They were chosen from more than 900 entries from 95 countries. Now 18 video-makers have reached the finals of the State Department’s Democracy Video Challenge, an online video competition that asked participants to complete the phrase, “Democracy is…”
Friday (May 15), public voting (and viewing of the finalists) to select the six winners opened on YouTube and will continue until midnight on June 15 (ET).
The finalists include two submissions each from Brazil and Iran and one each from Cote d’Ivoire, Germany, India, Japan, Nepal, Philippines, Poland, Serbia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Uganda, the United States, Uzbekistan, and Zambia.
The finalists were selected by an independent jury, co-chaired by Michael Apted (president of the Directors Guild of America) and Hernando de Soto (president of the Institute for Liberty and Democracy).
Six winners—one each from the Western Hemisphere, Europe, Middle East/North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, South and Central Asia and East Asia/Pacific—will be announced in mid-June.
The winners will receive an all-expense-paid trip in September to Washington, New York and Hollywood, with time on television/film sets, meetings with film professionals, democracy advocates, the media and government officials and special screenings of their videos.
The Democracy Video Challenge was launched online and at the United Nations on International Democracy Day, Sept. 15, 2008. Partners include the Center for International Private Enterprise, Directors Guild of America, International Republican Institute, International Youth Foundation, MPAA, NBC Universal, National Democratic Institute, New York University Tisch School of the Arts, TakingITGlobal, the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts and the State Department.
YouTube is providing the video platform, and the William Morris Agency is contributing part of the prize package.