About the JAPAN PRIZE

The JAPAN PRIZE is an international contest dedicated solely to educational content.
Since its establishment in 1965, the contest has supported the power of the media by awarding outstanding works that expand the possibilities of education.
Every year, more than 300 entries are submitted, with a view to winning a prize: the Best Works in 5 Divisions, Special Prizes, the Best and Excellent Proposals, and above all, the Grand Prix Japan Prize.
Amid today’s dramatic social changes, the human life cycle inevitably changes, thus bringing about changes in the style of education and learning.
It is the mission of the JAPAN PRIZE to acknowledge these nuanced changes, advance the quality of educational content around the world and contribute to the promotion of better international understanding.
Involving producers and researchers from all over the world and all the people who have an interest in education, The JAPAN PRIZE continues to move forward.

Platform for everyone interested in education

During the Final Selection week in Autumn, The JAPAN PRIZE hosts public events. We welcome participants from inside and outside the country to the screening of entries and sessions that provide a platform to discuss education.
“How does the world convey diversity to children?”
“How can digital media contribute to the possibilities of education?”
Active discussions take place.
The platform is intended for everyone who has an interest in education to explore leading content and ideas and to exchange opinions about the value of education; this is the JAPAN PRIZE.

History of The JAPAN PRIZE

The JAPAN PRIZE began as a contest for TV and radio programs.
Along with changes in our society and the media, The JAPAN PRIZE has also changed. Currently, it targets educational content that uses images and sound.
In addition to TV programs, movies and video works, the number of entries in the field of digital content such as websites, web games and game apps has increased.
Also, in 2003, The JAPAN PRIZE established the Proposal Division which helps to support production of TV programs for countries and regions in need.
Every year, finalists from each country and region come to Japan with their unique proposals and they inspire one another.
The JAPAN PRIZE will pay close attention to developments in education as we continue to grow together.

Annual Schedule

Annual Schedule

Divisions & Prizes

Divisions & Prizes

Past Grand Prix Winners

1965
1st
THE CALENDAR OF NATURE: Once Upon A Time

THE CALENDAR OF NATURE: Once Upon A Time

  • 39’40”
  • Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE)

The program depicts wild flora and fauna and children at play among them throughout the seasons of the year, with natural imagery and a charming measure of lyricism. This is compared to the process of industrialization in this picturesque paradise. The program conveys to children a message about the importance of nature conservation. Throughout the 40 minute program, not a line of narration is spoken nor an interview scene shown. The only sounds are those of birds, the wind and children at play.
There was heated debate among the jury members as to whether the program could be called an educational program. It was concluded that the ecological portrayals were essentially instructional, thus rendering it educational in a broad sense of the term. Many people consider that the broad perspective on educational programs in the Japan Prize Contest began here.

1966
2nd
CHILDREN’S WORLD: Striving for Independence

CHILDREN’S WORLD: Striving for Independence

  • 30’00”
  • Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK)

The program is part of a series broadcast weekly over a period of three years with a view to studying how children between 2 or 3 and 5 or 6 adapt to social life. It suggests to adults how to understand and bring up children. It deals in particular with the problem of rebellion, analyzing its meaning in terms of children's mental development by following their behavior. It provides practical suggestions with regard to the education of young children.
The program succeeded in capturing the behavior of the children without making them conscious of the camera. It was highly evaluated not only as a superb documentary but also as a first-rate educational film of the highest educational and artistic merit.

1967
3rd
THIS WOMAN IS YOU: Woman and Work

THIS WOMAN IS YOU: Woman and Work

  • 27’00”
  • Universidad Católica de Chile (TELEDUC)

This program is composed of two parts, at once a documentary and a drama, and describes the movement of Chilean women into the work force and the problems they face. In the first part, it introduces women's workplaces, day nurseries and kindergartens, and in the second part, it centers on a couple and their children, portraying both family and feudal obstacles for women eager to work.
The program was highly acclaimed for its social significance because it forced the people of Chile to give serious thought to problems common to developing nations. Such problems as population explosion and housing shortages were exposed through group viewing "tele-clubs" and suggestions were offered as to how those problems can be solved.

