Media Works, the film production company founded by Hoyu Yamamoto, specializes in producing Yakuza movies, almost all of which are based on true events. They produce dozens of movies a year, making up 80 percent of all Yakuza films put out each year. Unfortunately for them, gang expulsion laws were passed two years ago in an effort to prevent Japanese entities from working with the Yakuza.

A film adaptation of a memoir about the oldest son of a founding member of Hamas who spied on the militant group for Israel will be one of four Israeli films competing in this year's Sundance Film Festival. A fifth film, directed by an Israeli filmmaker but produced abroad, will also be competing.

Embassies generally busy themselves promoting their own culture and values, spending a large sum of their financial resources inviting cultural troupes from the countries they represent. What if, in addition to promoting their own culture, they could promote the culture and talent of their host countries without committing major financial resources? Wouldn't it be a masterstroke in the practice of public diplomacy and economy of resources?

Asian cinema is definitely reaching a global break-out point. According to the United States-based Motion Picture Association, box office growth in Asia surged 15 percent to $10.4 billion, compared to an uptick of six percent in North America (to $10.8 billion). Asia is on the cusp of becoming the world’s biggest market for cinema.

Angola faces a serious struggle with landmines, as well as unexploded bombs, mortars, and other munitions buried and abandoned across the country’s 18 provinces, a tragic legacy of the country’s war for independence and nearly three decades of civil war that finally ended in 2002. Surviving the Peace: Angola, a film produced by our non-governmental organization (NGO) partner the Mines Advisory Group (MAG), captures the challenges facing the people of Angola and how the United States is taking action to help.

When I was referred to a documentary film on India’s scientific greats by its maker Raja Choudhury this week, I was wondering if there’d be anything beyond what I already know about them in the hour-long film. To find this out, it also meant dedicating an hour to watch the film on YouTube with its infamous buffering time. But I was ready to endure that, partly because the title of the film was inviting — The Quantum Indians — and partly because I had not been able to take up Raja’s earlier offer to feature in this film as an ‘expert’ on India’s science.

From June 16 to 23, the city of Shanghai will be host to the 16th annual Shanghai International Film Festival, an international platform for foreign filmmakers to connect with audiences in the world’s fastest growing film market. The festival’s main programs will include an awards ceremony, a professional film trade gathering of international producers, distributors, and buyers, a forum featuring lectures by industry professionals, and international film screenings.

In opting out of the global platform, the Lalit Kala Akademi and the ministry of culture have robbed the country of an opportunity to roll out its famed soft power. For millions across the world, the 5,000-year-old Indus Valley Civilisation is represented by one iconic image — a dancer cast in bronze. A similar image of contemporary India will be difficult to fi