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What is Hollywood's diplomatic role?: An interview with film producer Mike Medavoy Print E-mail
Written by Lauren Madow   
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 15:28

Interview by Lauren Madow

Mike Medavoy is Chairman and CEO of Phoenix Pictures, a member of the USC Center on Public Diplomacy Advisory Board, and co-author with Nathan Gardels of American Idol After Iraq: Competing for Hearts and Minds in the Global Media Age (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009).

Born to Russian-Jewish emigrants in Shanghai, Medavoy’s family moved to Chile in 1947, and later to the U.S. His career began at Universal Studios in the 1960s. Since then, in various positions at several Hollywood studios, he has overseen the release of many major American films, including One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), Rocky (1976), Annie Hall (1977), Platoon (1986), Philadelphia (1993), The Thin Red Line (1998), and others.

Public Diplomacy Magazine Managing Editor Lauren Madow spoke with Medavoy about Hollywood’s complex position as a potential diplomatic actor, as well as Hollywood’s shifting role on the world stage since the publication of American Idol After Iraq, in which he wrote: “If culture is on the front line of world affairs in the times to come, then Hollywood, as much as Silicon Valley, the Pentagon, or the U.S. State Department, has a starring role.”1

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Shanghai film fest kicks off with honor for Mike Medavoy Print E-mail
Written by Jonathan Landreth   
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 14:31

June 17th, 2012

Read the original article here.

Shanghai film festivalSHANGHAI –- The Shanghai International Film Festival kicked off Saturday night by honoring a native-son turned Hollywood producer, Mike Medavoy.

Medavoy -- co-founder of Orion Pictures, producer on such films as "Black Swan," and chief executive of Phoenix Pictures -- received an Outstanding Achievement Award at the festival, applauded by the city where he was born in 1941 to Ukrainian Jewish refugees.

"Shanghai has roots for me. My parents lived here for 24 years and this is the place that gave them the safety net they needed," said Medavoy, who lived in China's biggest city until he was nearly 7. Qin Yi, a silver-haired former starlet, presented Medavoy with the award. Holding the heavy-looking golden goblet, he fumbled a handshake from her outstretched hand.

"The 50 years I've spent in Hollywood all started in cinemas here in Shanghai," Medavoy said, recalling the tears his late father shed upon landing at the city's airport 15 years ago on a father-son trip to the first Shanghai International Film Festival.

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