Equipping U.S. embassies with the unlimited ability to show movies to residents and visitors over the next five years could cost taxpayers more than $1.5 million. The U.S. Department of State claims the expenditure is necessary since the U.S. uses "feature films as programming tools to support foreign policy objectives."
State's Educational and Cultural Affairs Bureau awarded the sole-source contract to the Motion Picture Licensing Corp. (MPLC) , which it says is the only source that can provide a worldwide blanket-viewing license for 800 facilities. According to a Statement of Work that U.S. Trade & Aid Monitor located via routine database research, those sites include U.S. embassies and consulates plus "off-site screenings at venues under U.S. embassy sponsorship, operation and direct control such as Binational Centers, American Corners and American Centers."
State consulted with the Motion Picture Association of America and other sources, which recommended MPLC since all other major providers solely offer "title-by-title licenses on a daily rental basis," according to an accompanying Justification for Other Than Full and Open Competition, or JOFOC, document.