Studio@620 The Studio@620

Global Lens Film Series

An international film series presented by The Global Film Initiative

Those Three

A film by Naghi Nemati

Farsi and Turkish, with subtitles in English
Iran, 2007 (80 minutes)

Just one day from completing their military training, three conscripts desert their camp and escape into the frozen wilderness of Northern Iran. Travel through this mountainous, snowbound region is dangerous, but "those three" opt for the independence it promises and must now forge their way through an uncertain landscape, with only friendship to see them through. In this austere and mesmerizing debut feature, director Naghi Nemati's attention to the minutiae of human relationships is a quiet and deliberate meditation on the value of responsibility, connection and sacrifice.

About the Director
Naghi Nemati was born in Ardebil, Iran in 1977. He is a graduate of Film Directing from Soureh College of Isafahan. In 1993 he began making short films, the first of which, Like The Umbrella of the Kids, received several awards and screened successfully at festivals worldwide. He has enjoyed a multifaceted career in film, having held several different positions, including scriptwriter, editor, actor and photographer. Those Three is his first feature film.


Films previously shown in this series :

Song From the Southern Seas

A film by Marat Sarulu

Russian, with subtitles in English
Kazakhstan, 2008 (80 minutes)

Two couples, one Russian and one Kazakh, live side by side in relative harmony in a beautiful yet semi–desolate region of the Great Steppe. But when the fair–skinned Russians give birth to a boy of decidedly darker skin, fifteen years of suspicion and acrimony arises between them, and can only be resolved by an ironic twist of family and fate. At times darkly somber, at other times tender and wistful–and buoyed throughout by a soundtrack of folk–inspired melodies–writer-director Marat Sarulu draws on Kazakhstan's epic history to create a gritty and deeply compassionate tale of humor and cultural insight.

About the Director
Marat Sarulu was born in Talas, Soviet Union (now Kyrgyzstan) in 1957. He graduated with a degree in Philology from Kyrgyz National University in Bishkek in 1980 and subsequently studied at the Moscow Cinema Academy. He is co–writer of the internationally successful feature film, Beshkempir and currently works as a writer and director. Song from the Southern Seas is his third feature film.

I Am From Titov Veles

Macedonian, with subtitles in English
Macedonia, 2007 (102 minutes)

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.


Sleepwalking Land

A film by Teresa Prata

Portuguese, with subtitles in English
Mozambique, 2007 (97 minutes)

In the midst of Mozambique's devastating civil war, Muidinga, an orphaned refugee, wanders the countryside in search of his mother. His only companion is an elderly storyteller, and the only guide to finding his mother is a dead man's diary. Together, the storyteller and diary lead him on a magical, and sometimes macabre, journey across war–torn landscapes to find the family he lost. Based on Mia Coutou's acclaimed Portuguese novel of the same name, Teresa Prata's transporting drama underscores the power of imagination in surviving, and ultimately overcoming, the catastrophe of war.

About the Director
Teresa Prata was born in Portugal and spent her childhood in Mozambique. She studied biology at the University of Coimbra and holds a degree in Screenwriting and Directing from the German Film and Television School. She began her career working at an art gallery and has made several experimental videos and installations. Sleepwalking Land is her first feature film.


What a Wonderful World (Morocco 2006)

A film by Faouzi Bensaïdi (94 minutes)
French and Arabic, with subtitles in English

Souad is a prostitute whose best friend is Kenza, a tough traffic cop.   Kamel is a stony–eyed contract killer who receives his hit orders via the Internet; he is also Souad's favorite customer. When Kenza falls in love with Kamel, the two begin a bizarre courtship doomed by their disparate lines of work, and a persistent  cyber–snooping hacker who stumbles upon the site where Kamel receives his murderous contracts. Moroccan actor–director Faouzi  Bensaïdi's promiscuously stylish film is a new vision of an old culture, unveiling an uncommon Casablanca caught in a world wide web of associations and consequences.

