PANASONIC’S “KID WITNESS NEWS” GLOBAL COMPETITION ANNOUNCES 2014 GRAND PRIX FINALISTS
KWN Kids from US, Germany, Czech Republic, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Thailand & Panama Short Listed for Documentary Video Prize
Winner to be Announced Oct. 15 at the 25th Annual KWN Global Awards Ceremony at Panasonic Corporation of North America in Newark, NJ
Newark, NJ (September 18, 2014) - Panasonic Corporation announced the finalists of its 2014 Kid Witness News Global Contest, a video education program that empowers kids to make compelling short videos about places, topics and people important to them.
The winner of the 2014 KWN Global Contest will be announced Oct. 15 at the 25th annual KWN Global Awards Ceremony at Panasonic Corporation of North America headquarters in Newark.
“For 25 years, Panasonic has played a role in empowering kids to explore the world around them with the Kid Witness News program” said Panasonic Corporation of North America’s Vice President, Community Relations and Corporate Outreach, Marilyn “Penny” Joseph. “Now, with video technology more advanced and versatile than ever, thousands of KWN kids are telling stories in ways we could never have imagined just a few years ago.” Panasonic is searching for KWN alumni to share their stories and inspire a new generation.
KWN provides video cameras, sound gear, editing tools and other equipment to more than 10,000 school children and teachers participating in the program. Marking its 25th anniversary this year, KWN’s Global Contest saw entrants from 548 schools across 23 countries submitting videos on topics including ecology and communication.
The seven Grand Prix finalists hail from around the world and include:
· “Kamil and Me” (Czech Republic) - In the wake of a pool accident, Kamil, a boy with disabilities, saves another boy. The entry focuses on the deep friendship that develops after the accident.
· “Stumbling” (Germany) - The names of victims of the Holocaust have been engraved onto "stumbling block" plates in the street. The documentary looks into this history by recreating and trying to understand the victims' stories through the expression of theater.
· “There Was Once War Here” (Japan) - During World War II, Japan used "balloon bombs" in attacks on America. The students in this documentary interview those with knowledge of the bombs in order to spread awareness and a message of peace.
· “Searching for Summer” (New Zealand) - Sixteen year old Summer was raised under the care of foster parents. She goes on a journey to find out who she is and meets her real mother.
· “I Can” (Panama) - This documentary sends kids the hopeful message that even though life has its difficulties, with effort dreams can come true and shows them how they can gain inspiration from adults they look up to.
· “Value of Immensely” (Thailand) - A young boy brought up in a village where pigs and the strong smell of pig manure has been a problem. By collaborating with a local university, the village now produce natural gas from the manure, solving the odor problem while helping the village to develop.
· “Fighting World Hunger” (USA) - Hunger is an international problem. This documentary reports on hunger in many countries including developed nations. It also proposes ways to help people through support associations.
Watch the Kid Witness News videos made by this year’s Grand Prix finalists.
Other countries that participated in 2014 KWN include Canada, Chile, Austria, Italy, Russia, Slovakia, Ukraine, Iraq, Lebanon, UAE, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam.
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 globally. At present, 548 schools from 23 countries and regions are program participants.
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 for international exchange among KWN students. www.panasonic.net/kwn/contest2014/
About Panasonic Corporation of North America
Panasonic Corporation of North America provides a broad line of digital and other electronics products and solutions for consumer, business and industrial use. The company is the principal North American subsidiary of Osaka, Japan-based Panasonic Corporation and the hub of Panasonic’s U.S. branding, marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. In Interbrand’s 2014 annual “Best Global Green Brands” report, Panasonic ranked number five overall and the top electronics brand in the report. As part of continuing sustainability efforts, Panasonic Corporation of North America relocated its headquarters to a new facility, built to meet LEED certification standards, adjacent to Newark Penn Station in Newark, NJ. Learn more about Panasonic at www.panasonic.com/pressroom.
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