film diplomacy

In recent years, filmmakers and business executives from the United States, South Asia, and Europe have shown a growing interest in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, not only as a potential market but also as a wellspring of talent and inspiration.

How do you sell a movie called “Captain America” to an overseas market? In South Korea, Russia and the Ukraine, apparently, the answer is you don’t even try... Those involved in the decision are being careful to frame the move as a matter of brand management and consumer awareness and not as a decision tilted by cultural or political winds.

Glitz, glamour and the biggest stars from India's movie industry will converge on Canada's largest city this summer in what is being pegged as Bollywood's most highly anticipated event of the year. "Toronto will be Bollywod central," proclaimed film star Anil Kapoor at the official launch Wednesday for the 12th International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFA).

Moviegoers in Jakarta will be treated to a taste of Australian cinema at the city’s first film festival of 2011, kicking off next week. Building on the success of the Australian Indigenous Cultural Festival in 2009, the Australian embassy will host “Australia on Screen 2011” at the Blitzmegaplex theater in Jakarta’s Grand Indonesia mall.

Kim A. Snyder's “Welcome to Shelbyville” is a melting-pot movie, asimmer with social issues: immigration, racism, unemployment, intolerance. Its examination of the clash between Somali Muslims and rural Tennesseeans does not sugarcoat the kinds of conflicts that have bedeviled the country for centuries; it questions, in its way, what America means. And it’s been shown around the world by the United States State Department.

I went to Angola as a delegate with the American Documentary Showcase, a State Department-funded program that sends American documentaries around the world, accompanied by filmmakers who teach filmmaking workshops.

Iran's Soureh University will hold an Iranian student film week in the Netherlands in an attempt to expand cultural relations between the two countries. In a meeting held at Tehran's Art Bureau, President of Tehran's Soureh University Mohammad Roshan and the Dutch ambassador to Tehran Cees J. Kole discussed holding an Iranian student film festival in the Netherlands.

It will be a big year for India in Canada in 2011... A year-long Festival of India will be held across Canada and the prestigious IIFA film awards event will be held in Toronto from June 16 to 19.