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
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.