To Panel Members of NETPAC@25 symposium

Chasing the Dream: Culture, Capitalism, and Cinema

Please plan on seeing the NETPAC@25  film screenings on Nov 19 and 20 at Doris Duke Theatre. The plan is that all symposium panelists will have seen all the screenings and can therefore refer to them as appropriate during the symposium proceedings.

Below is a message from co-conveners of the symposium, Professors Vilsoni Hereniko ( and Wimal Dissanayake ( If you have any questions, please contact them via email. Thank you!

PANEL FORMAT AND SOME QUESTIONS TO BE THINKING ABOUT. (Note: Our hope is that panelists will have a stimulating conversation with each other and with the audience.  Toward this goal, there is no need to prepare a written statement of any kind. You have been chosen because we believe you can be spontaneous about issues related to the topic – though we have provided you with some possible questions (see below), we know you will have something to say about other questions that may come up. If not, other members of your large panel will step in, so relax. Prepare, but don’t stress yourself out.)

Format:  Each panel will have a moderator, whose main role will be to facilitate a lively and informative discussion about the concerns of each of the panels. After providing some context for the issues identified for panelists to think about, the moderator will pose some questions, possibly from the questions below. If you feel you have something useful to contribute, then you will have an opportunity. Answers from panelists may lead to new questions, some of which may not be from the list below. Again, feel free to respond to the question, or wait for another. There will be about 20 mins. for questions from the audience. The moderator will conclude each of the panels by providing the audience with a summary of the main points raised by the panelists.

Below are some questions or statements to think about:


1.     Is it important for films with cultural content to be culturally specific or not? Explain.

2.     What are the pros and cons of being culturally specific in a film intended for the global marketplace?

3.     Refer to films you consider to be culturally specific from Asia and the Pacific and use these to illustrate your thoughts or perspectives on the topic.

4.     What should be the role of NETPAC, if any, in the development and promotion of culturally specific films?

5.     How you judge the success or otherwise of a film that is culturally specific?

6.     How do you judge cultural authenticity in a film?

7.     How do films that are culturally specific communicate across cultures worldwide in ways that seamless and effective? What are some storytelling devices used by filmmakers to bridge the cultural divide? Illustrate with specific examples if you can.


1.     What are best practices you know about in relation to co-productions?

2.     In what ways are co-productions helpful (or not) to the production and dissemination of culturally specific films? Refer to specific films if possible.

3.     Do you think film is a colonizing medium or not? Explain or elaborate on how this visual medium promotes or discourages the production of culturally specific films.

4.     Should NETPAC be concerned about globalizing influences on indigenous filmmaking or not? Explain or elaborate on your answer.

5.     How can NETPAC develop or promote co-productions between Asia and the Pacific as well as internationally?

6.     How can films from minority culture in the Asia Pacific region promote cultural nuance and specificity even as they attempt to reach global audiences?

7.     What is gained, or lost, in most co-productions that you know about?


1.     How does the marketplace influence the kinds of films being made? Share specific examples if you can.

2.     What are some of the challenges faced by independent filmmakers when looking for financial support?

3.     What kinds of markets are out there for independent films from the Asia Pacific region?

4.     Share any experiences or thoughts you have about how best to market or distribute an independent film from the Asia Pacific region.

5.     How could films from the Asia Pacific region be seen beyond this region?

6.     What are some of the non-traditional ways of getting finance, marketing, or distribution you know about that you consider worth emulating?

7.     How does mainstream filmmaking (Hollywood movies, for example) affect or influence the financing, marketing, or distribution of culturally specific films from the Asia Pacific region?


1.     What is the role of awards at festivals in the development and promotion of Asia Pacific films?

2.     What are the best festivals for screening Asia Pacific films and why are they important? Use specific examples to illustrate your views.

3.     How much attention should filmmakers pay to review