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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Global Lens Film Series kicks off tonight in Akron

Posted By on Thu, Nov 5, 2009 at 10:40 AM

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Now in its sixth season, the Global Lens Film Series is a touring showcase for movies from developing countries. Daniel F. Boomhower, head of Kent State’s Performing Arts Library, brought the series to Northeast Ohio last month when its ten movies screened at Kent State University. This month, it comes to the Akron Art Museum (One South High, 330.376.9185, akronartmuseum.org), kicking off tonight at 7 with a screening of Getting Home, a Chinese film about a construction worker who tries to honor a friend’s wishes concerning his burial.

“This was a series I was familiar with that’s organized by the global film initiative which is based in San Francisco,” Boomhower explains. “It seemed like a good opportunity to bring that series to Kent State and expand what we do with international film. The parameters of the series are larger than what we typically do so we looked to the Akron Art Museum to collaborate with them.”

Some of the movies are partially funded by Global Lens, enabling otherwise-destitute directors to make professional movies. “It’s high quality filmmaking but it’s from places in the world where you don’t often see many films,” Boomhower says. “They’re all from developing countries, so it’s a really fantastic opportunity to see high quality filmmaking in a style that we’re not typically familiar with and to have a window into social issues in places where you often don’t get a first-hand account.”

The other films showing at the Akron Art Museum include: Possible Lovers, an Argentine movie about a woman who goes in search of her lost husband; Songs from the Southern Seas (Nov. 8), a Kazakhstan film about the tension between neighboring couples; Mutum (Nov. 8), a Brazilian movie about a young boy who lives in a remote part of the country; I Am From Titov Veles (Nov. 12), a Macedonian movie about three grieving sisters; Sleepwalking Land (Nov. 15), a film set in war-torn Mozambique; and The Photograph, an Indonesian movie about a young woman struggling to support her family (Nov. 15).

“They’re films first and foremost and very much conceived along artistic lines,” Boomhower says. “It gives you an opportunity to see issues that are playing out in other parts of the world. For the large portion of the populations depicted in the films, the question is one of subsistence. In that sense, global disparity becomes a political issue for an American audience.” Boomhower says showing the films has Kent State has been “very worthwhile,” and he hopes to bring the series back again next year. “It’s a partnership we would definitely like to continue,” he says. “ The series is very well-organized and in terms of presenting international film, having something packaged like it is very attractive.” Find more info at globalfilm.org.

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