Winners of the Inaugural Democracy Video Challenge Announced

Media Note
Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
June 16, 2009

Today, the U.S. Department of State and its partners announced the results of the Democracy Video Challenge, a worldwide online competition that engages people around the world in a global dialogue on democracy.

The Challenge asked young video makers to complete the phrase, “Democracy is…” through three-minute videos posted on the competition’s YouTube site. More than 900 people from 95 countries answered the challenge. An independent jury co-chaired by Hernando de Soto (President of the Institute for Liberty and Democracy) and Michael Apted (President of the Directors Guild of America) selected the 18 finalists, and the online voting public chose the six winners, one from each region of the world.

The winners are:
· Chansa Tembo from Zambia (Sub-Saharan Africa)
· Aissa Peñafiel from the Philippines (East Asia and Pacific)
· Lukasz Szozda from Poland (Europe)
· Rodin Hamidi from the United Arab Emirates (Near East and North Africa)
· Tsering Choden from Nepal (South and Central Asia)
· Anna Christa dos Santos from Brazil (Western Hemisphere)

The winners will receive an all-expense-paid trip to New York, Washington, and Los Angeles in September, where they will meet with democracy groups, film and television companies, the media, and government organizations. Screenings of their films are planned in all three cities.

The Challenge Partners include: the Center for International Private Enterprise, the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute, the International Youth Foundation, TakingITGlobal, the Directors Guild of America, Motion Picture Association of America, NBC Universal, New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, the USC School of Cinematic Arts, and the U.S. Department of State. YouTube is providing the video platform, and William Morris Endeavor Entertainment is providing part of the prize package.

For more information about the Democracy Video Challenge, please contact Laura Hesselton at 202-453-8383 or

For additional details, visit the Democracy Video Challenge website at:

PRN: 2009/599