October 13, 2011

SCA Forges Partnership with Department of State

American films will be used to engage international audiences

Every student at the USC School of Cinematic Arts knows the power of film. Films are used to entertain, educate, inspire and on October 10th, it was announced that the State Department would be teaming up with SCA to use the medium for diplomacy.

The US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announced that a new partnership with SCA will engage international audiences through American film. Known as the American Film Showcase, the people-to-people exchange will send filmmakers and film experts overseas to present independent documentaries, feature films and animated shorts.

The American Film Showcase builds on Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s vision of “smart power diplomacy,” which embraces the use of a full range of diplomatic tools – in this case film – to bring people together and foster greater understanding.

“We are honored to work with the U.S. Department of State as part of this forward-thinking initiative to harness the power of film,” said Dean Elizabeth M. Daley. “The cinematic arts have the power to transcend the boundaries of culture and language, and we are eager to participate in any process that brings people around the world together using the common bond of storytelling.”

As part of this new partnership, the Department of State and the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts with assistance from the International Documentary Association will collaborate to select films that, in concert with U.S. Embassies worldwide, will open dialogues and encourage insights into American life and culture while exploring issues affecting communities worldwide.

“For generations, film has opened the doors to dialogue,” said Assistant Secretary Ann Stock (R). “The American Film Showcase brings people together and strengthens those relationships for the benefit of the global community.”

The selected films represent high artistic quality, illustrate diverse viewpoints, and reflect contemporary American society and culture. In addition to presenting the films to overseas audiences, approximately 40 Showcase filmmakers and film experts will conduct lectures and master classes on filmmaking, animation, digital technology and emergent media.