Distributor Global Film Initiative (GFI) is expanding its reach through a deal with Emerging Pictures that enables GFI's touring Global Lens 2007 series to screen in digitally equipped cinemas.

'Up to now we have been limited by the costs and logistics of screening only 35mm film,' GFI executive director Kristin Wiederholt said. 'This agreement unlocks those handcuffs. In theory, we could now screen a film simultaneously in 20 different locations.'

Global Lens 2007 will be presented in Emerging Pictures' network of digital venues across the US. To date Emerging Cinema venues have programmed the Global Lens series in sites ranging from Fort Lauderdale in Florida to Crystal Lake, Illinois.

Participating venues will support Global Lens' accompanying educational program for high school students and will schedule free screenings for high school students.

'Digital cinema technology is making it possible to bring more programs to communities that have until now have had limited choices due to the high inefficiencies of the traditional 35 mm print distribution,' Emerging Pictures president Giovanni Cozzi said. 'We are pleased to add the Global Lens 2007 series to our offerings, and fully support GFI's mission.'