The Australian Film Commission (AFC) has developed a do-it-yourself film festival package for the use of diplomatic missions spread across the world.

Australia's department of foreign affairs and trade has been heavily involved in the initiative, which is part of a strategy to promote the country abroad through its cultural achievements.

The pack includes a manual that gives guidance to embassy and high commission staff on tailoring a festival to the host country, finding a cinema partner, getting publicity and organising an opening night.

The AFC has chosen 20 features and a selection of shorts from the last decade to make up what is being called "The Embassy Roadshow" and is encouraging the sales agents of each of these films to get involved when a festival occurs. They will also be provided with feedback on the performance of each title.

The package was launched by the minister for foreign affairs Alexander Downer, who noted that cinema is a very effective medium for providing an insight into Australia's landscape, lifestyle and political, social and cultural environments.