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The American Documentary Showcase: Documentary Diplomacy Across the Globe

Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. — Award-winning contemporary American documentary films and filmmakers are giving audiences around the world new insights into life and culture in the United States. A touring program of about 60 independently produced documentaries is traveling to almost 25 countries worldwide, where U.S. filmmakers and film experts will introduce the films and conduct seminars and workshops on filmmaking and emergent media at U.S. embassies, international film festivals, universities and other venues.

Curated and administered by the University Film and Video Association, the American Documentary Showcase is funded by the U. S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

“People around the world have enthusiastically responded to documentaries in the Showcase, because film speaks a universal language,” says Project Director Betsy McLane, Ph.D. “These films offer a broad, diversified look at life in the United States and the values of a democratic society as seen by independent American filmmakers.”

Films chosen for the 2010 Showcase have earned Oscar and Emmy nominations and awards at Sundance, Tribeca and other film festivals. The documentaries cover diverse topics ranging from the story of a Puerto Rican American Muslim hip-hop star to the integration of immigrants into a rural Southern town; from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the effects of mountain-top coal mining to the story of two expatriates from communist Hungary who became iconic Hollywood filmmakers.

The 2010 American Documentary Showcase is scheduled to travel to Angola, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Burma, China, Columbia, Ecuador, Egypt, Honduras, Kenya, Mongolia, Morocco, Nigeria, Namibia, Paraguay, Poland, Russia, Rwanda, Turkey, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.

Reviews for the 2009 American Documentary Showcase inaugural season were spectacular. More than 30 filmmakers took 29 documentaries to 23 countries, including Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, India and Pakistan, where the films prompted spirited discussions at countless events.

To learn more, please visit Filmmakers are available to discuss their experiences overseas with the American Documentary Showcase upon request.

About UFVA
The UFVA is a non-profit international organization of over 1,200 professionals and institutions involved in the production and study of film, video and other media arts.

About the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State
The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) promotes international mutual understanding through a wide range of academic, cultural, professional, and sports exchange programs. For more information, visit