There were 16 films made by young filmmaking teams that were honoured at the ceremony, six of which were awarded the top prizes. At the end of the year, the two winning teams will participate in the online Kids Witness News Global Summit, competing with top young filmmakers from around the world.
Kids Witness News (KWN) is a totally free filmmaking drive initiated globally by Panasonic for students from the age of 10 to 18. Now in its 16th year in Vietnam, it has become one of the most eagerly awaited annual activities of the summer for many students.
This year, 16 films were produced by more than 80 young filmmakers, with the most impressive scripts being selected from the hundreds of applications. The entrants came not only from Hanoi but from many other provinces and cities nationwide.
The initiative has extended its reach to more local schools under the Panasonic Sustainable Schools framework, which is a corporate social responsibility initiative from Panasonic Vietnam that helps the next generation to realise the vision of wellness and sustainability in society.
Young filmmaking teams were able to learn from renowned Vietnamese directors and actors, from the initial concept through to the final artwork, scripts, and filming techniques. The young teams also benefitted from Panasonic’s professional equipment and post-production facilities.
Additionally, they participated in outdoor activities and field trips that helped to strengthen their communication, problem-solving, and observation skills.
KWN 2023 has been selected as one of the activities to celebrate the historic 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Vietnam. Along with the main filming activities, KWN students were offered cultural exchange opportunities to allow them to better understand Japanese culture.
Oka Hiroyuki, director of Panasonic Vietnam stated, “We would like to bring KWN to more students in Vietnam, which is why we carry it out as part of the Panasonic Sustainable Schools network. I was truly impressed by the way the stories were told, showing great appreciation for the environment, family, and friends. Through the film making journey, we hope the next generation will develop a more profound understanding of what matters the most to them and the surrounding society.”
Besides participating in the film-making course, 16 young teams enjoyed watching Children of the Mist and listening to advice from the director Ha Le Diem on how young Vietnamese filmmakers can make internationally recognised movies.
They also practised their acting skills through many exciting interactive games in a memorable session with the famous Japanese director, Tsuyoshi Sugiyama. In another activity, the teams visited the Vietnam National Television production studio to observe the importance of effective teamwork in a professional studio.
During the cultural exchange event, conducted under the collaboration between Panasonic and the Japan Foundation, the children enjoyed interesting activities including Shodo – Japanese calligraphy – and the traditional Kendama game.
The film entitled Mirror by The Flammable team from Pascal secondary school was honoured with first prize in the 13-18-year-old category. It is a story about family violence suffered by a child, who then decided not to make the same mistakes as his father when he became the man of his own family.
The first prize for 10-12-year-old students was won by The silent life of Goldy, produced by the Strange Ohio team. It depicts a quiet schoolgirl just starting secondary level who overcame her anxiety to become more sociable and meet new friends.
The films were critiqued, and the honours awarded, by a well-respected jury board of highly acclaimed Vietnamese and Japanese directors.
People’s Artist Lan Huong (Bong), a member of the jury board said, "Through all the films, I highly appreciate the fact that children today speak up about their perspectives on many social issues with sincere and emotional expressions. With the experience they gained participating in this programme, I believe I have seen the future generation of talented filmmakers, directors, and actors."
The two winning teams will be offered the opportunity to showcase their movies with other teams around the world at the KWN Global Summit online event this October.
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