Val Verde High School from California Swoops KWN Grand Prize

Jul 21, 2011
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    Students, Teachers and Judges of the KWN 2011 Global Contest Gather for Group Photo in Front of the Globe Theatre in Hollywood

The Kid Witness News (KWN) Global Contest 2011 Award Ceremony was held yesterday evening at the Globe Theatre in Universal Studios Hollywood, California. Six videos were selected from a pool of 26 regional winning entries by a judging panel comprised of movie production professionals, journalists, educators and Panasonic representatives. And on July 22, the long awaited Grand Prize and special awards were announced, with the local Val Verde High School from California sweeping the Grand Prize. Of course, other participating schools were recognized with categorical awards in the areas they excelled!

See a flash news report for Panasonic News Portal, exclusively from Hollywood!

What is the KWN?

KWN is a hands-on video education program designed to help children develop various communication skills through video production. To date, more than 150,000 elementary and secondary school students and teachers around the world have participated in this unique program that Panasonic is sponsoring in order to support young children develop their talents in various fields. Since the program began in 1989 in the U.S., it has developed into a global program with around 10,000 students and teachers participating each year using the video cameras and other equipment provided by Panasonic for the video production activities.

Celebrating it 22nd anniversary, this year's KWN Global Contest saw 679 schools from 26 countries and regions taking part by crafting five-minute videos based on the theme of ecology or communication. Reviewed and voted on by local judges of KWN offices around the world, the top six works were nominated as finalists. In the final review, a panel of international judges including experts in film-making, education and journalism screened the works to determine the below Grand Prize and category awards.

Award Country/School Title/Synopsis
Grand Prize & Best Script United States
Val Verde High School
"Without Me"
This video is a public service message to help prevent suicide. A young boy, who is about to send a farewell message to his parents, hears a mysterious voice telling him not to go through with it.
Best Videography Slovakia
Primary School of Rudolf Dilong in Trstena
"Do Not Destroy But Save"
A video that looks at how modern society uses much more energy in our daily lives than it did in the past, and sounds an alarm about the damage being done to the Earth.
Best Research Russia
Intellectual Residential School
"The Glass of Pure Water"
Children go out to rivers and ponds in search of clean water for raising goldfish. Their investigation reveals water quality failed to meet the levels considered "clean" at all locations and helps open their eyes to environmental problems.
Best Presentation Singapore
Sembawang Secondary School
"Mad About Water"
In Singapore, where the water supply is precious, youths stage a month-long campaign to conserve water and are able to save a surprising amount because of their high level of awareness.
Best Editing New Zealand
Point Chevalier School
"The Mangroves"
This video profiles a group of people that want to clear a mangrove forest to build houses. In this comical piece, the mangroves themselves explain their role and importance in environmental preservation.
Best Documentary Japan
Nagawa Junior High School
"Memories Beneath the Surface"
History of a village that was submerged under water due to dam construction for hydroelectric power generation in the 1950s. The video investigates the difficulties of building a dam and the importance of electricity, with quotes from local residents that were forced to leave their land.

View the six finalists' videos here

  • "Memories Beneath the Surface" by Nagawa Junior High School / Japan
  • "The Mangroves" by Point Chevalier School / New Zealand
  • "Without Me" by Val Verde High School / U.S.A.
  • "Mad About Water" by Sembawang Secondary School / Singapore
  • "The Glass of Pure Water" by INTELLECTUAL Residential School / Russia
  • "Do Not Destroy But Save" by Primary School of Rudolf Dilong in Trstena / Slovakia

Also be sure to visit the KWN official website for the behind the scenes on the video production at

This Year's Celebration Activities

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    Children Experienced Latest 3D Technology at Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory (Click for larger image)
  • 03-culturalex.JPG
    KWN teams Dancing at the Cultural Exchange Session (Click for larger image)

Of course, the KWN Global Contest is not only about acknowledging great video productions done by young children. Before the award ceremony, the six finalists teams got together to explore Panasonic's Hollywood Laboratory in USA to experience but most importantly were able to reach across the continents to share their culture, music and food, cutting through communication barriers with the common language of friendship. All walked away with a little piece of -- and the promise to meet again soon.

Reported by Cathy

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