Digital Danger Video Wins Panasonic Kid Witness News Competition

"My name is Brianna and my social life consists of me being on my computer. Pathetic, I know. At least I have a boyfriend. Well, sort of...." 

That's the start of a short video on the dangers of online dating. The video, entitled "Face to Face," uses cinematography inspired by horror films to show how a teenager's online relationship with a stranger spirals into danger. It was written, produced and directed by students at Val Verde High School in Perris, CA, and won the 2015 Panasonic Kid Witness News “Best Video of the Year” for the U.S. The California student documentary is also a finalist in Panasonic’s Kid Witness News Global Awards contest to take place in August in Singapore. Panasonic is now accepting submissions for next year’s competition. 
Panasonic Kid Witness News is a hands-on video education program for grades 4-12, designed to encourage students to develop valuable cognitive and communication skills through video production. Panasonic provides students with the latest video equipment and opportunity to share how they view the world around them. Under faculty supervision, students create, produce, direct, act in, and edit videos that explore subjects they experience in school and in their lives. In 2014, Kid Witness News marked its 25th year. There are currently 553 schools in 19 countries participating in the program. 
Hawaii's Maui High School, Vista Academy High School in Denver, and Prairie View Elementary School in Oklahoma also won a 2015 Kid Witness News award for their videos on social issue topics. A student team from Prairie View Elementary School was awarded the “Best Eco Effect PSA of the Year” award for their video "Save the Plastic Bottles." All video submissions were filmed using Panasonic HD Broadcast AG-HMC70 camera. View this year's winning videos from the U.S.
Kid Witness News Winners weekend in Newark, NJ and NYC

In May, all four winning teams were flown into Newark, NJ to participate in a “Winners Weekend” of activities celebrating their accomplishments and to receive their awards.  As part of the festivities, students tried their hand at glass blowing at Newark’s GlassRoots, attended an Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre performance at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and took in a Broadway show. "We are very proud of the students who created such outstanding videos. It is important for us to acknowledge their creativity and applaud their ability to show us through video ‘The World Through Their Eyes’ said Panasonic’s Vice President of Community Relations and Corporate Outreach Penny Joseph. 

All winning submissions completed the preliminary competition in which students and faculty from Bronx Community College judged and selected the top ten videos in different categories. Then a panel of film and broadcast professionals selected the California submission as Best Video of the Year. As the U.S. winner, the Val Verde High School team will represent the U.S. in the Kid Witness News Global Awards Contest, to be held in August in Singapore where the California student film makers’ work will compete against the videos of six other teams from China, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.