The Academy Awards, the biggest night in Hollywood, is by far one of the greatest displays of cultural diplomacy. The Oscars put on display, for the world to see, the engaging effect of the arts. The Academy Awards are a paragon of what is possible when all nations put politics aside and collaborate. And a great reminder that artistic talent comes from all parts of the globe.
Today’s entertainment headlines are highlighting one of last nights big win for Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron, his work on “Gravity” hits all of the marks needed to do effective cultural diplomacy. Cuaron’s win brings together several facets of cultural diplomacy: ‘the prestige gift’, ‘dialogue and collaboration’ and ‘capacity building.’
Cuaron’s work is acknowledged at the highest levels of the film arts. His work has international appeal and is in high regard both in his home country of Mexico and internationally.
Cuaron’s work is as Cull states, “a use of cultural form as an opportunity to bring people together and create new relationships across international lines.” The Science Fiction drama has a cast and crew from a multiplicity of nations;which created a synergy that helped propel the movie to a whole new level of cinematography. Cinematography that will be used by future directors for years to come.
Lastly, Cuaron’s work is capacity building at play. A head Mexican director directing an American cast of actors allows Mexico to expose American key players in the industry to Cuaron’s style, with the assumption that his style will have aspects of his Mexican culture embedded, as well as expose non-American crew members to the techniques of the American film industry. This allows both to be influenced and takeaway new knowledge that may be beneficial to future work.
Hollywood is an “oldie but a goodie” of cultural diplomacy. It is one of the most prestigious of all the arts, naturally calls for collaboration and depends on borrowing innovative techniques from others in order to stay maintain the public’s attention. Yes, if Hollywood continues to get it right it will remain one of the best instruments cultural diplomacy has to offer.