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Academy Award Selections

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NOTHING MORE (NADA +)
Director: Juan Carlos Cremata Malberti
Cuba   |   2001   |   90 minutes
Spanish, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Cuba’s official submission to the 2002 Academy Awards

Synopsis Juan Carlos Cremata Malberti's Nothing More is a remarkable debut feature that explores the repressive, crippling political and social aspects of today's Cuba while turning upside down all our comfortably cliched expectations about the U.S.'s island neighbor. Carla is a young postal worker who dreams of joining her parents in Miami even as she enlivens her own drab existence by opening and rewriting the very letters she is responsible for processing. Intermittently bursting into song and cleverly mimicking various cinematic styles, the film is hilarious as well as heartbreaking.

About the director Juan Carlos Cremata Malberti began his career in film as a writer, actor, and director for a children's television series in Cuba. While working for the program, he received a degree in theater and dramatic arts from La Havan Arts Superior Institut. His work won him a CARACOL award from the Cuban national union of writers and artists. In 1985, he was awarded a special artistic award from the Cuban Cultural Ministry. His work has appeared at international film festivals in Obehausen, Mannheim, Berlin, London, Leipzig, Hamburg, Sao Paulo, Copenhagen, Brussels, Friborg, Montevideo, and Madrid. Cremata and his work have won many awards worldwide. He was a film editing professor at Buenos Aires University and a film-directing professor at the Design and Comercial Panamerican School, also located in Buenos Aires. In 1996, Cremata Malberti was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim grant.

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Featured in the Global Lens 2004 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.

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Featured in the Global Lens 2004 film series.

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FINE DEAD GIRLS (Fine Mertve Djevojke)
Director: Dalibor Matanic
Croatia   |   2002   |   77 minutes
Croatian, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Croatia’s official submission to the 2002 Academy Awards

Synopsis A report of a kidnapped child triggers an investigation that uncovers nightmarish conditions in a seedy apartment building in Zagreb: none of the residents are as they seem and when they learn the truth about each other, the pervasive climate of mistrust in the building explodes into violence. The hostility and misery of the characters' lives project vivid echoes of Croatia's recent past, as the country slowly emerges from years of ethnic violence during the Balkans war.About the Director Dalibor Matanic was born in Zagreb in 1975 and studied filmmaking at the Zagreb Academy of Dramatic Arts. He has made videos, commercials and documentaries before completing his first film, The Cashier Wants to Go to the Seaside (2000). Fine Dead Girls is his second feature film.

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Featured in the Global Lens 2007 film series.

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THE KITE (Le Cerf-Volant)
Director: Randa Chahal Sabbag
Lebanon   |   2003   |   80 minutes
Arabic, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Lebanon’s official submission to the 2003 Academy Awards

Synopsis In director Randa Chahal Sabbag's fairytale for troubled times, sixteen-year old Lamia must cross a border checkpoint between Lebanon and Israel to marry a man she has never met. Neither she nor her betrothed are eager to consummate a marriage to a stranger matter further complicated by Lamia's surprising admission that she is in love with the Israeli soldier guarding the border. Sabbag's enchanting drama about marriage and tradition is underscored by delicate symbolism and artful references to politics of Lebanon's territories that have been annexed.

About the Director Randa Chahal Sabbag was born in Tripoli, Lebanon. She studied film at the University of Vincennes and the School of Louis Lumiére in France. She directed numerous documentaries, short films, and television programs before her first feature film, Sand Screens (1991). Her second feature film, A Civilized People (1998), a black comedy about the Lebanese Civil War, was censored in Lebanon. She refused to make edits to her film that the Ministry of Interior's military censors proposed, which resulted in her being vilified in the press and her family receiving death threats. In 2004, she was awarded with the nation's highest honor, a Chevalier of the Order of the Cedar, for her contributions to Lebanon. The Kite is her third feature film.

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Featured in the Global Lens 2008 film series.

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WHISKY
Director: Juan Pablo Rebella and Pablo Stoll
Uruguay   |   2004   |   94 minutes
Spanish, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Uruguay’s official submission to the 2004 Academy Awards

Synopsis An inspired and beautifully assured tragic-comedy about Jacobo, a sixty-year-old owner of a small, outdated sock factory, is illuminated with deadpan, repetitive, and monotonous detail. When his successful younger brother is expected for a visit, Jacobo asks Marta, his humble, loyal assistant, to pose as his wife. The brother, lively, inquisitive, and open, spontaneously suggests a seaside trip during which the three characters begin to reveal themselves in situations where farce, jealousy and betrayal lead to places of no return. Juan Pablo Rebella and Pablo Stoll have created a sophisticated, quiet film that tells a story through understatement and modest gestures.


About the Director Juan Pablo Rebella and Pablo Stoll were born in Montevideo, Uruguay, and began working together while studying at La Universidad Catolica del Uruguay. Their feature debut, 25 Watts (2001), won multiple awards, including the VPRO Tiger Award at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. Whisky is their second feature, winning the Prix du Regard Original at the 2004 Festival de Cannes.


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BUFFALO BOY
Director: Nguyen-Vô Nghiem-Minh
Vietnam   |   2004   |   102 minutes
Vietnamese, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Vietnam’s official submission to the 2006 Academy Awards

Synopsis Set in the lowlands of southern Vietnam, this powerful coming of age tale is a richly textured and stunningly visual reflection of the rhythms of daily life and culture determined by water. The flooded landscape serves to tell the story of the relationship between a father and son, the cycles of life, and the inescapable flow of all things. When young Kim, out of necessity, joins the nomadic life of the buffalo herders he is exposed to a complex, brutal way of existence. He must find his own way and sense of self in this male world of endurance, betrayal, and uncertainty, which can also offer friendship and independence. Minh Nguyen-Vo presents this mythic tale with indelible images of the majestic and sacred buffalos charging through flood waters contrasted with the solitary rower gliding through the waters, each representing opposite phases of the spiritual and moving journey.

