana, Albania, then worked as an assistant director in film after immigrating to Greece in 1992. His debut short film, The Kennel, won the Best Balkan Film Award at the International Short Film Festival in Drama, Greece in 2002, and the Best Albanian Short Film Award at the Tirana International Film Festival in 2003. Amnesty is his first feature film.


Available Screening Formats 35mm, DVD. Digibeta available upon request.


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Featured in the Global Lens 2012 film series.


 

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MASQUERADES (Mascarades)
Director: Lyes Salem
Algeria   |   2008   |   92 minutes
Arabic, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Algeria’s official submission to the 2009 Academy Awards


Synopsis After working for much of his life as a gardener in his dusty Algerian village, Mounir dreams of improving his family’s fortune and gaining a measure of respect by marrying off his narcoleptic sister, Rym, to a “real gentleman.” However, Rym has other plans—she dreams of marrying Mounir’s best friend, Khliffa, who has secretly courted her for years. When Mounir lashes out at village gossip with a fib that he has promised Rym to a wealthy outsider, she comes out of her sleepy stupor to embrace the rumor and press her real betrothed into action. Beautifully brought to life by a memorable cast—including director Lyes Salem as the cocky but compassionate bumbler Mounir—this heartfelt comedy suggests that when dreams become reality, it’s time to wake up.


About the Director Lyes Salem was born in Alger, Algeria in 1973. After studying at the National Conservatory for Superior Dramatic Arts, he performed in some of the most respected theaters in the country. His second short film, Cousines, received France's César award for Best Short Film in 2005. As an actor, he has appeared in a number of films, including Alex, Banlieue 13 and L’Ecole de la Chair. Mascarades is his first feature film.


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DVD Release Date: July 26, 2011


 


Featured in the Global Lens 2010 film series.


 

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DAUGHTER OF KELTOUM (La Fille de Keltoum)
Director: Mehdi Charef
Algeria   |   2001   |   106 minutes
Arabic and French, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis A young woman, Rallia, raised in Switzerland, travels to an isolated and barren Berber settlement located in the rocky Atlas Mountains of Algeria. Rallia's journey is one of multi-tiered discovery in terms of her relationship to her extended family, traditional Berber culture, and her desperate need to locate her biological mother. Through her eyes, the viewer is immersed in a world virtually untouched by contemporary society, one that still clings to tribal mores and strict religious codes of conduct. Mehdi Charef skillfully captures the windswept vistas of a faraway mountain range with wide camera angles that frame the harsh environs and the desperate daily search for water, the responsibility of the resilient women of the Berber tribe.

About the Director Mehdi Charef was born in 1952 in Maghnia, Algeria, where he lived until his family left in the early 1960s to live in France, where he was trained as a mechanic and worked in a factory. In 1983, his first novel Le Thé au Harem d'Archimíde ("Tea in the Harem") was published. The book was soon optioned by filmmaker Constantin Costa-Gavras and made into a film, winning a Cesar, the Jean Vigo and SOS Racisme prizes, the Silver Hugo in Chicago, and the Special Jury Prize at the Madrid International Film Festival. Charef's films, La Maison d'Alexina (1999) and Pigeon vole (1996), were adapted from his novels of the same name. Medhi Charef currently lives in France and continues his work as a novelist and filmmaker.

Available Screening Formats 35mm, DVD. Digibeta available upon request

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Featured in the Global Lens 2005 film series.


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RACHIDA
Director: Yamina Bachir-Chouikh
Algeria   |   2002   |   100 minutes
Arabic and French, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Algeria’s official submission to the 2002 Academy Awards

Synopsis The first-full length feature film bu Yaminda Bachir-Choikh evokes memories of the worst atrocities of the terror in Algeria. The forces of violence and ignorance erode but don't conquer decency and enlightenment in Rachida, the story of a vivacious young schoolteacher who refuses to buckle under intimidation, despite her anguish at living under the constant threat of terror in unexpected places. The film also highlights the corruption of an education system that has become the breeding ground of a culture of hatred.

