film diplomacy

Jessica Chastain at the Martian premiere in Toronto

The Martian as a PD tool.

In 1984, Prince was on top of the world, with a No. 1 album and later a No. 1 movie, both named Purple Rain. Little did Prince know then how widely his projects' influence would spread, or the ways in which they might translate — literally. Three decades after the film first premiered, it got a remake filmed in Niger, featuring members of a nomadic group of people known as the Tuareg.

Have you heard the one about the American ambassador with his own reality show? While we here stateside don’t know much about our diplomat in Denmark, Rufus Gifford, most Danes are on a first-name basis with the affable 41-year-old with leading-man looks, thanks to Jeg er ambassadøren fra Amerika—or The American Ambassador. 

The Acton Institute has won the Templeton Freedom Award for its documentary film "Poverty, Inc. [...] The feature-length documentary challenges the prevailing culture of charity and promotes entrepreneurship as a positive alternative to ending world poverty.

These heavy hitters all stand to benefit the most from the government's “Cool Japan” initiative, which has less to do with cultural diplomacy than promoting exports of Japanese “contents.” [...] Yasushi Shiina in a Toyo Keizai Online interview. He describes the festival's role as “conveying Japan's appeal internationally through film,” rather than celebrating global cinema.

The Narendra Modi government feels that Ramayana, the eternal battle between good and evil, holds a borderless appeal and carrying the message of the Ramayana to international audience is the need of the hour. The MEA commissions films worth crores of rupees every year. Normally it stays away from religious topics and chooses subjects which give it heft for soft power projection or furthers national interests or promotes relations with friendly countries.

CCTV America talks to Peter Shiao, founder of Orb Media Group about the future of increased China-Hollywood cooperation. Co-production and joint funding can be mutually beneficial—Chinese investment can get an expensive project started and stimulate the foreign film industry, while at the same time allowing Chinese funders a learning opportunity and adding to Beijing’s soft power reserves.

The Grand Valley State University baseball team made history with an unprecedented trip to play their sport in Cuba. Now they’re ready to share their experience in a brand new documentary.  The Laker baseball team went to Cuba in January 2012 on a humanitarian mission with a local non-profit organization. The documentary “A Lesson in Diplomacy: Grand Valley State University Baseball in Cuba” tells the story of that historic trip… from the baseball games to the players to the cultural experience.