Global Lens World Cinema Series on Virgin America RED

Global Lens World Cinema Series on RED™

San Francisco — Jan 5, 2009 — The Global Film Initiative and Virgin America, the California-based airline, are partnering to release the Initiative’s critically acclaimed traveling film series—Global Lens—now playing on Virgin America’s interactive, inflight entertainment system, RED™. Films from the series are now available on demand on all of Virgin America flights.

Global Lens is a one-of-a-kind film series. Virgin America is a one-of-a-kind airline. Put the two together and you have an in-flight experience that has no comparison,” says Santhosh Daniel, Director of Programs at the Global Film Initiative.

The Global Lens series is a touring collection of dynamic feature-length films from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East that can be seen in more than 35 cities across the United States and in Canada. On Virgin America, the Global Film Initiative brings this diverse and pioneering collection to new audiences via RED™ — Virgin America’s touch-screen personal inflight entertainment system.

“Virgin America is committed to offering guests the best and most eclectic entertainment choices in the sky,” said Porter Gale, Vice President of Marketing at Virgin America. “The partnership with Global Lens allows us to offer guests an inflight film festival of independently produced films at every seatback.”

Virgin America has a strong commitment to the arts and youth-based programs. The airline sponsored The Talented Youth and the National Film Festival for Talented Youth, or NFFTY in Spring 2008 and also Campus MovieFest in 2008.

The inaugural release of Global Lens on RED™ features South African comedic hit Bunny Chow (dir. John Barker) and Argentine drama Kept and Dreamless (dir. Vera Fogwill and Martin DeSalvo), followed by Indonesian critic’s favorite Opera Jawa (dir. Garin Nugroho) and Iranian culinary tour-de-force The Fish Fall in Love (dir. Ali Raffi). In March, Virgin America will also release Global Lens 2009, the sixth installment of the Initiative’s renowned series. One of the most acclaimed lineups yet, Global Lens 2009 includes three North American premieres, Macedonia’s official submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award, and prize-winning features fresh from the top festivals worldwide.

As part of the new partnership, the Global Film Initiative and Virgin America are also launching Wing It! a hip, new quarterly arts and culture contest for high school and college-age students. Winners of each contest will receive a ticket to anywhere Virgin America flies, and will also be featured on the Initiative’s website. Wing It! is a creative expansion of the Initiative’s Education Program and will go live in January. Contest details are available at

Global Lens on RED™ is a collaboration between two San Francisco Bay Area innovators who are setting new standards for world-class cinema and travel. Virgin America is a California-based airline that offers guests attractive fares and a host of innovative features aimed at reinventing air travel. The Initiative is a leading independent film distributor and funder, and in bringing Global Lens to Virgin America, continues to build upon a list of partners that includes Link TV, the Museum of Modern Art, First Run Features and the Asia Society.

Now playing on Virgin America RED™:

  • BUNNY CHOW, dir. John Barker, South Africa
    Three up-and-coming comedians head out on a road trip, abandoning rules, reason and girlfriends to find music and the meaning of life in the “new” South Africa.
  • KEPT & DREAMLESS (LAS MANTENIDAS SIN SUEÑOS), dir. Vera Fogwill and Martín Desalvo, Argentina
    Set during Argentina’s economic crisis of the nineties, a drug-addicted mother struggles to keep her life afloat with the aid of her fiercely affectionate nine year-old daughter.

Coming soon on Virgin America RED™:

  • OPERA JAWA, dir. Garin Nugroho, Indonesia
    In the lush interior of Java, a potter’s wife is seduced into a tragic love triangle in this stylish adaptation of the Hindu epic, The Ramayana.
    A group of resourceful women use food to convince a stubborn businessman to allow them to continue operating a restaurant in a building he owns.

Stay tuned! The Global Film Initiative and Virgin America will be announcing new Global Lens on RED™ releases, contest winners and more. For information visit the Global Film Initiative: or Virgin America:

Virgin America offers daily flights from SFO to LAX, SFO to JFK, SFO to SAN, SFO to IAD, SFO to LAS, SFO to SEA, LAX to JFK, LAX to IAD, LAX to SEA, JFK to LAS and as of Feb. 12, 2009 — BOS to LAX and BOS to SFO.

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About the Global Film Initiative:
The Global Film Initiative is a U.S.-based, 501(c)3 organization specializing in the acquisition, distribution and support of independent film from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Founded in 2002 to promote cross-cultural understanding through the universal language of cinema, the Initiative awards numerous grants to deserving filmmakers from around the world each year, and supports a touring film series entitled Global Lens. For more information about the Global Lens film series and Global Film Initiative programs, please visit:

About Virgin America:
Launched in August 2007, Virgin America is a California-based airline that offers guests attractive fares and a host of innovative features aimed at reinventing air travel. Virgin America’s base of operations is San Francisco International Airport’s ultra-modern and convenient International Terminal. The airline’s new Airbus A320-family aircraft offer interactive in-flight entertainment systems and power outlets for laptops and other electronic gear. In September 2008, Virgin America took the top honors for “Best Business Class” among domestic carriers in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2008 Business Travel Poll. In July 2008, Virgin America was named “Best Domestic Airline” in Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards and in Zagat’s 2007 Global Airlines Survey, the airline was ranked #1 among U.S. carriers for quality in First/Business Class and #2 in Main Cabin. To learn more: