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Hillary Clinton Greets Winners of 2010 Democracy Video Challenge
(Says winning filmmakers are fueling discussions about democracy)
By Lauren Monsen
Staff Writer
Washington — The six winners of the 2010 Democracy Video Challenge were greeted by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at a September 10 awards ceremony at the State Department, where all six filmmakers were formally recognized for the short videos they created about the nature and exercise of democracy.
Hailing the “amazingly successful” competition that drew entries from more than 700 filmmakers in 83 countries, Clinton reflected on the varied responses to the contest’s challenge to complete the phrase “Democracy is ….” The 2010 winners have captured six different visions of democracy — “some satirical and lighthearted, some poignant and haunting,” said Clinton.
Since the contest’s inception in 2008, more than 3.5 million people around the world have been reached by the “Democracy is …” campaign to engage youth in a global dialogue on democracy. This year’s contest winners, said Clinton, “are using technology to make their voices heard in revolutionary new ways, and by doing so, giving voice to thousands of others.”
Contest participants submitted their videos, which had to be under three minutes long, via YouTube. Eighteen finalists were selected by an independent jury, and the six winners — each of whom represents a different geographical region — were determined by an online public vote that closed on June 15. The winners are as follows:
• Adhyatmilka from Indonesia (East Asia), for the video Democracy is yet to learn
• Anup Poudel from Nepal (South and Central Asia), for the video Democracy is black
• Farbod Khoshtinat from Iran (Near East and North Africa) for the video ATTN: Mr. Democrat
• Joel Marsden from Spain (Europe), for the video World Vote Now
• Juan Pablo Patiño Arévalo from Colombia (Western Hemisphere) for the video Democracy is … the right of life (War Child)
• Yared Shumete from Ethiopia (sub-Saharan Africa) for the video Democracy is fair play
Each winner was awarded an all-expenses-paid trip to Los Angeles, New York and Washington and met with members of civic and film organizations in all three cities.
The prompt for the Democracy Video Challenge “is open-ended,” Clinton said. As she noted, the winner from Nepal had observed that “democracy can exist in all countries and it doesn’t have a fixed shape or size.” However, “the fundamental tenets are non-negotiable,” said Clinton. “The videos we are honoring capture essential truths about democracy across the world: democracy is about fair play, and [it] is a learning process.”
“In a speech ( ) I gave at the Council on Foreign Relations earlier this week, I said democracy needs defending,” Clinton added. “Well, I think we have a good cross section of defenders here. One of our winners, whose beautiful video was inspired by the Green Movement in Iran, said: ‘If I believe I want democracy, I should fight for it. And this is my way of fighting.’ It gives me great hope to see what young people are saying.”
“Here at the State Department, we often talk about the need to use 21st-century diplomacy to solve 21st-century problems,” said Clinton. “This is the heart of that 21st-century diplomacy — connecting directly to people, particularly young people, around the world.”
Moreover, she said, “we are about to kick off the third annual Democracy Video Challenge at the United Nations next week, so I am very eager to see what ideas this [program] continues to generate.”
The videos of the 18 Democracy Video Challenge finalists have been posted on the Challenge’s official website ( ), its Facebook ( ) and Twitter ( ) pages and its official YouTube page ( ).
(This is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State.  Web site:
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