Aug 10, 2012

Press Release

Panasonic Announces the Grand Prix Winner of the Kid Witness News Global Contest 2012

- A Singapore School Wins the Grand Prix in the Contest of Short Videos on Ecology and Communication through Children's Eyes -

Celebrating its 23rd anniversary, the Panasonic KWN video education program is designed to help children develop creativity and cognitive and communication skills through the use of video.

Osaka, Japan - Panasonic Corporation today announced that Sembawang Secondary School from Singapore won the Grand Prix Award of the Panasonic Kid Witness News (KWN) Global Contest 2012. The announcement was made at the award ceremony which started at 14:00 (BST) on August 10 at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London with representatives of the six finalist schools attended.

This year's finalists, selected from among the films - up to five minute long - submitted by 718 schools from 31 countries and regions around the world, dealt with a variety of issues within the two themes of the contest: ecology and communication, including recycling, family ties and friendship, as well as hardships caused by last year's earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

The Grand Prix winning video features a story of a young girl who grieves over her sister's suicide and her inability to prevent it with closer communications within the family. The film is titled "The First Appearance of Light" after the girl's name, Dawn.

Each of the six finalists representing China, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States also received a KWN Global Award trophy in different categories (see the table on next page).

Japan's Iwasaki Junior High School from Fukushima Prefecture in the northeastern coastal region hit hard by the disaster in March last year won the Best Witness award with their video titled "We Are From..." The film shares hardships gone through by the students and their family and friends through interviews and conveys their gratitude for people who extended help and pride in their home town.

KWN is a hands-on video education program designed to help children develop creativity and cognitive and communication skills through the use of video. Panasonic provides video cameras and other equipment to participating schools for their video productions. Since the KWN program was started in 1989 in the U.S., more than 160,000 students and teachers around the world have participated to date, with currently some 10,000 taking part each year.

In the global contest, videos that won national and regional KWN contests were screened first by local judges of the KWN offices around the world and then by a panel of international judges including experts in film-making, education and journalism to determine the Grand Prix and category awards.

All of the above works can be viewed at the Web site:

Summary of KWN Global Contest 2012 Award Winners

Award Country/School Title/Synopsis
Grand Prix
Best Script
Sembawang Secondary School
The First Appearance of Light
A story about two close sisters, just one year apart. The younger one and their friends tell about the elder sister, who committed suicide after sexual abuse, emphasizing the importance of close communication between friends as well as family members.
Visual Effect
United States
Val Verde High School
Fuhgeddaboudit! (Forget about it!)
An animated film tells the importance of sorting and recycling with a comical touch, featuring a trash can and trash, including a discarded can that fears its fate when it’s not properly separated and mixed up with other types of trash.
Best Videography
Beijing Wanquan Primary School
Balcony • Sunshine
A girl who is worried about stammering practices reading poems on a rooftop with help from a boy in her class. The story follows them helping each other, as the girl overcomes her anxieties about speaking.
Best Witness
Iwasaki Junior High School
We Are From...
The Great Eastern Japan Earthquake in March 2011 forced students in a disaster-hit area to leave their hometown and live apart in various different places in Japan. When reunited, they frankly talk about their feelings then and how they are coping with their lives today.
Best Research
Dato' Abdul Razak School Seremban
The Factory Chicken
This film takes a look at how raising chickens, which are indispensable and routinely put on the table in Malaysia, is threatening the environment of a beautiful village. The film suggests reviewing the benefits of free-range farming, compared to large-scale factory farming which can produce odors and other pollutions.
Best Documentary
United Kingdom
Knox Academy
Knife Crime: Think of Life Put Down the Knife
A knife that is carried for self-defense can sometimes get teenagers involved in knife crime. Presenting views of various people on this issue, this film calls on teenagers to “put down the knife.”

All of the above works can be viewed at the website:

About Kid Witness News

KWN got its start in 1989 in the U.S. as a hands-on video education program supported by Panasonic North America, which supplied video cameras and editing equipment to public elementary and middle schools to make news programs from the perspective of children and young adults. The program was subsequently expanded to encompass all 50 U.S. states, and then in recent years grew on a global scale, encompassing Europe, Southeast Asia and Japan. At present, 718 schools from 31 countries and regions are participants in the program.

KWN is designed to foster creativity and presentation skills among young students. Supervising teachers cite further merits of the program such as a heightened awareness of the environment and the community as well as development of team skills among participants through the process of creating videos and covering the news. Further, the expanding network of KWN schools provides a platform for international exchange among the KWN students. For example, live video conferences connected by the Internet provide children in different countries opportunities to exchange their views and opinions using Panasonic's smart TVs and HD video conference systems.

For further details of KWN, please refer to the following websites.

General information on KWN global program:

General information on Panasonic's corporate citizenship activities:

In addition to KWN, Panasonic also conducts a variety of educational programs including the Eco Picture Diary Contest, the Jump Rope Competition and the Global Eco Learning Program under the umbrella scheme of "Panasonic Kids School," in which over 460,000 children currently take part worldwide. In the hopes of promoting the sound development of children and mutual understanding among people around the world, Panasonic will continue in its work to promote and expand these activities in the future.

About Panasonic

Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of electronic products in three business fields, consumer, components & devices, and solutions. Based in Osaka, Japan, the company recorded consolidated net sales of 7.85 trillion yen for the year ended March 31, 2012. Panasonic's stock is listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and New York (NYSE:PC) Stock Exchanges. The company has the vision of becoming the No. 1 Green Innovation Company in the Electronics Industry by the 100th year of its founding in 2018. For more information on Panasonic, its brand and commitment to sustainability, visit the company's website at

Media Contacts:

Global Public Relations Office
Panasonic Corporation
Tel: +81-(0)3-6403-3040 Fax: +81-(0)3-3436-6766
Panasonic News Bureau
Tel: +81-(0)3-3542-6205 Fax: +81-(0)3-3542-9018

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