The U.S. Department of State announced today that Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Lee Satterfield will travel April 24-25 to Los Angeles, California. While in LA, Assistant Secretary Satterfield will meet with cultural diplomacy partners and stakeholders from the film, television, music, and sports industries. She will also meet with animation directors from Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, and Zimbabwe as part of the State Department’s flagship film exchange, the American Film Showcase (AFS). Cultural diplomacy is an integral part of the United States’ strategic engagement in people-to-people diplomacy to support broader U.S. foreign policy goals.
While at Walt Disney Studios, the Assistant Secretary will meet with Disney executives and the 18 international animation directors who are participating in the African Animation program, a collaboration between AFS, Walt Disney Studios, and Triggerfish, a South African-based animation studio. Through this collaboration, international animators from across Africa traveled to the United States to expand their professional networks and connect them with their American counterparts as a component of AFS. AFS is the State Department’s flagship film diplomacy program and is implemented by the University of Southern California’s (USC) School of Cinematic Arts. This year AFS celebrates 10 years of using film to engage audiences and strengthen the creative economy around the world.
In addition to AFS, the Assistant Secretary will participate in meetings with senior faculty and leadership from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. She will also meet with industry leaders to bolster the State Department’s broader cultural diplomacy efforts, including film and television, music, and sports.