The Global Film Initiative
The Global Film Initiative FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Ten New Films Awarded Funds by the Global Film Initiative  

Grant recipients include projects by acclaimed Egyptian filmmaker Mohamed Khan and Ibermedia standouts Gustavo Fallas Vargas and Mariana Rondón

San Francisco, CA - October 8, 2012 The Global Film Initiative announced today that ten film projects have been selected to receive production funding as part of the Initiative's Summer 2012 granting cycle.


"'Inspired filmmaking' is the only way to describe these projects," says Susan Weeks Coulter, Board Chair of the Global Film Initiative. "They prove the power of a good story, and set a creative standard that is energizing for the global film industry."


Summer 2012 grant recipients were selected from a diverse group of applicants representing forty-four nations, and include Agliberto Meléndez's multi-generational profile of race and xenophobia in the Dominican Republic, COLORED LIKE THE NIGHT; BLESSED BENEFIT by Jordanian director Mahmoud al Massad (Arte Award/Dubai Film Connection, L'Atelier/Cannes Cinéfondation); and Ana Guevara and Leticia Jorge's sensitive, rain-soaked portrait of a family in crisis, SO MUCH WATER (Ibermedia, Norteado Award/San Sebastian Films in Progress).


The Summer 2012 production grant recipients are:

  • BAD HAIR (PELO MALO), dir. Mariana Rondón, Venezuela
  • A showdown looms as nine-year-old Junior suspects his haggard, out-of-work single mother would love him more if he straightens the unruly hair he inherited from his absent father.

  • *BLESSED BENEFIT (INSHALLA I'STAFADET), dir. Mahmoud al Massad, Jordan
  • A middle-aged construction worker unexpectedly lands in jail, where he discovers the live-a-day world of his fellow inmates is easier and more appealing than the reality outside prison walls. 

  • COLORED LIKE THE NIGHT (DEL COLOR DE LA NOCHE), dir. Agliberto Meléndez, Dominican Republic
  • In the last days of his mayoral campaign, terminally ill José Francisco Peña Gómez, leader of the Dominican Revolutionary Party, records a dramatic public address of forgiveness to his racist opponents before returning home to die.

  • THE ENCLAVE (ENKLAVA)dir. Goran Radovanović, Serbia
  • A Christian boy, determined to create a proper community burial for his late grandfather, crosses enemy lines and makes friends among the Muslim majority in deeply divided, war-torn Kosovo. 

  • THE FACTORY GIRL (FATAT AL MASNAA)dir. Mohamed Khan, Egypt
  • An independent-minded garment worker in Cairo risks being ostracized by her family and friends when she becomes obsessed with a rich young man who may bring shame upon her.

  • Huyèn, a poor student, must decide whether to go through with an abortion after her hustler boyfriend runs off with her savings--and she falls for a "john" who fetishizes her pregnant belly.

  • KADJIKE, dir. Sana Na N'Hada, Guinea-Bissau
  • The young protégé of a local medicine man attempts to save his community from drug traffickers who have laid siege to his tradition-bound village in the West African archipelago of Bissagos. 

  • *LIAR'S DICE, dir. Geetu Mohan Das, India
  • A young mother from a remote Himalayan village hires an aggressive, petty gambler to find her husband, who's been out of touch for months after leaving for work in Delhi.

  • *PORT FATHER (PUERTO PADRE)dir. Gustavo Fallas VargasCosta Rica
  • As a teenage orphan from Chira Island searches for his godfather on the mainland, his innocent memory of childhood is gradually replaced by an unsettling reality upon learning the truth about his origins.

  • *SO MUCH WATER (TANTA AGUA)dir. Ana Guevara and Leticia Jorge, Uruguay
  • As a rainstorm puts a damper on a seaside family vacation, fourteen-year-old Lucía struggles to assert her independence and individuality--in spite of her father's well-intentioned but overbearing attempts to bond with her. 

*Denotes honorable mention

The Granting Program awards fifteen to twenty grants per year, of up to $10,000 each, to filmmakers whose work exhibits artistic excellence, accomplished storytelling and cultural perspective on daily life. Funds received from grants are used to subsidize post-production costs such as laboratory and sound mixing fees, and access to advanced editing systems.


Since the Initiative's founding in 2002, the Granting Program has awarded 132 grants to deserving film projects from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Central & Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Oceania. These grants have supported the works of both new and established directors, and have made a significant impact on the growth of emerging film industries.  


Recent highlights about previous grantees: 

  • THE CAPTAIN OF NAKARA, dir. Bob Nyanja, Kenya
  • Nominated in the 2012 African Movie Academy Awards for achievement in costume design; Official Selection of the 2012 Montreal World Film Festival and 2012 Pan African Film Festival (world premiere). GFI grant awarded in 2009.

  • CHICAMA, dir. Omar Forero, Peru
  • Best Peruvian Film, Special Mention by the International Critics Jury, Best FX Design for a Peruvian Film and Second Prize of the Public at the 2012 Lima Film Festival. GFI honorable mention awarded in 2012.

  • THE CREMATOR (FEN SHI REN, formerly STRAW MAN), dir. Peng Tao, China
  • Official Selection of the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. GFI grant awarded in 2009.

  • A FOLD IN MY BLANKET (CHEMI SABNIS NAKETSI), dir. Zaza Rusadze, Georgia
  • Selected for the Works in Progress section of the 2012 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. GFI grant awarded in 2012.

  • MISS LOVELY, dir. Ashim Ahluwalia, India
  • Official Selection of the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival and 2012 Cannes Film Festival (Un Certain Regard). GFI grant awarded in 2010.

  • WHEN I SAW YOU, dir. Annemarie Jacir, Palestine/Jordan  
  • Official Selection of the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival (world premiere); Palestine's official submission to the Best Foreign Language Film category of the 85th Academy Awards (Oscars). GFI honorable mention awarded in 2011.


  • WILDLIFE (KALAYAAN), dir. Adolfo Alix Jr., Philippines
  • Official Selection of the 2012 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival. GFI honorable mention awarded in 2012.

The Global Film Initiative's next granting cycle is Winter 2013. Applications may be submitted from November 15, 2012 until the submission deadline on January 15, 2013. For more information on applications, eligibility and guidelines, please visit the Global Film Initiative's website:



About the Global Film Initiative

The Global Film Initiative is a U.S.-based international arts organization specializing in cultural diplomacy, education and literacy through film. Established in 2002, it has awarded numerous grants to filmmakers in emerging nations around the world, and promoted community arts and education through distribution and exhibition of its signature world cinema series, Global Lens. All proceeds from Global Lens directly support filmmakers and are reinvested in the Granting Program and other philanthropic programs of the Initiative. For more information, please visit:

Santhosh Daniel
Director of Programs
The Global Film Initiative
145 Ninth Street, Suite 105
San Francisco, CA 94103