why democracy



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whydemocracy_presskit_tcm6-54195Delivery
8 October 2007

Eurovision TV Contact
Anna Vasova
+41 22 717 28 23

8 October, 2007 marked the official launch of the world’s largest ever multi-media factual event, which uses film to start a global exchange about democracy. More than 40 broadcasters worldwide screened 10 documentary films in 200 countries to a potential audience of over 300 million people during this “democracy week”.

This unique collaboration among public broadcasters included the BBC (UK), DRTV (Denmark), YLE (Finland), SABC (South Africa), SBS (Australia), Arte (France and Germany) and NHK (Japan), as well as further broadcasters from Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, India, Israel, Mexico, the Middle East, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan and the USA.


“Why Democracy?” has been organized by Steps International, a not-for-profit organization and supported by the EBU’s Eurovision TV, The Danish Film Institute, The Danish Ministry of Education, Danida, Ford Foundation, Goethe Institute, Independent Television Service (ITVS), The Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Jan Vrijman Fund, the VIKES Foundation, the Sundance Institute, and the Department of Education and Children’s Services (South Australia). In addition, MySpace.com has screened the films online, as well as providing the platform for an ongoing dialogue.

Completed by independent award-winning filmmakers from around the world, including China, India, Japan, Liberia, USA, Bolivia, Denmark, Afghanistan, Egypt, Pakistan and Russia, the films span the multi-faceted perspectives on democracy. They include the controversies about US torture, a funny, but telling, story about the election of a class monitor in a Chinese primary school, an interview with President Musharraf, shedding light on his perspectives about how to rule a country and, finally, the Danish cartoons scandal.

Who would you vote for as President of the world?, What would make you start a revolution? Can terrorism destroy democracy?, Are women more democratic than men?, Are dictators ever good?, Who rules the world?, Is God democratic?, Why bother to vote?, Is democracy good for everyone?, Can politicians solve climate change?; these are the 10 questions that emanate from the films to stimulate this global debate.

A global dialogue started on www.whydemocracy.net, a web platform organized for this project by a group of young people from across the world and based in South Africa.

Forums, chat rooms, and blogs opened to all, and users had an opportunity to upload their own films. In addition, 15 short films from young filmmakers across the world had been shown.

For further information: www.whydemocracy.net

For worldwide airtimes,consult http://www.whydemocracy.net/screenings

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