1968
4th
SCENE: Last Bus

SCENE: Last Bus

  • 28’45”
  • British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

This is a program combining drama and studio-based interview that invites viewers to think about urban problems. Four teenaged delinquents board the last bus of the day. They harass passengers, injure the conductor who accuses them of fare cheating, and then run away. All the while, none of the passengers nor the driver offers to help. The drama ends here and the studio-based interview begins. The passengers and driver are asked why they did not commit to the situation. The conductor and the boys are asked how they felt. At the end, questions are posed to viewers; 1) Who is to blame? 2) What should be done to prevent such incidents? 3) Should BBC produce such programs?
Because of the closeness of the theme and the disturbingly realistic performances of the actors, the program shocked many viewers.

1969
5th
NEW MATHEMATICS: One-to-One Correspondence

NEW MATHEMATICS: One-to-One Correspondence

  • 15’00”
  • Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK)

The object of the program is to teach one-to-one correspondence on the concept of sets. The program not only offers a general description of the concept but also shows how it can be applied to practical problem-solving by fully employing the effectiveness of television. The program explains the one-to-one correspondence between two sets by showing examples of a checked suitcase and its claim check, oarsmen and oars, eggs and egg-cups. It even explores the dimensional relationship between a set of all natural numbers and a set of all positive even numbers.
A member of the jury commented, "Within 15 minutes, this program sought not only to inform and instruct, but also to provide experience by re-creating the learning situations on the screen for students. It was a well planned and carefully produced lesson."

1970
6th
THE LIFE OF OUR INSECTS: Ant's World

THE LIFE OF OUR INSECTS: Ant's World

  • 28’35”
  • Société Suisse de Radiodiffusion et Télévision (SSR)

This color program offers a highly interesting account of the lives of ants with remarkable attention to detail. Making efficient use of close-ups and slow-motion shots, it also introduces the insects with their natural allies and enemies. Among the interesting facts presented is that the ants’ natural enemy, the ant-lion, is at times no match for its prey, and that the ants’ great enemy is in fact a different kind of ant.
The jury and participants alike were deeply impressed with the powerful impact of the film, which was totally devoid of background music and sound effects, as well as its superb planning and composition. There was a comment, “The cautious movements of the ants, their tireless efforts, their gruesome struggle, all of these scenes are realistically described through the eyes of the camera.”

1971
7th
SESAME STREET: Program 132

SESAME STREET: Program 132

  • 58'38"
  • Children’s Television Workshop (CTW) United States

Narration, skits, dialogue, songs, dances, short animations, and every other method known to TV production are fully exploited in this program. Its aim is to offer children of pre-school age a comprehensive education in reading and writing, arithmetic, art and even elementary science and civics. The series has become one of the most popular programs in the world.
In the 6th Contest, it did not win the Japan Prize because of the question raised by some of the jury members as to whether this could be called an educational program. In the 7th Contest, it was one of the most talked-about entries and unquestionably one of the best. To quote a jury member from Ethiopia, ”It has completely liberated itself from time-honored classroom tradition. It is doubtful if ever before little children were made to learn so much with such enjoyment before going to school.”

1972
8th
SCIENCE CLASSROOM FOR THE 1ST GRADE, LOWER SECONDARY SCHOOL : Twenty-One Days in the Life of an Egg

SCIENCE CLASSROOM FOR THE 1ST GRADE, LOWER SECONDARY SCHOOL : Twenty-One Days in the Life of an Egg

  • 20’00”
  • Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK)

Everyone knows that chickens come from eggs. But which part of an egg turns into which part of a chick? How does this happen? These are not easy questions to answer. By employing special film technology, this program thoroughly traces the 21 days of a fertilized egg placed in a container with its shell removed, leading to the birth of a chick. The fertilized egg strikingly resembles its human counterpart in the early stages of development. The program invites children to investigate the mysteries of life.
The Chairperson of the jury, Mr. Lefranc, commented, ″Some programs are technically excellent, obviously produced and directed by a talented broadcaster, making use of all possibilities of television as a medium, and successfully achieving its educational aim. One example of such programs is this one. " This program is the first to be unanimously nominated for the Grand Prix.

1973
9th
HEALTH MAGAZINE PRAXIS: Emergency Test

HEALTH MAGAZINE PRAXIS: Emergency Test

  • 57’44”
  • Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF)

This is an episode from the HEALTH MAGAZINE PRAXIS series. In this episode, viewers learn about first aid in a quiz show format. Six respondents varying in age and of both genders are invited to the studio. By watching films, answering questions, and hearing experts talk, they learn about the proper procedure to follow in each situation.
The focus is on events in everyday life, such as fire, burns, fainting, etc. The program is scientifically, practically and conscientiously produced. It is an excellent program that offers helpful suggestions to anyone concerned with safety education. One of the jury members commented, ″Unlike those for children in classrooms, educational programs for adults require a skill to maintain their interest and to motivate them to put the knowledge into practice. This program, which taught things I had not known, makes you want to study."

