film diplomacy

I attended the 3rd Los Angeles Turkish Film Festival (LATFF) this past March at the Hollywood’s legendary Egyptian Theatre. When I first heard about the festival last summer from a friend, I honestly thought it would be almost impossible to hold a successful Turkish event in Los Angeles. First, I was so much absorbed in my work on Turkey’s popular culture exports and their role as public diplomacy tools.

Even though Western music and movies are a major export to the Middle East, many people there support censoring these programs if they are deemed offensive. This is one of several findings in a new study on Middle Eastern media habits by Northwestern University in Qatar.

It's easy for most of us to get behind the theme for World Intellectual Property Day this year: "Movies, A Global Passion."  From Santa Monica, where I spent almost 20 years working in the entertainment sector, to Paris, France, where I most recently served four years as U.S. Ambassador, I have witnessed firsthand people's excitement and reverence for films -- Hollywood's in particular.

Malaysian Film Censorship chairman said Darren Aronofsky's film Noah is not being screened in Malaysia -- whose population is 60 percent Muslim -- to protect the harmony and sensitivity of the country's multiracial community.

Voices from CPD's Conference on Cultural Diplomacy

We sat down with panelists from our 2014 conference, 'A New Era in Cultural Diplomacy: Rising Soft Power in Emerging Markets,' and asked them to share their thoughts on the power of culture and the arts on the world stage. Here, Eko Film Festival Founder Hope Obioma Opara discusses how this festival should benefit Nigeria.

American Film Showcase, a joint project of the U.S. State Department and USC School of Cinematic Arts, held a private discussion with the members from APDS. AFS is a unique cultural diplomacy initiative which screens provocative (and often critical of the U.S.) documentaries abroad, and engages local filmmaking communities in 25-35 locations each year including China, Israel and Palestine, Pakistan, Algeria, Vietnam, Venezuela, Armenia, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe.

As one of the most bankable stars on the planet, Johnny Depp has the luxury of keeping his PR obligations brief. But he was jumping through press hoops this week as he made his first trip to China to sell moviegoers on his new sci-fi film, "Transcendence," which opens here April 18.

A severed hand travels down a conveyor belt in a coal plant -- the pale, smooth skin of the hand half buried in shards of black coal. This macabre yet visually arresting scene sets the tone for "Black Coal, Thin Ice," a Chinese arthouse thriller that has achieved the miraculous triple whammy of winning over critics, captivating audiences, and pleasing the notorious Film Bureau censorship panel.