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February 16, 2012

Smart Power Diplomacy Gets Oriented

New Program Starts with a Bang

On February 11th, over fifty filmmakers, film experts and diplomats came together at the USC School of Cinematic Arts for the inaugural orientation of the American Film Showcase.

Phillip Seib, Director of USC's Center on Public Diplomacy, Alan Baker,
Associate Dean, Administration & International Projects and Lee Satterfield,
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Professional and Cultural Exchanges, U.S.
Department of State

“All of the filmmakers whose films will be involved in the program and the experts attended the orientation,” said Associate Dean, Administration & International Projects/Co-Principal Investigator of American Film Institute, Alan Baker. “We also had four state department representatives and the SCA people. I think everybody was enormously impressed. The filmmakers knew that they were part of an elite group. It made them feel good.”

The American Film Showcase is a partnership between the US Department of State and SCA, with support from the International Documentary Association and Film Independent. It will bring award-winning American documentaries, feature films, short films, as well as master classes on a variety of issues related to filmmaking and film scholarship to audiences worldwide.

The orientation was a chance for all fifty filmmakers/experts to interact with the SCA Staff and members of the State Department. Films in the Showcase will be screened around the world at various embassies, cultural sites and even possibly a refugee camp.

"This is a remarkable opportunity for the School of Cinematic Arts to join forces with the U.S. Department of State, and continue building essential global connections through the extraordinary power of the moving image," says Dr. Michael Renov, Vice Dean of Academic Affairs. "I am personally excited for the opportunity to participate in such a far-reaching and important initiative."