About the Director
Faouzi Bensaïdi was born in Meknes, Morocco in 1967. After studying at the Rabat Institute of Dramatic Art, he began his career directing for the stage, and in 1997, he directed his first short film, The Cliff. His two subsequent shorts, The Wall and The Rain Line, won prizes at
the Cannes International Film Festival, and the Venice International Film Festival. His first feature film, A Thousand Months, premiered in 2003. What a Wonderful World is his second feature film.


Getting Home (China 2007)

A film by Zhang Yang (101 minutes) Mandarin w/ subtitles in English

In this soulful and humane comedy, Zhao, a middle–aged construction worker, struggles to fulfill a dying co–worker's last wish to be buried in China's Three Gorges region.  Setting out with his colleague's body in tow, Zhao travels hundreds of miles across extraordinary countryside, encountering a number of colorful adventures and characters — and even discovering love in some unlikely quarters. Director Zhang Yang's humorous and moving tale of friendship offers a powerful, and sometimes slapstick, commentary on the value of community and human connectivity in modern China.

About China's Three Gorges Region

China Yangtze Three Gorges Project (TGP), as one of the biggest hydropower-complex project in the world, ranks as the key project for improvement and development of Yangtze River. The dam is located in the areas of Xilingxia gorge, one of the three gorges of the river, which will control a drainage area of 1 million km 2 , with an average annual runoff of 451 billion m3 . The open valley at the dam site, with hard and complete granite as the bedrock, has provided the favorable topographical and geological conditions for dam construction.

Why is this important: Aside from the largest hydroelectric power station in the world, the three gorges dam project is directly responsible for flooding archaeological and cultural sites, displacing some 1.24 million people, and is causing dramatic ecological changes, which has been a controversial decision since the initiation of the project. The positive side of the project is the dam controls flooding, enhances navigation, and provides clean hydroelectricity to residents while the negative aspect concerns two uniquely identified hazards with the dam: one is that sedimentation projections are not agreed upon, and the other is that the dam sits on a seismic fault.

Regardless of political opinion this is a significant human triumph teetering on calamity. The fact our film's main character's story unfolds in an environment this culturally important and socially charged provides an context for a greater message. Let us hope when we hear it that we are listening.

The Photograph

A film by Nan Achnas

Indonesian, with subtitles in English
Indonesia, 2007 (98 minutes)

Sita is a spirited young woman working to support her family as a singer and prostitute in a local brothel. Always short of funds and bullied by her pimp, she convinces an elderly portrait photographer, Mr. Johan, to rent her a room; in failing health, Mr. Johan is desperate to find an apprentice to carry on his work before he dies. The unlikely bond that develops between Sita and Mr. Johan is the basis of writer–director Nan Achnas's visually brilliant and poignant human drama about the profound effect one life can have on another.

About the Director
Nan Achnas was born in Singapore in 1963. She holds a masters degree in Film Studies from the University of East Anglia, UK. As a documentary filmmaker, her work has screened at festivals worldwide, and her narrative work includes the FIPRESCI award–winning Whispering Sands and The Flag. She currently teaches Cinema Studies and Directing at the Jakarta Institute of the Arts. The Photograph is her fourth feature film.


Patron Sponsors

Smith & Associates Realtors
Al May Central Art Supply Company Bank of AmericaBella Brava City of St. Petersburg Creative Loafing Eckerd CollegeHermanHOME Florida Humanities Council i love the 'burg Gobioff Foundation Florida Arts and Culture - Florida Division  of Cultural Affairs Kahwa Coffee Roasting Law Offices of  Diane Bailey, P.C.Progress Energy Renaissance Vinoy Hotel Rouson & Associates Sembler Company Stetson University College of Law St. Pete Brasserie St Petersburg/Clearwater  Convention and Visitor’s Bureau St. Petersburg Times SunTrust Bank TradeWinds Island Resorts on St. Pete Beach Trust for Public Land Tyrone Frame & Mirror USF St. Petersburg Watermark