We are excited today to announce that Łukasz Szozda, one of the Polish entrants in the global YouTube/U.S. Department of State Democracy Video Challenge, has won the grand prize for Europe. When he heard the news, Ambassador Victor Ashe responded:
“We are very proud to see that one of the excellent contributions by Polish video artists went on to win the grand prize for Europe. Congratulations to Łukasz from all of us in the U.S. Mission to Poland. Your uplifting and appealing video clearly struck the same chord with voters from around the world as it did with Polish voters and American diplomats in Poland.”
Mr. Szozda will travel to New York, Washington DC, and Hollywood in October 2009, where he and the five other grand prize winners from other regions around the world will meet with democracy activists and members of the film and television industry. The videos by Mr. Szozda and the other regional winners will be featured in a gala screening hosted by the Motion Picture Association of America. To see Łukasz Szozda’s winning entry, click here.
Mr. Szozda’s video is one of over 900 entries from 95 countries that competed for six grand prizes. The Democracy Video Challenge ran from October 2008 through January 2009, promoted in Poland by the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw, the U.S. Consulate General in Krakow, MTV Poland, the Center for Citizenship Education, and POLIS – the association of young journalists. Three Polish semi-finalists were selected by an open vote and were announced by legendary Polish film director Andrzej Wajda at the New Media/New Democracy Forum in March 2009 at Warsaw’s Fabryka Trzciny. A jury chaired by award-winning director Michael Apted and renowned economist Hernando de Soto selected three finalists from each region, with Mr. Szozda’s film competing for the grand prize from Europe. From May 15 to June 15, 2009, people from all over the world voted through YouTube for their favorite films — and Mr. Szozda’s entry won! (more…)