1975
10th
DRAMA: Heil Caesar

DRAMA: Heil Caesar

  • 28’51”
  • British Broadcasting Corporatioin (BBC)

This program is a play about Julius Caesar by a contemporary English writer. The program begins with the nightmare of Calpurnia, Caesar’s wife, which reveals that Caesar is to be killed at a meeting of a government committee. He pretends he has a cold and cannot attend. Antony persuades him to change his mind. Caesar goes to the meeting and is killed. Antony is arrested. Brutus broadcasts the news that Caesar has been killed. In this scene, Brutus allows Antony equal time to talk to the nation, and this reminds us of the present British parliament.
The Chairperson of the jury, Dr. W. Schramm, said that the program presented an exciting play which is of relevance to the political and moral life of today.

1977
11th
BIOLOGY COURSE 1 FOR SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL CORRESPONDENT STUDENTS: The Silkworm Miracle - Metamorphosis

BIOLOGY COURSE 1 FOR SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL CORRESPONDENT STUDENTS: The Silkworm Miracle - Metamorphosis

  • 30’00”
  • Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK)

This program is from a biology correspondence course for senior high students and describes the ways living organisms undergo and adapt to change by employing special filming techniques.
The program explores, in concrete form, how hormones are related to growth and metamorphosis in insects. To illustrate the role of hormones in the insect’s metamorphosis from larva to adult form, the silkworm, a popular insect in Japan, is used as an example in various experiments.
The Chairperson of the jury, Mr. L. Shorter, said, "It is indeed a miraculous example of educational broadcasting, and though the viewer is wound within the program’s beautiful threads, he is ever conscious that the whole cloth of its lesson is the scientific method."

1979
12th
Run, Run Little Drops

Run, Run Little Drops

  • 26’02”
  • Jugoslovenska Radiotelevizija/ Television Beograd

Through continuing dialogue and experimentation, a teacher and children explore the question, "What is water?", by examining such qualities of water as evaporation and freezing. They explore taste and talk about bodies of water, the ocean habitat and floating ships. They discuss where the water goes when one blow-dries one’s hair. Experiments confirm the boiling point of water and evaporation by boiling. They discuss the water cycle and sing a water song.
The program was highly commended for the pleasant atmosphere created by the exchange between the teacher and the children, and because it was also entertaining for adults.

1981
13th
SPACE RACE: Invitation to Outer Space

SPACE RACE: Invitation to Outer Space

  • 59’00”
  • Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK)

This program is a science documentary which objectively reviews the "space race" between the US and the USSR and considers future possibilities of space travel. Coupled with demonstrations by US and USSR astronauts, the program was highly evaluated for both its objective composition and its supporting technologies.
Mrs. B. Rebossio, one of the jury members, commented, "I am impressed with the scene where US and USSR astronauts were holding hands and exchanging their national flags. This is a message from NHK asking for the promotion of understanding among human beings."

1983
14th
THE WORLD OF NUMBERS: The Amazing Circle - Diameter and Circumference

THE WORLD OF NUMBERS: The Amazing Circle - Diameter and Circumference

  • 16’50”
  • Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK)

Children hold hands and make a circle. How many children do you need to double the diameter? Various demonstrations and animated figures examine the relationship between circumference and diameter, introducing the concept of pi.
The program employs a typical direct teaching method which was fully appreciated by the jury. It is a good program based on a solid theoretical background." This comment represents the general impression of the jury.

1985
15th
ANIMAL PHYSIOLOGY: Flying in Birds - An Experimental Approach

ANIMAL PHYSIOLOGY: Flying in Birds - An Experimental Approach

  • 24’00”
  • The Open University/British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

This program is one in a University lecture series introducing the latest research on the mechanism of flying in birds by using hi-speed photography and animation. Later, it presents a practical examination of the principles behind flight through unique experiments.
When a chick sees anything moving for the first time, it recognizes the object as its parent and follows it. This habit is called imprinting. The researcher in the program establishes a special relationship with a bird by imprinting. He then attaches a unique miniature transmitter to the bird to enable the monitoring of changes in the bird’s heartbeat, respiration and body temperature during flight when the bird follows his car.
With the various unusual techniques used in the program, lovely images and clear explanations which draw viewers into this exploration of nature were highly commended.