About the director Yamina Bachir-Chouikh was born in 1954 in Algiers, and entered the film industry as an editor and scriptwriter. Her feature debut is Rachida.

Available Screening Formats 35mm, DVD. Digibeta available upon request

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Featured in the Global Lens 2004 film series.

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ENOUGH! (Barakat!)
Director: Djamila Sahraoui
Algeria, France   |   2006   |   94 minutes
Arabic, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis Set in war-torn Algeria in the 1990s, Enough! follows two women on the dangerous search for the younger woman's husband, a journalist whose writings resulted in his disappearance. Both women represent anachronisms in Islamist Algeria: the younger woman is a doctor, the older a nurse with vivid memories of Algeria's fight for independence. Ignoring curfews and the constant threat of ambush by armed militias, the two women challenge the men they encounter to accept them and help them with their search. Their journey leads them across the picturesque landscapes of Algeria, to a deeper understanding of how their lives were shaped by their country's history.

About the Director Djamila Sahraoui was born in Algeria in 1950, and has lived in France since 1975. After studying literature in Algeria, she studied filmmaking at l'IDHEC in Paris. Her early short films include Houria (1980), Avoir 2000 ans dans les Aurès (1990), and Prénom Marianne (1992). Sahraoui's documentaries, La Moitié du ciel d'Allah (1995), Algérie, la vie quand même (1998) and Algérie, la vie toujours (2001), explore conditions in Algeria during the decade of civil war. She was awarded the Villa Médicis Hors les Murs prize in 1997. Enough! is her first feature film.

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Featured in the Global Lens 2007 film series.


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HOLLOW CITY (Na Cidade Vazia)
Director: Maria Joao Ganga
Angola   |   2004   |   88 minutes
Portuguese, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis Set in the aftermath of the Angolan revolution and the devastating results, this film chronicles the impact on even the most innocent. Orphaned at age 11, Ndala arrives in Luanda on a military transport plane filled with other children in the same situation. During the confusion of arrival, he runs away and begins his journey through the unfamiliar and un-welcoming city. Ndala meets Z, an older boy who shares the epic story of a young warrior. Z and his friends, who drift amongst the Luanda homeless, fascinate Ndala and he is tragically pulled into their existence of survival. Maria Joo Ganga presents contrasting visual styles that reflect Ndalas journey. His discovery of the seaside is bathed in brilliant blues and yellows reflecting the purity of sea and sky, in contrast with his connection to Z, bringing him into a clandestine world of interiors with dilapidated apartments and smoky, ramshackle bars redolent of perpetual night.

About the Director Maria João Ganga was born in Huambo, Angola, in 1964. She studied filmmaking at L'école Superieure Libre d'etudes Cinematographiques (ESEC) in Paris. She has served as an assistant director on several documentaries, including Rostov-Luanda by Abderrahmane Sissako, and has also written and directed for theater. Hollow City is her first feature film.

Available Screening Formats 35mm, DVD. Digibeta available upon request

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Featured in the Global Lens 2005 film series.


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THE FINGER (El Dedo)
Director: Sergio Teubal
Argentina   |   2011   |   93 minutes
Spanish, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis After seven years of dictatorship, a remote village in Argentina formally becomes a town with the birth of its 501st inhabitant. Hidalgo, a slick and ingratiating scion, is eager for the new post of mayor. Smelling a rat, Baldomero (a beloved natural leader with a habitually tapping digit) opposes him with his own candidacy—and soon turns up dead.  His shopkeeper brother vows revenge, keeping Baldomero’s severed finger in a jar, initially as a remembrance, but eventually as an absurd icon of leadership that spurs the town to defy crooked elections, interloping powers and Hidalgo to go its own way. Based on real events, this charming dramatic comedy pokes fun at small town ways while celebrating true democratic values.


About the Director Sergio Teubal was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1969. He began his artistic career as a theater actor, performing in stage productions of Jesus Christ Superstar and Macbeth; he later received a scholarship to study at the Advanced Residential Theatre and Television Skill Centre in York, England. His short film, To Daddy, was awarded the Best Short Film Jury Prize at San Francisco’s International Latino Film Festival in 2007 and first prize of Argentina’s National Art Fund in 2008. The Finger is his first feature film.


