HomeThe Journal of Historyvol. 52 no. 1 (2006)

“Projecting America”: The Office of War Information Guidelines for the Pacific Theater

Sharon Delmendo

Discipline: History



The Axis and Allied powers waged World War II on both literal and figurative fronts. With the technological advances of moving pictures and the development of film as a form of popular entertainment, the American government and Hollywood formed an unprecedented alliance to mobilize films for the war effort after the Japanese attracts on December 7/8, 1941.


In June 1942, Franklin Delano Roosevelt creates the Office of War Information (OWI). The OWI, in turn, created the Bureau of Motion Pictures (BMP), an organization that worked directly with Hollywood studios to facilitate the production of popular films to disseminate the government’s war policies to the general population and military personnel.


This presentation will examine the OWI guidelines regarding films for and about the Philippines, analyzing how these guidelines reflected U.S. military priorities. This presentation will also analyze what the OWI guidelines reveal about American attitudes toward Philippine sovereignty and the promised grant of independence set for July 4, 1946, toward the U.S. colonial history in the Philippines, and how they helped set the stage (literally and figuratively) for post-war US-RP relations.