1987
16th
BEYOND THE MECHANICAL UNIVERSE: The Lorentz Transformation

BEYOND THE MECHANICAL UNIVERSE: The Lorentz Transformation

  • 28’15”
  • The California Institute of Technology / The Southern California Consortium

"The Lorentz Transformation" is from the 52 part series Beyond The Mechanical Universe, an educational series designed to cover the curriculum of a university freshman physics course in the U.S.A. The program explains "The Lorentz Transformation", the concept which is the core of Albert Einstein's relativity theory.
The Lorentz transformation shows how it is possible that two observers, moving at different speeds, can disagree about the time and distance of an event that they both observe. The program clarifies this difficult theory with explanations and observations using computer graphics, which were a new technology at that time, animation and models. The program also allows the viewers, in this case students, to progress at individual rates.

1989
17th
THE UNIVERSE WITHIN: Protecting the Living Body - The Immune System

THE UNIVERSE WITHIN: Protecting the Living Body - The Immune System

  • 45’30”
  • Japan Broadcasting Corpporation (NHK)

The immune system of a high school girl with an immune abnormality recovers through a bone marrow transplant from her elder sister. As the program follows her story, it also provides viewers with scientific information on inner body developments. The human body has its own defense system made up of white blood cells and lymph fluid, which fight the invasion of numerous bacteria invisible to the naked eye. These inner body protectors are made in bone marrow, and when some disorder takes place in bone marrow, the immune function is depressed and people get sick easily. The program describes how the micro-warriors produced by bone marrow fight off invading germs to protect the body by using both real pictures and computer graphics. The scenes are magnificent. The scientific explanations blend naturally with the human-interest story of the girl’s recovery.

1991
18th
3-2-1 CONTACT EXTRA: The Rotten Truth

3-2-1 CONTACT EXTRA: The Rotten Truth

  • 30’00”
  • Children's Television Workshop (CTW)

Thirteen year old Stephanie Yu travels through the “Museum of Modern Garbage,” drives a bulldozer at a Rhode Island landfill, helps sort garbage at a recycling facility, and meets a magician who helps her demonstrate that garbage can be reduced in size and buried, but will never completely disappear. Stephanie shows kids that by recycling waste, everyone can alleviate stress on our environment. Young audiences learn that their actions can make a difference.
Comments such as the following were heard: "The program is backed up by CTW’s thorough research which can be observed in 'Sesame Street' and with modern composition and speedy, outstanding effects."

1992
19th
STEP & JUMP SCIENCE: Motion and Speed - Inertia

STEP & JUMP SCIENCE: Motion and Speed - Inertia

  • 15’00”
  • Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK)

This program is one in a science and physics series for junior high and high school students. Isaac Newton, who discovered the law of universal gravitation, serves as a guide in explaining the concept of inertia through various new experiments.
The Secondary Education Committee-Chairperson, Mr. Kees Schippers (Netherlands) evaluated the program as follows; "This program is an excellent example of a science program as it fully utilizes the technical advantages TV offers. It shows mainly phenomena which children can experience while playing or in their everyday lives and has back-up materials prepared to support the lessons learned in the program."

1993
20th
BEHIND THE SCENES: Behind the Scenes with Robert Gil de Montes

BEHIND THE SCENES: Behind the Scenes with Robert Gil de Montes

  • 28’00”
  • Learning Designs/WNET Thirteen United States

This program is one in a series of ten which introduces elementary school children to the rich and amazing world of art. The program visits the artist, Robert Gil de Montes, and shows his creative process from the moment he puts the first touch of color on a blank canvas until the painting is completed. With an innovative combination of computer experiments with colors and comical demonstrations, it presents the richness and variety of the world of art.
The Primary Education Committee-Chairperson, Mr. N. Collis-George (Australia) said, “Not only it is superior in terms of education, but uses TV techniques effectively. It is an innovative program." Another comment was, "The program employs a good deal of humor and many computer graphics to win the attention of children. It makes us feel like painting."