Available Screening Formats 35mm, DVD. Digibeta available upon request.


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NOW PLAYING: Check the film calendar for current screenings.


Featured in the Global Lens 2012 film series.

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ON EACH SIDE (A Cada Lado)
Director: Hugo Grosso
Argentina   |   2006   |   101 minutes
Spanish, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis Constructing the Rosario-Victoria Bridge in the interior or Argentina is a two-year process, which transforms lives on both sides of the river. As the bridge take shape, carefree boys grow into teenagers, a mysterious engineer touches the life of his landlord, and a photographer documents the process of change. But no one is prepared for the transformation that begins only once the bridge is complete. Grosso uses the metaphor of a bridge to reflect the themes of passage, union, and transition in his characters' lives.

About the Director Hugo Grosso was born in Rosario, Argentina, in 1955. He studied filmmaking at Taller de Cine Arteon, EPCTV de Rosario and UNR. Grosso helped to create a school for filmmaking and TV in Rosario, where he has taught and held the post of headmaster at various times since 1984. He also helped to form the Festival Latinoamericano de Video de Rosario, and has held government positions in audio-visual media. Grosso's documentaries include La Salvaje: Rita, con el alma el desnudo (1999) and Donde Comienza el Camino (Where the Road Begins, 2005). On Each Side is his first feature film.

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Featured in the Global Lens 2007 film series.


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THE CUSTODIAN (El Custodio)
Director: Rodrigo Moreno
Argentina   |   2006   |   93 minutes
Spanish, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis As a bodyguard for a high profile politician, Ruben is reduced to a mere shadow of a man: every action in his life is regulated by a series of mundane routines, and everywhere his boss goes he must follow, watching but never speaking. Resigned to his invisibility, his life is a series of days without meaning, punctuated only by visits to a prostitute, in this compelling chronicle by first-time director Rodrigo Moreno of a man without any true identity or connection to the world in which he lives.

About the Director Rodrigo Moreno was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1972. He graduated from the directing program at the Universidad del Cine, where he has been teaching screenwriting and directing since 1996. He collaborated as writer and director with Ulises Rosell and Andrés Tambornino on the feature film Sweet Repose (2002), an offbeat comedy that won Best Film at Images du Monde Festival (Canada). He also wrote and directed Compañeros, the last segment of the episodic feature Bad Times (1998). He has previously directed several short films, his first being Nosotros (1993), which screened at the Berlin International Film Festival Forum (Germany) and won Best Film at the Bilbao Festival (Spain). The Custodian is his first feature film.

Available Screening Formats 35mm, DVD. Digibeta available upon request

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Featured in the Global Lens 2008 film series.

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THE PRIZE (El Premio)
Director: Paula Markovitch
Argentina   |   2011   |   99 minutes
Spanish, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis Under the cloud of a military dictatorship, a young mother and her daughter flee Buenos Aires for the seclusion of a ramshackle cottage along the windy dunes of an Argentine beach. As her mother listens for news from the radio with sad stoicism, restlessly curious seven-year-old Cecilia joins a nearby school overseen by a kindly teacher. A childhood idyll, however, soon becomes contaminated by the general political crisis, as the teacher recruits the class for a patriotic essay contest sponsored by the army—the very people that may have already disappeared Cecilia’s father—in this superbly acted and engrossingly atmospheric drama about innocence in illicit times.


About the Director Paula Markovitch was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1968. She has taught screenwriting at the Center of Cinematographic Capacitation (CCC) and is writer and director of the short films Perriférico and Ambulance Music. She has also served as an adviser for the Fundación Toscano-Sundance Lab, the Mexican Institute of Cinematography (IMCINE) and the National Fund for the Arts and Culture (FONCA). The Prize is her first feature film.


Available Screening Formats 35mm, DVD. Digibeta available upon request.


Click here for Non-Theatrical & Exhibition screening information


NOW PLAYING: Check the film calendar for current screenings.


Featured in the Global Lens 2012 film series.

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Items 1 to 10 of 96 total

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