Media Note
Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
May 1, 2009

The U.S. Department of State and the Hirshhorn Museum will host a special screening of some of the 196 videos selected as semi-finalists in the Democracy Video Challenge on May 7, from 8:00 – 9:30 pm in the Hirshhorn Museum’s Ring Auditorium (7th and Independence Ave, SW).

NBC4’s Tom Sherwood will serve as Master of Ceremonies for the event, which is free and open to the general public and the media. This event marks the only opportunity for audiences in the Washington, DC metropolitan area to see the videos in a theater before the finalists are announced. Following the screening, representatives of the Democracy Video Challenge partners will answer questions from the audience.

The public will select the winning videos by voting online from May 15 – June 15 at The winners will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, New York and Hollywood, where they will spend time on TV/film sets, meet with film professionals, democracy advocates, government officials, and attend special screenings of their videos.

The Democracy Video Challenge is a global online contest that asked citizens to create original video shorts capturing their perspectives on democracy. More than 900 people from 95 countries produced an impressive selection of videos that demonstrate an impassioned array of voices and visions from around the world.

The Democracy Video Challenge was created through a unique partnership consisting of democracy and youth organizations, the film and entertainment industry, academia, and the U.S. Government. In addition to the Department of State, Democracy Video Challenge partners include the Center for International Private Enterprise, Directors Guild of America, International Republican Institute, International Youth Foundation, Motion Picture Association of America, NBC Universal, National Democratic Institute, New York University Tisch School of the Arts, TakingITGlobal, and the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts.

For more information, please contact Laura Hesselton at 202-453-8363 or or the Hirshhorn’s Gabriel Riera at 202-633-4765 or For additional details, visit

PRN: 2009/408