The US Embassy in Canberra has attracted the attention of the US State Department and the Washington Post newspaper after giving away free tickets to an anti-American film at a local film festival.
One of the films is a documentary called Dirty Wars which looks at US military involvement in the death of civilians in Afghanistan and other aspects of what it calls a ‘covert war’.
The Canberra International Film Festival was launched by the new US Ambassador to Australia on Wednesday, and the embassy used its Twitter account to offer free tickets to the controversial film as well as several others.
Festival Director Lex Lindsay says the US Embassy has been a long term supporter of the event.
“They support a wide range of independent American cinema we bring here to Canberra,” He said.
“I think in this case they’re supporting our choice, our freedom of choice to screen whatever film we should choose to screen,” he said.
A reporter at a State Department briefing in Washington noted the film did not portray America in a positive light, and asked if officials knew the Australian embassy was giving away tickets via Twitter.
Responding on Twitter the US Embassy says the festival promotes the diversity of US film culture.