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Global Lens titles from Asia.

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STUDENT
Director: Darezhan Omirbayev
Kazakhstan   |   2012   |   90 minutes
Kazakh and Russian, with subtitles in English
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Synopsis A solitary philosophy student steers his directionless life toward the commission of a violent crime, spurred on by postmodern musings and a post-Soviet order characterized by growing inequality, institutional corruption and a ruthless ethic of “eat or be eaten.“ Inspired by Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, director Darezhan Omirbayev roots his nameless student in the losing segment of Kazakhstan’s new capitalist era, whose population watches the rich rise above common legal proscriptions and old-fashioned communal values. Omirbayev’s brooding protagonist may prove the willing student of the age, but he alone reckons with the consequences of his actions—a gesture strikingly at odds with a world losing a consistent concept of justice.


About the Director Darezhan Omirbayev was born in the Dzhambul Province of the Soviet Union (now Kazakhstan) in 1958. His debut feature, Kairat, won the Silver Leopard and the FIPRESCI Prize at the Locamo Film Festival in 1992, and the FIPRESCI Prize at the Strasbourg Film Festival in 1993. His third feature, Killer, won the Un Certain Regard Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1998. Student is his sixth feature film.


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Featured in the Global Lens 2013 film series.

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SHYAMAL UNCLE TURNS OFF THE LIGHTS
Director: Suman Ghosh
India   |   2012   |   65 minutes
Bengali, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis An 80-year-old Kolkata retiree is on a mission to get his neighborhood streetlights turned off after sunrise after he notices they stay on all day as well. Shyamal Uncle finds his sense of propriety upset by this wasteful expense of electricity. But finding someone to take him seriously proves a battle against an indifferent bureaucracy and a complacent status quo (and is just maybe a welcome distraction from his otherwise dull routine). Suman Ghosh’s vérité-style film is alive with the sights, sounds and personalities of this old Kolkata neighborhood, as his unlikely protagonist pursues a quest that adds up to a wry, revealing, highly original tour of modern India.


About the Director Suman Ghosh was born in Rishra, India in 1972. He received a Bachelor of Science in Economics at Presidency College, Calcutta, a Master of Arts in Economics from the University of Delhi and a doctorate in Economics from Cornell University in Ithaca. His debut feature, Footsteps, won the Silver Lotus Award for Best Actor and Best Feature Film in Bengali at India’s National Film Awards in 2008. Shyamal Uncle Turns Off the Lights is his fourth feature film.


Available Screening Formats DVD, Digibeta.


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Featured in the Global Lens 2013 film series.

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BEIJING FLICKERS (You-Zhong)
Director: Zhang Yuan
China   |   2012   |   96 minutes
Mandarin, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis San Bao is a young man left behind by Beijing’s fabulous new wealth, having just lost his job, his apartment and the woman he loves (who’s left him for a richer man). Even Happiness, his dog, has run away from him. Lovelorn, self-destructive and desperately aimless, San Bao nevertheless has moments of euphoria amid his own despair, as he roams the sleek, shifting city with other soulful, cash-poor dreamers and misfits. Such heavenly losers form the vital spirit of Beijing in acclaimed director Zhang Yuan’s gorgeously gritty, angst-ridden portrait of youthful disaffection and perseverance in the teeth of heartbreak, ruthless inequality and unfeeling ambition.


About the Director Zhang Yuan was born in Nanjing, China in 1963. He studied cinematography at the Beijing Film Academy and began directing feature films in 1980. In 1994, TIME Magazine selected him as one of the 100 Young Leaders of the Next Century. A leading filmmaker of China's Sixth Generation, his second feature, Beijing Bastards, received a Special Mention by the Official Jury at the Locarno Film Festival in 1993, and his fourth feature, Sons, won the Tiger Award at the International Film Festival
Rotterdam in 1996. Beijing Flickers is his eleventh feature film.


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Featured in the Global Lens 2013 film series.

