Cine Europa: Behind the Scenes of a Collaborative Cultural Diplomacy Initiative in the Philippines

Document Type


Publication Date



Cine Europa is a European Union Film Festival that has been staged annually in the Philippines since 1997. The EU attempts to augment Europe’s visibility through this effort, as European countries, through their corresponding embassies and cultural institutes, submit a film entry to exhibit to Philippine audiences. This paper characterises Cine Europa as a collaborative cultural diplomacy event, due to the participation of multiple states in one initiative. Findings form this case study indicate that although a collaborative cultural diplomacy project can bring together countries to work towards a common cultural goal, such as staging a festival, the policies, agendas, and interests of their home countries often take precedence in decision-making in areas like film selection. This is reflected in the way that the festival programme is created. Applying a production of culture approach, this paper argues that contributions by participating countries are influenced by three key considerations: the costs of acquiring films from their home countries, the states’ hosting of or participation in other film festivals in the Philippines, and the availability of films that align with the assigned theme of Cine Europa for the year.