Kuwait using 9 11 film for image boost

NEW YORK: Kuwait's Ministry of Information has enlisted New York-based PepperCom to handle the publicity for a Kuwaiti-directed documentary about September 11.

NEW YORK: Kuwait's Ministry of Information has enlisted New York-based PepperCom to handle the publicity for a Kuwaiti-directed documentary about September 11.

The move by the Kuwaiti government is the latest attempt by an Arab country to conduct a PR effort inside the US following the terrorist attacks.

The film, Dreams Without Sleep, will premier at New York's Lincoln Center on September 9. Secretary of State Colin Powell is expected to be in attendance.

The film will be screened for seven days following the premiere, with proceeds going to the New York Fire Department.

The effort to publicize the film and the premiere represents new ground for the Kuwaiti government's public affairs team.

"This is kind of a first endeavor for Kuwait, said Tory Randall, public affairs advisor for Kuwait's Ministry of Information, "where they're looking to generate different types of media not just in the Beltway, but also within the areas of entertainment and the arts."

The film, which examines the effects of September 11 on the lives of five New Yorkers with diverse backgrounds, was directed by Kuwaiti Walid Al-Awadi, and was screened as this year's Cannes Film Festival. The film will be screened in various cities through the US after the anniversary of September 11. The Kuwaiti government will attempt to get media attention in each of the various markets where the movie will be shown.

"The Kuwaiti government - and Walid especially - wanted people to know that he is an Arab and that he loves America and loves New York City especially, said Randall. "And Kuwait wants people to know that Kuwait mourns with those who mourn, and they feel Walid's film is a great vehicle for getting that message out."

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