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About the Inititative

Mission Statement
Film Board
Staff and Board of Directors



The Global Film Initiative is proud to announce the charter membership of our Film Board: filmmakers, producers and industry leaders of independent film. These remarkable people express their passion for cinema by supporting new waves of filmmakers, as mentors, producers and promoters of independent film from the developing world. Through these charter members of the Film Board, The Global Film Initiative reaches out to independent filmmakers around the world.

Pedro Almodóvar of Spain, filmmaker and co-founder of the film production company El Deseo. Mr. Almodóvar has worked in every aspect of filmmaking, from acting to composing to screenwriting and directing, and has won Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film (All About My Mother) and Best Original Screenplay (Talk To Her), and his film Volver (2006) won Best Actress and Best Screenplay at the Cannes Film Festival.  

Lucy Barreto of Brazil, producer and co-founder, with her husband Luis Carlos, of LC Barreto, one of the major film studios in Brazil. LC Barreto produced several key works in the ground-breaking Cinema Novo movement, including Barren Lives (1963) and Bye Bye Brazil (1979). Ms. Barreto’s production credits also include The Man Who Challenged the Devil (2007) and The Art of Losing (2011). 

Jean-Pierre Bekolo of Cameroon, filmmaker whose first feature, Quartier Mozart (1992), received the Prix Afrique en Création at the Cannes Film Festival. He has taught filmmaking at Duke and the University of North Carolina. His film Aristotle's Plot (1996) was commissioned as part of the British Film Institute's “The Century of Cinema” film series, and his film Les Saignantes (2005) was screened in the Visions program at the Toronto International Film Festival. 

Noah Cowan of Canada, artistic director of TIFF Bell Lightbox, home of the Toronto International Film Festival. Mr. Cowan co-founded Cowboy Productions and Code Red Films, and as a co-founder of The Global Film Initiative, before rejoining the Film Festival in Toronto, where he started his career in film more than 15 years ago.

Sandra den Hamer of The Netherlands, director of the EYE Film Institute. Formerly the director of the International Film Festival Rotterdam, she left in 2007 to the head the Amsterdam Filmmuseum, which in 2010 merged with a number of other major Dutch film organization to form the EYE Film Institute. 

Christopher Doyle of China, influential and award-winning cinematographer. His collaborations with Chinese filmmaker Wong Kar-wai began with Days of Being Wild (1991), and include Chungking Express (1994), Fallen Angels (1995), In the Mood for Love (2000) and most recently, 2046(2005). Doyle has also worked as cinematographer on such films as Zhang Yimou’s Hero (2002), Gus Van Sant’s Paranoid Park (2007) and Jim Jarmusch’s The Limits of Control (2009), and he has been the subject of a television documentary, In the Mood for Doyle (2007).


Adoor Gopalakrishnan of India, filmmaker whose Nizhalkkuthu (Shadow Kill, 2002) was selected for Global Lens 2003-2004. He was a leading member of the Indian New Wave (or Parallel Cinema) movement, and in 2004 received the Indian government’s Dabasaheb Phalke Award for lifetime achievement in film. His authorized biography, Adoor Gopalakrishnan: A Life in Cinema, was published in 2010 by film critic Gautaman Bhaskaran.


Jytte Jensen of the United States, Senior Curator in the Department of Film and Media at The Museum of Modern Art, where she organizes international retrospectives, programs of experimental and independent American cinema and thematic series. She is a member of the selection committee for New Directors/New Films and a founding advisor and curator for Global Lens. 

J.M. Gaston Kaboré of Burkina Faso, filmmaker known for works such as Wend Kuuni (1982), the second ever feature film to be produced in Burkina Faso, and Buud Yam (1997). Before founding the Imagine Institute, a film school based in Ouagadougou, Mr. Kaboré was director of the Centre National du Cinéma in Burkina Faso, and Secretary-General of the Pan-African Federation of Filmmakers. He has also served as a jury member at the Berlin, Venice, and Cannes film festivals. 

Rashid Masharawi of Palestine, filmmaker whose Ticket to Jerusalem (2002) was selected for Global Lens 2003-2004. His film Laila's Birthday (2008) was awarded Best Feature at the St. Louis International Film Festival, and in 2009 he directed the documentary Little Wings. He also founded the Cinema Production Center in Ramallah, an organization devoted to producing and distributing Palestinian films.

Labina Mitevska of Macedonia, acclaimed actress who began her career in Milcho Mancevski's Golden Lion winner Before the Rain (1994). Since then she has had roles in films such as Welcome to Sarajevo (1997) and Warchild (2006), and was named Best Actress at the Lecce Festival of European Cinema for her performance in I Am from Titov Veles (2007), part of the 2009 Global Lens Series. She is a co-founder of the production company Sisters & Brother Mitevski, a member of the European Film Academy and Festival Director of the International Cinematographers’ Film Festival “Manaki Brothers.”

Mira Nair of India, filmmaker and founder of the production company Mirabai Films, which in 2004 launched the nonprofit training initiative Maisha to encourage emerging filmmakers in East Africa and South Asia. Her debut feature, Salaam Bombay! (1988), won the Camera d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, and her recent films include Vanity Fair (2004), The Namesake (2006) and Amelia(2009). In 2007, she received the prestigious Pride of India award at the Bollywood Film Awards for her contributions to film culture.

Carlos Reygadas of Mexico, filmmaker whose debut feature, Japón (2002), received special mention for the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. His second film, Battle in Heaven (2005), was nominated for the Palme d’Or and won the FIPRESCI Prize at the Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival. His film Silent Light (2007) won the Cannes Jury Prize, and was named one of the year’s ten best films by The New York TimesThe Village Voice and Newsweek.

Lita Stantic of Argentina, producer and founder of Lita Stantic Producciones. Her productions include the internationally acclaimedLa Cienaga (The Swamp, 2001), Un Oso Rojo (A Red Bear, 2002) and La Niña Santa (The Holy Girl, 2004). She also provides production and post-production support for the new wave of Argentine filmmakers, and was recently honored with a tribute program and retrospective at the Fribourg International Film Festival.

Béla Tarr of Hungary, influential filmmaker whose Sátántangó (1994) and Werckmeister Harmonies (2000) are widely regarded as masterpieces of modern cinema. His film The Man from London (2007) was nominated for the Palm d’Or the Cannes Film Festival, and The Turin Horse (2011) won the FIPRESCI Prize and Jury Grand Prix at the Berlin International Film Festival. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the human rights NGO Cine Foundation International.

Djamshed Usmonov of Tajikistan, filmmaker whose productions include Angel on the Right (2002), which was selected for Global Lens 2003-2004 and awarded the FIPRESCI Prize at the London Film Festival. A number of Mr. Usmonov’s early works were produced in his hometown of Asht, with townspeople in major roles, and his directing credits also include the film Le roman de ma femme (2011).

Lars von Trier of Denmark, filmmaker who co-founded the influential Dogme 95 filmmaking collective, as well as the largest production company in Scandinavia, Zentropa (in homage to his highly acclaimed 1991 film). His film Dancer in the Dark (2000) won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, an award for which eight of his other films have been nominated. He was named Best Director by the National Society of Film Critics for Breaking the Waves (1996) and by the European Film Awards for Dogville(2003).

Apichatpong Weerasethakul of Thailand, filmmaker and co-founder of the production company Kick the Machine Films. His filmTropical Malady (2004) was the first Thai film to be entered in competition at the Cannes Film Festival, where it was awarded the Jury Prize, and his next feature Syndromes and a Century (2006) was named one of the year's ten best films by NewsweekThe Village Voice and Sight & Sound. His film Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010) won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

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