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State Department Launches American Documentary Showcase to Promote Contemporary U.S. Documentaries and Filmmakers Overseas

Media Note
Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC
May 6, 2009


The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs has launched the American Documentary Showcase, a major touring initiative featuring prestigious U.S. documentaries that is administered by the University Film and Video Association (UFVA) in partnership with the International Documentary Association (IDA). The Showcase debuted in the Czech Republic and Poland in April 2009 and will travel to nearly 30 countries around the world this year, from Iraq to Ecuador and Kenya to Vietnam.

UFVA and IDA have curated a thematic showcase of 25-30 award-winning American documentaries, including 2008 Academy Award® nominees “The Betrayal” and “The Garden,” to reflect the best in contemporary American documentary filmmaking. The documentaries offer a broad, diversified look at American life and the values of a democratic society. Demonstrating the role of documentaries as catalysts for dialogue and change, they cover a broad thematic spectrum including the environment and nature, America’s racial and ethnic heritage, immigration, the democratic process, work and labor, and American folk arts, among other topics. As part of the program, American filmmakers and film specialists are traveling abroad to introduce screenings of Showcase films and to conduct workshops and other outreach at documentary festivals, at U.S. Embassy-organized programs, and other events.

Founded in 1947, University Film and Video Association has more than 800 professional and institutional members involved in the production and study of film, video, and other media arts. An international organization, UFVA combines film and video production and writing with scholarship in media history, theory and criticism. UFVA’s partner in the Showcase, the International Documentary Association, supports and promotes documentaries and their filmmakers and has 3000 members in 53 countries.

For more information visit, or, or contact:

David C. Grier, ECA 202-203-7007 or
Catherine Stearns, ECA 202-203-5107 or

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PRN: 2009/425

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