I got a kick out of Hollywood's Reporter's recent article on the WikiLeaks cables. There they put forth the realization that George Clooney, Desperate Housewives, and Late Night With David Letterman do more to prevent jihad than the $500M the US State Dept dumped into funding the TV station in Saudi Arabia. I have long thought we damn the perception of America by only allowing the market to decide what films travel overseas. Okay, granted that is a bit of an oversimplification, but when so much money is spent marketing The Studios' product, the overseas audiences basically get to see that Americans like to drive fast and blow shit up. I know we are a wee bit more diverse than that.
If the films from Sundance or any other regional festival were given away to developing nations, the people of the world would have a much different impression of whom we are, culturally speaking. Okay, maybe they'd think we are a bit obsessed with coming out and perhaps made up of predominately junkie moms trying to go straight, but they still would be presented with a much greater tapestry.
If the US State department funded a giveaway of US Indie films, not only would Indie's have access to audiences, communities, and markets that they currently struggle to find, but hey, what's so funny about getting a little world peace in the windfall?