film diplomacy in china

Principal director in the Rural Development, Preservation of Culture and Heritage ministry, Paul Damasane has said films are important mediums that help in the promotion and preservation of culture and heritage and his ministry seeks to the encourage the growth of the creative industry, so it can make a unique contribution to the cultural expression. Damasane made the remarks in Harare last week at the opening ceremony of the ongoing China Film Exhibition in Africa hosted by the Chinese embassy and the China Film Group Corporation.

Filming has begun on the first ever television series jointly produced in China and Burma, bringing Burmese history to television screens across China before the end of the year. The story of a Burmese prince travelling to the Chinese imperial court to perform a dance is scheduled to be aired during evening primetime on Chinese national television in the second half of the year, producers from Yunnan Television said in a statement last week.

Nearly 40 minutes have been chopped from the Hollywood film "Cloud Atlas" for Chinese audiences, deleting both gay and straight love scenes to satisfy local censors despite a movie-going public that increasingly chafes at censorship.

Since the beginning of the year palpable change is in the air. It is readily apparent to me that a critical mass has been reached and that China's long-time inability to master the art of soft power and cultural diplomacy is finally changing. The few popular long-time staples of Chinese cultural diplomacy like kung fu fighters and acrobats, together with a few memorable highbrow museum shows, now have more and more company.

With the establishment of its first academic research center on public diplomacy at Beijing Foreign Studies University and a well-publicized International Forum on Public Diplomacy in 2010, China has been taking some major steps forward as it tries to, in Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying’s words, “effectively present its image to other countries” and overcome a lack of experience “in handling relations with the media and the public in foreign countries”.  T

June 13, 2011

Sherine B. Walton, Editor-in-Chief
Naomi Leight, Managing Editor
Tracy Bloom, Associate Editor