The Global Lens Mini-Fest screens foreign films at [email protected]

Not to be outdone by this weekend's EuroCrime Film Fest or CLIP 19 (the 19th annual Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival), the Global Lens Film Series throws a fest of its own.

The Global Lens Mini-Fest kicks off on Friday evening with an "Argentine Double Header." The first selection is The Custodian, director Rodrigo Moreno's debut drama about a lonely bodyguard whose existence is defined and squandered by the rigid day-to-day tedium of his job and its required invisibility. A screening of Kept and Dreamless follows. Set against Argentina's economic crisis of the '90s, the film focuses on the unique relationship between precocious 9-year-old Eugenia and her irresponsible but well-meaning junkie mother (played by Vera Fogwill, who also directs).

Saturday's "Celebration of Asia" begins with Partho Sen-Gupta's Let the Wind Blow, an Indian film about two best friends living in Mumbai during the height of nuclear tensions between India and Pakistan, and longing to change their respective destinies. The next selection is Luxury Car, which looks at the state of affairs in present-day China via a tale about an old school teacher who ventures from his small village to the big city to fulfill his wife's wish of seeing her son before she dies. Finally, the fest concludes with a screening of Opera Jawa. The Indonesian opera-style film is based on "The Abduction of Sita," an episode from the ancient Hindu epic, The Ramayana, and tells the story of what happens when Siti and Setyo — a married couple who've retired from their stage careers to sell earthenware pottery in a small village — find their idyllic lifestyle interrupted by a business trip and a flirtatious butcher.

Global Lens Mini-Fest, Fri., Oct. 3: The Custodian 7 p.m. and Kept & Dreamless 9 p.m. Sat., Oct. 4: Let the Wind Blow 3 p.m., Luxury Car 7 p.m., and Opera Jawa, 9 p.m. Presented at The [email protected], 620 First Ave. S., St. Petersburg, $8 for a single film/$12 for two/$15 for three, 727-895-6620, studio620.org.

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