The dark art of geopolitical spin-doctoring

Sundance FF (2020) – Grand Jury Prize (nomination)

SA Premiere

Availability &
Screening Time:

Thurs 20 Aug 2020 / 6pm OPENING NIGHT INVITE ONLY Fri 28 Aug / 6pm + PANEL @ 7.50pm


Richard Poplak & Diana Neille


Canada | South Africa



Running Time:

107 min



Influence charts the recent advancements in weaponised communication by investigating the rise and fall of the world’s most notorious public relations and reputation-management firm, the British multinational Bell Pottinger. The film examines how the morally slippery Timothy Bell and his associates shaped and co-opted the very institutions on which our governance systems are premised, quietly entrenching one of the most sophisticated — and successful — business ventures of recent times. Influence is the kind of film that makes you question everything, suggesting that we now live in a time when both the structures of our society and the very texture of our lives can be defined, designed and manipulated by powerful and secretive forces.

Co-presented with DIFF
Watch the post screening Q&A with Influence directors Richard Poplak and Diana Neille in conversation with Red Notice author Bill Browder. You can watch it on YouTube, or embedded below.