Washington, DC /eNewsChannels/ — The U.S. Department of State has invited seventeen emerging filmmakers, producers, and journalists to take part in a three-week exchange program entitled “Film in the U.S.” January 11 – 30. This distinguished delegation represents Bangladesh, Burma, Egypt, Estonia, Gambia, Israel, Kenya, Kosovo, Nigeria, Oman, the Palestinian Authority, the People’s Republic of China, Qatar, Singapore, South Africa, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates.

The program aims to provide insight into the American film industry, including its historical evolution, current trends, and the impacts of new technology. Participants will gain a sense of the diversity and scope of American filmmaking ­ from Hollywood to independent and ethnic cinema organizations ­and will explore the contributions of American culture and society in film, and the role of film as a vehicle for free and independent expression.

The program includes visits to Washington, DC (January 11 – 14), and New York, New York (January 14 – 20), before the participants form teams to visit, respectively, Austin, Texas; Jacksonville, Florida; and Kansas City, Missouri (January 20 – 23). They will regroup in Los Angeles, California (January 23 – 27) and conclude their program at the Sundance Film Festival in Salt Lake City, Utah (January 27 – 30).

This exchange initiative, arranged by Meridian International Center, is part of the Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ International Visitor Leadership Program that annually brings approximately 4,500 participants from around the world to the United States to engage with their professional counterparts and to experience U.S. culture and society firsthand.