Osaka, Japan - Panasonic Corporation today announced that Immanuel-Kant-School Bremerhaven of Germany won the Grand Prize for its video "Stumbling" in the Panasonic Kid Witness News (KWN) Global Contest 2014. Students from Immanuel-Kant-School Bremerhaven were honored at the award ceremony held at Panasonic Corporation of North America headquarters in Newark, New Jersey. Students from other finalist schools also attended the ceremony, where they were recognized with category awards, including "Best Concept."
The seven finalist videos focused on topics ranging from global environmental issues to strong friendships. The Grand Prize-winning video dealt with a serious theme: the fate of Holocaust victims during World War II. In the video, the students brilliantly expressed their feelings on this theme and delivered a message that we must all learn from the past.
KWN is a hands-on video education program that Panasonic operates as part of its efforts to support education. The company provides video cameras and other production equipment to elementary and middle schools participating in the program. Currently, some 10,000 children and teachers around the world are taking part in the program. Since the program began in the United States in 1989, more than 170,000 children have participated.
To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the KWN Program, the global awards ceremony was held in the U.S., where it originated. In his remarks opening the awards ceremony, Panasonic Corporation of North America Chairman & CEO Joseph M. Taylor pointed to the far-reaching impact of Kid Witness News. "When the program began 25 years ago, I don't think anyone could have imagined that it would grow to touch the lives of so many children in so many countries around the world," Mr. Taylor said. "I'm very proud to honor the students who created such outstanding video stories. I have no doubt that, with their creativity, positive attitude and communications skills, they will become the leaders of tomorrow."
The KWN program honors the video works created by children every year. To produce videos, students choose a theme on their own and then handle all aspects of video-making, from planning and scripting to filming and editing. This year's KWN Global Contest saw 548 schools from 23 countries and regions take part in the competition by submitting five-minute videos themed about either ecology or communication.
This year's Grand Prize winner and six finalist videos can be viewed on the official website for the KWN Global Contest 2014 at http://panasonic.net/kwn/contest2014/
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Summary of the seven award-winning videos
|Award||Country/Name of School||Video Title/Synopsis|
|Grand Prize & The Global Citizen Award||<Germany>
So-called stumbling blocks bear the names of Holocaust victims. There are many of them laid in the streets of the town where the students live. With eloquent video images, the film shows the history they looked into and thoughts provoked by the stones.
|Best Cinematography Award||<Thailand>
Montfort College School
|"Value" of Immensely
Pig farming is one of the major industries in the village where a young boy lives. The village has been plagued by nasty smells from pig manure. The film shows the village's efforts to address the problem and promote the development of the village, in cooperation with a local university, by turning pig manure into environmentally friendly gas.
|Best Witness Award||<Japan>
Nakoso 1st Junior High School
|There Once Was War Here
This film focuses on huge "balloon bombs" Japan used during World War II in its attack on America. Through visits to a site which used to have such bombs and interviews with people who know those days, the film appeals for peace.
|Best Storytelling Award||<New Zealand>
Mount Aspiring College
|Searching for Summer
Sixteen-year-old Summer was raised by foster parents. In search of her identify and a place where she belongs, Summer sets out on a journey to find her real mother.
|Best Friendship Award||<Czech Republic>
Primary School of Josef Bublik, Banov
|Kamil and Me
In the wake of a pool accident, a boy meets another boy named Kamil who has disabilities. This film depicts the deep and precious friendship that develops between them, following the accident.
|The K-Factor Award||<Panama>
Victoria D'Spinay Elementary School
Children try to emulate adults whom they admire. This film conveys the message that despite hardships, dreams can come true through inspiration from the adults children look up to.
|Best Concept Award||<U.S.A.>
Lincoln Park Academy
|Fighting World Hunger
Hunger is an international problem. This film reports on the hunger situation in countries including developed nations. It also proposes ways of helping people suffering from hunger through support associations.
About Panasonic 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. The program was subsequently expanded on a global scale. At present, 548 schools from 23 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. The expanding network of KWN schools also provides a platform fo international exchange among KWN students.
|North America||Canada, United States|
|Central and South America||Chile, Panama|
|Europe||Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Russia, Slovakia, Ukraine|
|Middle and Near East||Iraq, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates|
|Asia||China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam|
Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development and engineering of electronic technologies and solutions for customers in residential, non-residential, mobility and personal applications. Since its founding in 1918, the company has expanded globally and now operates over 500 consolidated companies worldwide, recording consolidated net sales of 7.74 trillion yen for the year ended March 31, 2014. Committed to pursuing new value through innovation across divisional lines, the company strives to create a better life and a better world for its customers. For more information about Panasonic, please visit the company's website at http://panasonic.net/.
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