1994
21st
CHILDREN'S GROWTH & HEALTH: Personal Account - Love of a Brother and Sister

CHILDREN'S GROWTH & HEALTH: Personal Account - Love of a Brother and Sister

  • 30’00”
  • Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK)

The Children's Growth & Health series is a once a week broadcast for families with disabled children. "Love of a Brother and Sister" is a moving documentary about Ko Maeda, a five-year-old boy who has Down's syndrome, and his supportive family. His mother, Kaoru, who once felt despair at having a disabled child, wrote of how she was encouraged by Ko, s ten-year-old sister and eight-year-old brother because they accepted and loved Ko in a natural way.
After detailed research, a TV crew visited the family and filmed them in such a way that they were not conscious of the camera. The program is an inspirational work that reminds us of both the universal potential of human beings and the meaning of human growth. The jury praised the program because "every viewer surely understands Ko and loves him."

1995
22th
A School Apart

A School Apart

  • 55’00”
  • France 2 (F2)

The program is about a vocational school in a suburb of Paris for teens who caused trouble at their former schools through truancy and violent treatment of teachers. In the school, teaching using a standard curricula is not enough to solve all the children's problems.
Teachers face children with their headmaster's belief in education through humane contact. They consider the issue of how to develop students' initiative and self-confidence. Through trial and error, and despite strain and hesitation, the enthusiasm of the teachers gets through to the students. These scenes touch the hearts of the audience.
The program received a high rating from the jury because "every single scene in the program delivered a strong message of what true education should be like. It is highly recommended that all teachers in the world watch the program."

1996
23th
GOOD HEALTH: No Bullying Here

GOOD HEALTH: No Bullying Here

  • 14’16”
  • Carlton UK Television (CAR UK TV) United Kingdom

This is a program from a series on ethics education. It is a drama about bullying at school. Shelley has been bullied by three girls. The bullying intensifies and the girls even try to extort money from Shelley. Her brother, Anthony, recognizes the problem but can’t do anything since he is too small. Shelley’s classmate and neighbor, Jo, also notices, but can't decide whether she should report it at school or not. Finally, Anthony tells his mother, who speaks to Shelley's teacher, and the principal then speaks to the class.
This drama presents a realistic portrayal of bullying at an elementary school but does not give any easy answers. It explores the issue from the various viewpoints of pupils, teachers and parents. The program was highly appreciated as “it considers a timely issue, which has become common in education, and elicits insights about bullying from a variety of aspects.”

1997
24th
TELETUBBIES: Playing in the Rain

TELETUBBIES: Playing in the Rain

  • 24’00”
  • British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

This is the daily series respecting the world of early childhood, utilizing videos and computer graphics to create a unique atmosphere. In a fantasy “Teletubbyland,” the Teletubbies lead a happy and delightful life. One day a cloud appears over their land. They wonder what it is. A television screen in the stomach of one of the Teletubbies shows kindergarten children in the real world playing in the rain and jumping in puddles. Then the Teletubbies also play in the rain.
Each episode aims at helping small children to understand the world around them through enjoyable scenes in both real and fictitious worlds. Jury members commented, “The program is based on the careful observation and understanding of small children,” and “Deliberate repetition and use of imitative words create a slow flow of time in the program, which enables small children to enjoy and learn.”

1998
25th
ON THE EDGE OF THE ODD: Fears of the Full Moon

ON THE EDGE OF THE ODD: Fears of the Full Moon

  • 24’00”
  • Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE)

An episode from a four program series, the program aims to develop discussion and understanding of art and language in media education through the genres of science fiction and horror in literature and film. The main characters are students. They comment on books and movies they have read and seen and give lively expression to their opinions.
The program introduces a classic horror story like Dracula and also dramatizes two tales written by young people, "Girl and Wolf" and "Death of an Office Worker".
Though the program is curriculum-based, its innovative style to encourage reading by introducing horror novels was appealing to the jury members. They commented, "This program shows that creativity and imagination are very important to produce a quality educational program."

1999
26th
The Last Supper in New York

The Last Supper in New York

  • 52’00”
  • Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK)

Filmed in NHK Hi-Vision, this program uses Leonardo da Vinci’s recently restored masterpiece "The Last Supper" to show young people a new way to appreciate art.
An art historian shows the masterpiece to high school students in New York. She poses the question, "Which one is the traitor Judas?" She asks what the painting tells them. The students eagerly express opinions about the messages da Vinci intended in the painting and develop lively discussions.
The program effectively demonstrates the possibility of interactive educational programs. The presentation of the program was highly evaluated because of the innovative new approach to art appreciation, which works for everyone regardless of cultural background, both to be viewed at home or to be exploited as a medium for classroom application.

