Please Vote for Me

This film paints an interesting portrait of possible democracy in a society where freedom of choice is not normally an option. In this film renowned director Weijun Chen conducts an experiment with a class of 3rd graders in attempt to discover if China is ready for democratic processes such as elections.

Please Vote for Me

Please Vote for Me

Director: Weijun Chen
Producer: Don Edkins
Produced by: Steps International in cooperation with DR, SBS, RTBF, Canal Futura, CBC, Knowledge Network, HRT, Czech TV, ETV, YLE, ARTE, MDR, WDR, ZDF, ORF, ERT, MTV Hungary, PSBT, IBA, NHK, LTV, La Red, VPRO, NRK, RTP, TVP, TVR, RTVSLO, SABC, Canal + Spain, SVT, TSR/SSR, PTS, Al Arabiya ,PBS & BBC
Duration: 52 or 58 min.
Year of Production: 2007
Original Title: Please Vote for Me

Winner of:

Jonathan Gili Award for Most Entertaining Documentary, Grierson 2008

The special Golden Link Award by EBU, La Rochelle, 2008

Best Documentary, feature length, Ashland Independent Film Festival, 2008

Full Frame/Working Films Award, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, 2008

Sterling Feature Award, Silverdocs, 2007 Sterling Feature Award

Nominated for: Best Documentary, Emmy Awards, 2008

Shortlisted for: Best Documentary, Academy Awards, 2008

Wuhan is a city in central China about the size of London, and it is here that director Weijun Chen has conducted an experiment in democracy. A grade 3 class at Evergreen Primary School has their first encounter with democracy by holding an election to select a Class Monitor. Eight-year-olds compete against each other for the coveted position, abetted and egged on by teachers and doting parents. Elections in China take place only within the Communist Party, but recently millions of Chinese voted in their version of Pop Idol.

The purpose of Weijun Chen’s experiment is to determine how, if democracy came to China, it would be received. Is democracy a universal value that fits human nature? Do elections inevitably lead to manipulation? Please Vote for Me is a portrait of a society and a town through a school, its children and its families.

This film is a part of the documentary series Why Democracy? – 10 Films from independent award-winning filmmakers in China, India, Japan, Pakistan, Liberia, Egypt, Denmark, Russia, Bolivia and the USA.

The Why Democracy? series:

Campaign!

Dinner with the President

Egypt: We are watching You

For God, Tsar and Fatherland

In Search of Ghandi

Iron Ladies of Liberia

Looking for the Revolution