film diplomacy

Doha has a prestigious Islamic art museum and Abu Dhabi is building offshoots of New York's Guggenheim and Paris' Louvre. But it is film festivals that have emerged as the prestige cultural event of choice since Dubai launched its version in 2004 - poster child for its drive to become a glamorous destination for the international jetset.

An online competition is now open for what's being called the first-ever international showcase of short films about Islam and women. The films focus on women of all faiths and backgrounds who are living in Muslim-majority countries, as well as Muslim women living as minorities around the world.

Films and art are not designed to be a substitute for political strategies but can instead be used to challenge stereotypes and emphasise on the human experience even with a critical approach; thus they become a major cultural export in transcending prejudice, xenophobia and differences.

As an economy prospers, its culture perhaps begins to grow in appeal. Over the last 100 years or so – jeans, Coke, McDonald’s, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Hollywood — about everything American had been lapped up as things of global cool. They still are. The 20th was entirely America’s century.

"I really like it, and I take it very seriously," [Salma Hayek] tells reporters straining over the barrier for a comment about her role as a judge at this film festival. "It looks like they have built a great home for arts, culture and film." Who would believe she was talking about Qatar, a desert country of 1.7 million people...

Welcome to the October issue of PDiN Monitor, CPD's electronic review of public diplomacy in the news. This issue focuses on the topic of Entertainment Diplomacy.

Tommy Hilfiger has become one of the best selling international brands in India thanks to a little unexpected help from actor Shah Rukh Khan, says Mohan Murjani, who built the brand in the U.S. and brought it to India six years ago.

A colourful performance of Turkish folk dances and music will be held in [New Delhi] Nov 1 and 2 to mark the national day of Turkey. The dances, by the Hacettepe University Folk Dances Group, are being presented by the embassy of Turkey in cooperation with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).