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.
2020 (22nd) Encounters SA International Film Festival