Farbod Khoshtinat's short film, ATTN: Mr. Democrat, has been selected by judges for the Democracy Video Challenge to represent Iran in the final round of this competition. Khoshtinat's short is competing with videos from Israel and Algeria in the Near East category, one of six geographic divisions. Winners will be decided by "thumbs up" votes cast by signed in YouTube users who view the video via www.youtube.com/democracychallenge. One vote per video may be cast each day through June 15, 2010.
Go to www.youtube.com/democracychallenge
Click on VOTE, search for ATTN: Mr. Democrat
Click on green thumbs up to vote
Thousands of Iranians have risked imprisonment, torture and death for demanding freedom and democracy, especially when they question the outcome that the Islamic Republic proclaimed regarding the June 12, 2009 Iranian presidential election. In a biographical statement submitted with his video, Khoshtinat wrote, "I am an artist, an Iranian film maker and a twenty one year old freedom fighter. I believe that one of the greatest things about art is that it gives us the ability to see, imagine and feel things in a certain way. This belief was the main reason I wanted to participate in this challenge, to give the opportunity to the people around the world to see how democracy is practiced in my country, so I visualized it through art; I wanted them to see it through my certain way of visualizing. As a young student who is studying abroad, this was the least thing I could do for my people since we all are in the quest for democracy."
Khoshtinat is no mere student. He edited the music video sequences for the Cannes award-winning film, No One Knows About the Persian Cats. And the music video Khoshtinat made for Iranian rapper Hichkas' Ye Mosht Sarbaz has received over 200,000 views on YouTube. Khoshtinat was a teenager in Tehran when he made Hichkas' video under the pseudonym "Fred" in hopes of evading arrest for promoting Western music in violation of Iran's strict Islamic laws.