The Festival, celebrating the Italian Cinema, Fashion and Art in America, is produced by the Capri in the World Institute in association with Cim Group-USA. Under the patronage of the Italian Ministry of Culture, Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Italian Embassy in the USA, the Campania Region of Italy and Lazio Region of Italy.
Students of public diplomacy and propaganda are quick to point out the difference between the two, but sometimes it’s not so easy. One man’s strategic government effort to communicate with foreign publics can be another man’s tendentious information blitz to smear the reputation of another country.
Vladimir Putin is obsessed with cinema’s potential to sway hearts and minds. Over the past several years, Russia’s paramount leader has been tightening the screws on his country’s film industry. What is most remarkable about Putin’s move is not his power grab per se, Radio Free Europe’s anxiety-laden reportage in late December notwithstanding.
As Hillary Clinton said last week, "America cannot solve the most pressing problems on our own, and the world cannot solve them without America. "We must use what has been called 'smart power,' the full range of tools at our disposal," she said, embracing diplomatic, economic, military, political, legal and cultural strategies.
When awake with jet lag in a hotel far from home, the traveler naturally turns to the TV remote. So it was for me in Moscow this week, when a few absent minded clicks brought me face to face with Russia Today (RT)– the English language news channel and flagship for contemporary Russian public diplomacy. The channel did not come highly recommended. It had raised eyebrows with recent magazine advertisements adorned with a portrait of Stalin holding a quill and that caption: “Stalin wrote romantic poetry” and the tag line “Proud to be different”.