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Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Sep 15, 2016 - Panasonic Corporation announced that Kowloon Tong School of Hong Kong and Assumption Samutprakarn School of Thailand won the Grand Prix for their videos titled "The Bigger Picture" and "Missing Game," respectively, in the Panasonic Kid Witness News (KWN) Global Contest 2016. The students were honored at the awards ceremony held in Rio de Janeiro on September 15 during the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Students from the seven finalist schools representing six countries, including three finalists in the Primary School category and three in the Secondary School category as well as one representing the host country, Brazil, attended the ceremony, where they were acknowledged with category awards, including "Global Citizens Award" and "True Sportsmanship Award."
The seven finalist videos focused on issues closely linked to children's lives through the eyes of children, such as the interactions with family, refugees, physically challenged individuals and environment issues. In the Primary School category, the Hong Kong school won the Grand Prix for their video that depicted a young girl who learns a valuable lesson from her teacher in how to look at things from different perspectives, not just think about herself but about the bigger picture. In the Secondary School category the Thailand school focused on the impact of video games on children. By combining a unique drama set in the virtual world and interviews in the real world, this video conveys a strong message that real communication and interactions are important.
The KWN is a hands-on video education program that Panasonic operates as part of its efforts to support education. The company lends video cameras to primary and secondary schools participating in the program. For the KWN Global Contest 2016, 5,000 students from 371 schools in 12 countries took part in this competition. The global nine judges panel includes specialists in such fields as education and video production as well as this year's special guests from the International Paralympic Committee and the Olympic Broadcasting Services.
This year marks the first time KWN Global Contest Awards Ceremony was held in Latin America and with special support from the International Paralympic Committee. The event, which commemorates the Rio 2016 Paralympic year, was attended by Mr. Shigeo Suzuki, Regional Head for Latin America of Panasonic Corporation, as well as dignitaries including Sir Philip Craven, President of the International Paralympic Committee, Mr. Mark Wallace, Chief Content Officer of the Olympic Broadcasting Services, and representatives of Rio 2016 Organising Committee and Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, and Brazilian Athletes.
Shigeo Suzuki commented, "We believe their voices, as expressed in their video creations, will inspire people to unite, take action and share our vision of 'A Better Life, A Better World'. Our hope is that this program will embolden our future generations to dream and to pursue their dreams."
For this year's contest, Panasonic, an Official Worldwide Olympic Partner and an Official Worldwide Paralympic Partner, added "Sports" to the list of themes of KWN Global Contest, in addition to the existing themes of "Environment" and "Communication," to stimulate children's interest in sports.
Touching on this year's special contest theme "Sports," Sir Philip Craven from the International Paralympic Committees gave the message: "Kid Witness News is a great initiative of our Worldwide Paralympic Partner Panasonic. With their help, thousands of young people around the world have been inspired and excited by the amazing performances of Paralympic athletes. It is another way in which Panasonic continues to help the Paralympic Movement with its aim to create a more inclusive society through sports."
Schools in Germany, the United States and Brazil submitted videos demonstrating the values of accepting diversity and humanitarian sportsmanship found in sports. The videos illustrate how sport can change people's lives regardless of race, religion or physical abilities.
During the KWN Awards Week, the finalists had the experience to interview Paralympians and people working in the media, visiting the Athlete Village, Main Press Center, International Broadcasting Center and the Paralympic Games to learn the values of Paralympics and the diversity in the world.
The KWN program honors the videos created by children every year. Currently 18 countries and regions are taking part in this program. More than 180,000 children have participated in this program to date. Through this program, Panasonic aims to realize " A Better Life, A Better World" for its corporate citizenship activities involving education and coexistence around the world.
* Listed by country in alphabetical order.
Grand-Prix & Best K-Factor Award
One girl's father picks up her late from school every day. This makes her feel alone and left out. Her teacher notices this and gives her a valuable lesson. This heartwarming story conveys the message that it is important for people to look at things from different perspectives. It also reveals how teachers inspire their students.
True Sportsmanship Award
This depicts sports spirit. When an all-star student signs up for a running race, he determines to beat his competitor. He doesn't know his competitor chooses to embrace the spirit of the race and run with his physically challenged brother. It teaches winning is not everything and people who did their best are the real winners.
Best Storytelling Award
One boy, who lives in a poor household, always longs for a life of wealthy just like his wealthy classmate. One day his dream comes true. Happiness is not particularly in a wealthy life, but it is to live in the love of your parents and family.
The Witness Award
In this video, we can see three different people's lives: a physically challenged swimmer, a student soccer player, and an international referee. By interviewing them, it depicts their challenge to overcome their hardships in their daily lives.
Global Citizens Award
This is a documentary about how refugees are integrated through a sports club in one community in Germany. A German football team welcomes them as members of their community despite their language or social background. The story tells the message of integration with refugees into a community as global citizens. No matter who we are or where we come from, sport can be a bridge.
Grand-Prix & Best Concept Award
A boy who is addicted to games doesn't pay attention to what is going around him. Rather than spending dinner time with his family, he chooses to eat at his PC. This habit causes him not to focus in school, but to spend day and night on games. One day, he finds himself wandering into the game world...
Best Expression Award
A girl spends her time in the fields with a digital audio recorder. Instead of listening to music, she listens to the "sounds" of everyday life. People sometimes forget the world communicates in its own way. If people pay attention, we will be able to appreciate the beauty of the "symphony".
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 primary and secondary schools to make news programs from the perspective of children. The program was subsequently expanded on a global scale. At present, 18 countries and region participate in the program. KWN is designed to foster creativity and communication skills among young students. Supervising teachers cite further merits of the program such as a heightened awareness of the community and the environment as well as development of team skills among participants through the process of creating videos. The global network of KWN schools also provides a platform for international exchange among KWN students.
North / South America: Brazil, Canada, United States
Europe: Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia
Middle East / Africa: Kuwait, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Tanzania
Asia: China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam
* Countries listed in alphabetical order.
The Grand Prixes winners and the other videos can be viewed on the following websites: http://www.panasonic.com/global/corporate/kwn/contest2016.html
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