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Sep 11, 2023
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Hanoi, Vietnam – Panasonic Vietnam held the award ceremony for the Kid Witness News 2023 program with the participation of more than 200 students, parents, and teachers. There were 16 films made by teams of young filmmakers honored in the ceremony, six of which were awarded top prizes. Two winning teams will participate in the online Kid Witness News Global Summit to be held in October, where they will compete with other top young filmmakers around the world.
Kid Witness News (KWN) is a free filmmaking program initiated globally by Panasonic for students from the age of 10 to 18, and it has become one of the most awaited annual activities in the summer for students, after having been held for 16 years in Vietnam.
This year, sixteen films were produced by more than 80 young filmmakers whose most impressive scripts were selected from hundreds of applications, not only from Hanoi, but also from many other provinces and cities nationwide. The program has extended its reach to more local schools and students as part of Panasonic taking KWN as a scope under its Panasonic Sustainable Schools program framework, which is a CSR initiative of Panasonic Vietnam for the next generation with the goal of realizing a vision of wellness and sustainability for society.
The teams of young filmmakers learned everything from the initial steps to final artwork, including script writing, acting, filming with Panasonic’s professional equipment and post-production from famous Vietnamese directors and actors. Additionally, they participated in outdoor activities and field trips that helped to improve their soft skills in communication and problem solving, and also learned from observing.
KWN 2023 has been honorably selected as one of the official activities and programs designed to celebrate the historic 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Vietnam. On this significant milestone, in addition to the main activities of the filming course, KWN students were offered a fresh cultural exchanging opportunity to understand more about Japanese culture.
Mr. Hiroyuki Oka, Director of Panasonic Vietnam shared: “We would like to bring KWN to more students in Vietnam. That’s why we hold it as a part of Panasonic’s Sustainable Schools program. I was truly impressed by the way they tell their stories with a deep compassion for the environment, families, friends, and many other things. Through this filmmaking journey, we hope that the next generation can develop a deeper understanding of what matters the most to them and to society, and that they will be inspired to take initiatives to help create a better future.”
During the journey of Kid Witness News 2023, in addition to participating in filmmaking courses, 16 teams of young filmmakers were offered opportunities to learn, experience and meet up with exciting experts to gain more knowledge and inspiration in creativity, including activities like:
Furthermore, the cultural exchange event, conducted under the collaboration between Panasonic and the Japan Foundation (JPF), where participants learned and experienced the culture of the “land of the rising sun” through interesting activities including shodo, Japanese calligraphy, and the traditional game of kendama.
The film entitled “Mirror” from the team “The Flammable” from Pascal Secondary School was honored with first prize in the 13 to 18-year-old category. It is a story about domestic violence suffered by a child who then decided not to make the same mistake as his father when he became a man with his own family.
Meanwhile, the first prize for 10 to 12-year-olds went to the film “The silence life of Goldy” made by the “Strange Ohio” team. The film was about how a quiet schoolgirl just starting secondary level overcame her anxiety to become more sociable with brand new friends at school.
“Learning how to use professional cameras and learning acting were the most memorable experiences for me in this summer. Moreover, we learned how to utilize teamwork skills to solve challenges together,” shared Pho Duc Nam Duong, a student at Vietnam Australia Inter-school Hanoi.
The films were scored by highly reputable board judges of famous Vietnamese and Japanese directors, to select the best films to honor at the award ceremony.
People’s artist Lan Huong (Bông), a member of the board of judges shared: “Through all the films made by students, I highly appreciate the fact that children today speak up about their perspectives on many social issues with sincere and emotional expression through the lens of cinema. With these initial experiences gained by participating in this program, I hope to see the future generation of talented filmmakers, directors, actors ...”
The two winning teams will be offered the opportunity to share their movies with other teams around the world by participating at the KWN Global Summit online event this October.
First held in the US in 1989, the KWN program has been implemented by Panasonic Corporation organizing for students aged 10–18 years of age, and is completely free of charge worldwide. In Vietnam, after 15 successful seasons, the KWN program has recorded many impressive numbers: more than 3,000 student participants with nearly 150 videos produced, with the top films being sent to attend the KWN Global summit 14 times.
Starting in 2022, KWN is held as a part of the Panasonic for Sustainable Schools program which includes: STEM and STEAM Education, environmental classes, and the KWN Filmmaking Program. The Panasonic for Sustainable Schools is the evolution and inheritance of Panasonic Risupia Center Vietnam, with a new direction and approach shifting from facility-based to online and on-site based activities.
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