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SOUL OF SAND (Pairon Talle)
Director: Sidharth Srinivasan
India   |   2010   |   98 minutes
Hindi, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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ON DVD: Summer 2012


Synopsis A watchman and his wife living at an abandoned mine find themselves trapped in the brutal schemes of their tyrannical landlord in this suspenseful, visually striking drama set on the urban outskirts of Delhi. When the landlord offers his daughter to a wealthy potential buyer of the mine, she and her lower-caste lover run away. The watchman reluctantly helps them, but a sinister masked killer dispatched to hunt down the runaways endangers them all. A searing take on the politics of caste and money in a rapidly developing economy, Sidharth Srinivasan’s eccentric thriller delves into the dark interstices between Indian modernity and tradition.


About the Director Sidharth Srinivasan was born in New Delhi, India in 1975. He graduated with a degree in Economics from St. Stephen’s College at Delhi University. His debut short, Swamohita, premiered in competition at the Venice Film Festival in 2000, and his first feature, The Divine Vision, won Best Film, Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor at the Karachi International Film Festival in 2001. Soul of Sand is his second feature film.


Available Screening Formats DVD. Digibeta available upon request.


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Featured in the Global Lens 2011 film series.

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Image Threads
Director: Vipin Vijay
India   |   2010   |   102 mins
Malayalam, with subtitles in English
$16.99
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Dir. Vipin Vijay, India, GFI grant 2008.
An epic tale of spirituality and self-discovery is revealed through the eyes of an Internet hacker and his black magician grandfather.
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THE LIGHT THIEF (Svet-Ake)
Director: Aktan Arym Kubat
Kyrgyzstan   |   2010   |   80 minutes
Kyrgyz, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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On DVD: Summer 2012


Kyrgyzstan’s official submission to the 2010 Academy Awards


Synopsis In this colorful modern-day parable of good and evil, a humble village electrician devotes his compassion and ingenuity to destitute neighbors in a wind-swept valley of Kyrgyzstan. Played with wry humanity by writer-director Aktan Arym Kubat, the trusting Mr. Light strikes a suspect bargain with a rich developer running for local office, as unemployment threatens the survival of the community. Stoking a dream to supply wind-generated electricity to the whole valley, the modest visionary comes up against an increasingly dark cloud of corruption in this affecting tale of solidarity and ordinary decency amid the injustices and hardships of a changing world.


About the Director Aktan Arym Kubat was born in 1957 in Kyrgyzstan. He graduated from the Art Academy in Bishkek and started working as a production designer in the 1980s. His second feature film, The Swing, won the Golden Leopard at the Locarno International Film Festival in 1993, which was followed by The Adopted Son, which won the Silver Leopard at the same festival in 1998. In 2001, he was nominated for the European Film Academy (EFA) Discovery Award. The Light Thief is his fifth feature film.


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


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Featured in the Global Lens 2011 film series.

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DOOMAN RIVER
Director: Zhang Lu
China   |   2009   |   89 minutes
Korean and Mandarin, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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ON DVD: Spring/Winter 2013


Synopsis Writer-director Zhang Lu’s fascinating window into a rarely seen corner of rural China revolves around 12-year-old Chang-ho, living with his grandfather and mute sister along the frozen river-border with North Korea. Although fraught with unemployment and other tensions, his community seems sympathetic toward the Korean refugees fleeing famine and misery; Chang-ho even bonds over soccer with one young border-crosser who comes scavenging food for a sibling. But he soon turns on his new friend as suspicions mount against the illegal immigrants and his sister reels from unexpected aggression, provoking a quandary over his loyalties in an exquisitely detailed story of compassion and strife across an uneasy geopolitical border.


About the Director Zhang Lu was born in Jilin-Sheng, China in 1962. He studied Chinese literature at Yenben University and began writing poetry and novels in 1986. He made his feature debut with Tang Poetry in 2004, and his second feature film, Grain in Ear, was invited to the 2005 Critics’ Week in Cannes, where it won the ACID/CCAS Support Award. Dooman River is his fifth feature film.