About the Director Nguyen-Vô Nghiem-Minh grew up in a small town in Vietnam during the war. To escape the fighting and atrocities all around, he spent a great deal of time in his youth in the town's one-room movie theater. He studied in France and the U.S., graduating with a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from UCLA. After years of doing research in optics, he decided to concentrate on filmmaking. Buffalo Boy, his first feature, was in Official Competition and won the special prize from the Youth Jury at the 2004 Locarno International Film Festival. 

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Featured in the Global Lens 2005 film series.


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A WONDERFUL NIGHT IN SPLIT (Ta Divna Splitska Noc)
Director: Arsen Anton Ostojic
Croatia   |   2004   |   100 minutes
Croatian, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Croatia’s official submission to the 2005 Academy Awards

Synopsis The setting is a ghetto in the medieval city of Split, where several stories unfold between ten o'clock and midnight on New Year's Eve. While crowds gather in the old square to listen to a rock concert, three American sailors wander the streets and alleys looking for a prostitute and a drug pusher double-crosses his dealer. A widow and her grieving child, and an addict desperate for a fix, are pulled into a scheme to ship heroin to Munich, and a young couple plots a rendezvous before midnight. Lives are unraveled on this "wonderful night," amid fireworks and the countdown to midnight.

About the Director Arsen Anton Ostojic studied film directing at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Croatia, and earned an MFA in filmmaking at New York University. He worked on about twenty feature films in Europe and in the United States as an assistant director, production manager or line producer, and produced numerous shorts and documentaries. He is currently teaching production at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb, following several teaching assignments in New York City and in Salzburg, Austria. A Wonderful Night in Split is his first feature film.

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Featured in the Global Lens 2007 film series.


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BORDER CAFE (Café Transit)
Director: Kambozia Partovi
Iran   |   2005   |   105 minutes
Farsi, Greek, Turkish and Russian with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Irans official submission to the 2006 Academy Awards

Synopsis In a village near Iran's border with Turkey, Reyhan, a young woman with two children, faces a difficult choice when her husband dies.Instead of agreeing to marry her brother-in-law, as required by traditional law, she chooses to support her family by re-opening her late husband's restaurant. Kambozia Partovia represents Reyhan's struggle for self-sufficiency in a rigidly traditional environment as all too real, and is continuously pressured to move into her brother-in-law's home and become his second wife.

About the Director Kambozia Partovi was born in the province of Gilan, Iran, and studied dramatic arts at Tehran University. His early work included creating the children’s television program "The Green Frog." He filmed "The Fish" in war-torn Tehran in 1987. He has worked as a screenwriter on Circle (2000) and Earth and Ashes (2004). Partovi’s films include Golnar (1989), Adults’ Game (1992), and Naneh lala (1997). Border Café (2005) won the Best Screenplay and Best Actress Award at the Fajr International Film Festival in Iran.

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Featured in the Global Lens 2006 film series.


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CINEMA, ASPIRINS AND VULTURES (Cinema, Aspirinas e Urubus)
Director: Marcelo Gomes
Brazil   |   2005   |   99 minutes
Portuguese and German with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Brazil’s official submission to the 2006 Academy Awards

Synopsis 1942 in the middle of Northeastern Brazil, two very different men meet along the road: Johan, an aspirin salesman avoiding the German draft, and Ranulpho, a rural Brazilian seeking escape from the drought. Although their personalities and lives are worlds apart, the two men develop a deep friendship, as Johan, in an effort to provide Ranulpho with job skills, teaches Ranulpho to run the film projector, and drive a truck. In this deliberately-paced road film, Marcelo Gomes reminds us that war is as close as Johan's radio, broadcasting its relentless warnings that all lives are changed when the world is in conflict.

About the Director Marcelo Gomes was born in Recife, in Northeastern Brazil. He studied filmmaking at Bristol University in the United Kingdom and produced his first short, Maracutu Maracutus in 1994. He produced the documentaries Punk, Rock, Hard Core (1996) and Expresso Brazil (1997). Cinema, Aspirins and Vultures (2004), his first feature film, received a Special Jury Prize and Best Actor Award (Joao Miguel) at the 2005 Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival.

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Featured in the Global Lens 2006 film series.


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I AM FROM TITOV VELES (Jas Sum Od Titov Veles)
Director: Teona Strugar Mitevska
Macedonia   |   2007   |   102 minutes
Macedonian, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Macedonia’s official submission to the 2009 Academy Awards

Synopsis Set in the quaint but scarred town of Veles, three sisters long to escape the suffocating environment of their dying community. Burdened by memories of their late father, each chooses a different path: Sapho struggles to secure a visa to Greece, Slavica desperately searches for a rich husband, and Afrodita harbors hopes for love and children. In this contemporary story of urban decay, director Teona Strugar Mitevska blends stark realism with memorable performances to create a vivid landscape of life and longing in post-communist Macedonia.

About the Director Teona Strugar Mitevska was born in Skopje, Macedonia in 1974. As a child she acted in television, commercials, theater and radio dramas; she later trained as a painter and obtained her BA in Graphic Design. In 1998, she enrolled in the MFA film program at New York University's Tisch School of Arts. Her first feature film, How I Killed A Saint, screened successfully at festivals around the world. I Am From Titov Veles is her second feature film.

Featured in the Global Lens 2009 film series.



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

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