The borders of Brunswick will broaden this Wednesday with the kick-off of the Global Lens Series. This collection of international films is the product of the Global Film Initiative (GFI)'s annual effort to help produce movies made in developing countries and to distribute them to Western audiences.
For the second year in a row, Frontier Cafe and Cinema is hosting the Global Lens Series and showing 10 of the best films in cinema from around the world. The films come from Argentina, China, Croatia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Lebanon, the Philippines and South Africa.
Although this is only the second year that Frontier has shown the Global Lens Series, it is the fifth year that the GFI has put on the event. Due to limited funding, the production of these films is often difficult, and part of the GFI's mission is to develop grants to bring the films to post-production. Though the films are often of lower production quality, the GFI is able to boost these projects financially and help them appeal to a broader audience. The Initiative works in several ways to bring these films to an audience that is outside the host country?a level of dispersion that would be unattainable otherwise.
"These stories are all pertinent to our lives. In many ways, without projects like the Global Film Initiative, the western audience is deprived," founder of Frontier Michael Gilroy said.
The mission of the Global Film Initiative also echoes that of Frontier Cafe.
"We are continuously trying to bring stories to the local community," Gilroy said. "And these are particularly important because they are the type of films that you'll never see in the commercial theaters."
Gilroy said opportunities like the "shared experience of seeing films like this in a theatre," are increasingly vital. "Especially when there are social and political components, it is important for an entire community to be involved," he added.
This year, the Global Lens 2008 Series will be a particularly formative experience for the Bowdoin and Brunswick communities. With the series, Gilroy is incorporating an educational component by involving Brunswick High School. He will work with students once a month to heighten accessibility and awareness about the films and the issues they explore.
"We're psyched to host these films," Gilroy said. "What's really amazing is their realness. It's great storytelling, even though it's not Scorsese. You know, it's not Hollywood, it's a story told by someone in their host country. It's real."
The schedule of Global Lens films is available on the Frontier website, www.explorefrontier.com.
The next film in the series is the Croatian film "All for Free," which begins Wednesday, October 8. Films will be shown on Wednesdays at both 5 and 7 p.m. Tickets are $7 for the Brunswick community and $6 with a Bowdoin ID. A package of tickets for the entire series is also available for $45.