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DVD Release Date: October 2012


Featured in the Global Lens 2011 film series.

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ADRIFT (Choi Voi)
Director: Bui Thac Chuyen
Vietnam   |   2009   |   110 minutes
Vietnamese, with subtitles in English
$24.99
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Synopsis Soon after her wedding, newlywed Duyen’s excitement begins to fade as she realizes her young husband is not only sexually naïve, but overly occupied by his job and doting mother. As her marriage goes unconsummated and her emotional isolation grows, she reaches out to her closest girlfriend, Cam, who secretly desires her, but pushes her into the arms of a dangerous and provocative suitor. The resulting sexual awakening and infidelity puts Duyen in a precarious love triangle, challenging her notions of conventional relationships and also the stability of her new family. Saturated with erotic tension, director Bui Thac Chuyen’s sensuous and absorbing second feature traces the emotional and psychological landscapes of lust and desire, weaving an atmospheric tale of love and life in modern Hanoi.

About the Director Bui Thac Chuyen was born in Hanoi, Vietnam in 1968. He began his film career in 1991 with the short film Eternal Sadness, which won the Golden Swift Wing Prize at the 1st National Viet Nam Festival of Short Movies. His debut feature film, Living in Fear was awarded the Asian New Talent Prize for Best Film in the 2006 Shanghai International Film Festival. Adrift is his second feature film.

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DVD Release Date: January 31, 2012

Featured in the Global Lens 2010 film series.

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OCEAN OF AN OLD MAN
Director: Rajesh Shera
India   |   2008   |   84 minutes
Hindi, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis In the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, and amid the stunning natural beauty of India’s Andaman and Nicobar islands, an elderly British teacher struggles to run a small primary school despite the loss of many of the islands’ children to the recent tragedy. Ignoring the overwhelming grief that washes over the islands, he continues to teach his few remaining students until a government official delivers a relocation order to all residents, causing him to embark on a heartbreaking search for his missing students, convinced they must still be alive. Blending exquisite vistas with the ubiquitous sound of the ocean to convey the precarious balance between human life and the inexorable forces of nature, Rajesh Shera’s debut feature quietly unfolds as a delicate meditation on grief and loss.

About the Director Rajesh Shera was born in Rajasthan, India. He has a master's degree in economics from Dehli University, and in 2005 he received a diploma in Film and Television, with a specialization in editing, from the Film and Television Institute of India. He has also edited and directed several short films. Ocean of an Old Man is his first feature.

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DVD Release Date: November 8, 2011

Featured in the Global Lens 2010 film series.

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SONG FROM THE SOUTHERN SEAS (Pesn' Juzhnykh Morej)
Director: Marat Sarulu
Kazakhstan   |   2008   |   80 minutes
Russian, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis Two couples, one Russian and one Kazakh, live side by side in relative harmony in a beautiful yet semi-desolate region of the Great Steppe. But when the fair-skinned Russians give birth to a boy of decidedly darker skin, fifteen years of suspicion and acrimony arises between them, and can only be resolved by an ironic twist of family and fate. At times darkly somber, at other times tender and wistful—and buoyed throughout by a soundtrack of folk-inspired melodies—writer-director Marat Sarulu draws on Kazakhstan's epic history to create a gritty and deeply compassionate tale of humor and cultural insight.


About the Director Marat Sarulu was born in Talas, Soviet Union (now Kyrgyzstan) in 1957. He graduated with a degree in Philology from Kyrgyz National University in Bishkek in 1980 and subsequently studied at the Moscow Cinema Academy. He is co–writer of the internationally successful feature film, Beshkempir and currently works as a writer and director. Song from the Southern Seas is his third feature film.


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


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Featured in the Global Lens 2009 film series.

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Items 1 to 10 of 27 total

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