Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group has acquired Legendary Entertainment, the Hollywood production company behind “The Dark Knight,” “Jurassic World” and “Godzilla” movies. […] The deal represents the largest acquisition to date of a U.S. production company by a Chinese firm and the latest sign of the deepening ties between Hollywood and the world's most populous country.

The movie was The Martian, and it had everything we should be promoting: It showed Americans as smart, resourceful, and innovative. It showed us as independent thinkers, but also as selfless team members who worked together when needed... And it showed America as a culturally diverse nation where people with talent could succeed, regardless of their race or religion.

Jessica Chastain at the Martian premiere in Toronto

The Martian as a PD tool.

Piracy, the scourge of Hollywood, may have become one of America's powerful diplomatic tools – is it the new propaganda? [...] "The last thing they think is that it [pirated movies] represents a tool of cultural diplomacy, involving a foreign culture or government, and that its illegality could even make this mainstream fare more alluring than originally planned.”

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.

When President Obama meets at the White House Monday with crown prince Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates, he’ll be in conversation with a small, deep-pocketed Persian Gulf country that has mastered the art of public diplomacy to practically re-engineer Hollywood’s perception of Arab culture.

According to former CIA officer, the US asking Sony Pictures Entertainment to find a Muslim version of Western rock musician Bob Geldof to counter Islamic State propaganda demonstrates that US President Barack Obama lacks a coherent strategy to address extremist information operations.

Top Hollywood executives including James Murdoch have been recruited to help the United States counter Islamic extremist propaganda, according to hacked Sony Pictures emails published by WikiLeaks. Secret exchanges between the US State Department and Sony have also included a bizarre plan to recruit hip-hop artists to produce a Muslim We Are the World video to support the fight against Islamic State (IS).