My name is Martin Cuff and I am a creative industries and nation branding specialist currently living in Belgrade, Serbia but working globally. I have delivered projects on all five continents, notably in South Africa, Peru, Namibia, Tanzania, Georgia, Turkey, Rwanda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Indonesia. I have also worked extensively in the region of the Western Balkans, with work in Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Albania and Montenegro, as well as Serbia. For the last five and a half years I have served as advisor for Creative Industries and Tourism to Prime Minister Ana Brnabic of the Republic of Serbia. I am also Strategic Advisor for the nation brand platform Serbia Creates and I was additionally Content and Programme Director for the Serbia Pavilion at the Dubai 2020 World Expo.
My work experience, skillset and professional interests include:
CREATIVE INDUSTRIES: My day-to-day work currently looks at harnessing creative industries activities for economic and tourism development. This includes conceptualisation and development of key programmes such as events, creative hubs, creative education programmes, careers information and more. I am particularly interested in boosting the connections between culture and creativity and the tourism sector. I recently drafted the National Strategy for the Creative Industries and the Strategy for Education in the Creative Industries sector for the platform, and I sit on the UNESCO Serbia Council for Creative Industries.
FILM INDUSTRY: I am the former Executive Director of the Association of Film Commissioners International (Los Angeles), the former Executive Director of the Colorado Film Commission (Denver), and the former acting Executive Director of the Cape Film Commission and the Cape Town Film Permit Office and the former Chief Operating Officer of Sithengi, the Southern African International Film and Television Market (Cape Town). I am a co-founder of the African Film Commissions Network. I have drafted Film Incentive Programmes, City Film Policies, Film Friendliness Programmes, and City Film Permit Programmes.
NATION BRANDING: Prime Minister Brnabic’s Nation Brand platform Serbia Creates seeks to positively influence international perceptions about Serbia based on new messaging around creativity and innovation. I provide strategic direction to the PM and the platform, offering Strategic Nation Brand analysis, Brand Development (meanings & messages), creating, planning, and executing strategic projects that highlight and communicate these new messages, themes and stories, Brand Communications including Transmedia marketing, Brand Management, and the Measurement & Reporting on activities conducted.
FILM STUDIOS: I have researched and written BUSINESS PLANS and FEASIBILITY STUDIES for film studios in development in Africa, Europe and the Middle East.
FILM TOURISM: I am a leading proponent of film tourism and the links between tourism and the creative industries generally.
COMMUNICATIONS: I facilitate and contribute to opportunities for the Prime Minister of Serbia and the Director of Serbia Creates to communicate their agendas and successes, My communications experience therefore includes comms planning, providing tactical comms support on speeches, video and live presentations, policy papers, news articles, crisis comms and the official Twitter account. I write and manage press releases, case studies, blogs, statements, talking points, presentations and op-eds, I act as spokesperson, and I speak at international conferences, panels, workshops, trainings, on podcasts and in the media. I specialise in the written word, so I author and/or provide editorial oversight for important reports and publications. My work includes building community and developing relationships with key stakeholders and community members to effectively convey core mission and work, preparing spokespeople for media and speaking engagements, including media backgrounders, coaching and talking points. I have devised and managed events locally and internationally, delivered familiarisation / press tours (inbound and outbound) and crafted related communications campaigns.
CREATIVITY: My personal writing projects can be viewed via my Martin Cuff Portfolio. I have recently completed the first draft of a science fiction novel, Batavia. My second novel Shrill went live on Amazon Kindle in December 2022. You can find out more about my original content here.