2000
27th
Through a Blue Lens

Through a Blue Lens

  • 52’08”
  • National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

A team of police officers in Vancouver produced this film intended to discourage drug use among young people. Presented in documentary style, the program is a collage of interviews with officers and addicts over more than a year. One aim is to show who addicts really are. They are not criminals but are ordinary people with addictive personalities living in hell and are often powerless to change.
The program covers a social problem we are all familiar with through a new and original perspective. It is stylish, coherent and takes the viewer on a journey, providing insight into the addicts, the police and the relationship between them. By the end of the film we know these people and feel sympathy for them. It is an excellent educational tool for young people and adults.

2001
28th
Sound and Fury

Sound and Fury

  • 55’41”
  • Public Policy Productions/Aronson Film Associates United States

This documentary shows the struggle of two couples over the difficult decision about whether to give their children with hearing disabilities implants or allow them to grow up as they are. One couple takes pride in the culture of sign language but their five-year-old daughter has taken an interest in the world of sound. The other couple chooses the implants for their infant son as it would offer him the best chance for a successful life.
This program provides a rare insight into the world of the hearing impaired. From its specific focus on decisions over implant surgery for two deaf children, it extends to a thought provoking and emotionally charged examination of family, identity, disability, children's rights and the preservation of a minority culture, the culture of deafness.

2002
29th
It’s About Time

It’s About Time

  • 54’00”
  • Karuna Films Ltd. Israel

How should we spend “time”? A business executive, a taxi driver, a girl playing in the backyard, a swimmer competing for thousandths of a second, a rabbi and a farmer talk about their own concept of time. “Because you experience more in one day, you grow old faster”, “Cooking with microwaves, how do you spend the time saved?” There is also focus on the sense of time held by a nation. Israel has only a 50-year history filled with suffering, repeated terrorism and an ever-present fear of death. This gives Israel a unique sense of time. Tactically presenting perspectives toward "time", the program strongly conveys the importance of having dreams for the future.
Jury members commented, “An outstandingly innovative program, creative use of audiovisuals to reach viewers’ psychology deep in their hearts, a rare program that is thought-provoking and at the same time entertaining and original.”

2003
30th
CHILDREN - Full of Life: Learning to Care

CHILDREN - Full of Life: Learning to Care

  • 48’30”
  • Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK)

"We come to school to be happy, so let's all be happy together!" This is the promise of Grade Four, Class One, and their teacher, Mr. Kanamori. The program followed the class from its beginning in April to the following March. It showed how the children grew.
Children discover unexpected sides of their peers by exchanging letters each other. They began to change their own behavior when told to view the bullying of other children as their own problem. They stood up for a classmate who was forbidden to join raft play by a teacher. The class did its best to comfort a classmate whose father died suddenly.
The jury members said it was "a simple story, well told, that captures the essence of education and opportunities for education. Never preachy or pedantic, the documentary reduced a myriad of issues in education to a simple message – learning to care."

2004
31th
CNN Presents: Surviving Hunger

CNN Presents: Surviving Hunger

  • 44’33”
  • Insight News Television/CNN United Kingdom/United States

A journalist travels to a small village in Africa to see how people live with chronic hunger. The villagers, being so afraid of him in the beginning, little by little begin reaching out to him. In the end the journalist loses 18 kilograms.
This documentary uses a modern “reality show” format. The personality and strong communication skills of its presenter, it breaks through the stereotype of a famine documentary to challenge our preconceptions. It is particularly outstanding in its unflinching recognition of the moral position of media personnel covering famine. It confronts with honesty the ambivalence of a well-fed crew recording a community in distress. In doing so, it gives a new viewpoint on the issue and provides the audience with images and situations that both provoke and remain in the mind.

2005
32th
My Dear Child of the Enemy

My Dear Child of the Enemy

  • 52’00”
  • Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK)

The China-Japan Amity House in Changchun, China, is a home for Chinese foster parents of Japanese children abandoned during the war. Although enemies, the foster parents lovingly took care of the Japanese children. After the war when the children reached middle age, they returned to Japan. They were determined to invite their foster parents to Japan to live with them. However, they face language and employment barriers. The parents and children are tossed about by the waves of the age.
A simple and very specific story about the lives of two generations, conjoined and separated through war and peace, becomes a vivid illustration of the reality of many contemporary lives, which are shattered through global or neighboring conflicts. The tale was told quietly but powerfully. The camera was unobtrusive and the story was captured touchingly and with fairness and honesty.

2006
33th
Braindamadj’d...Take II

Braindamadj’d...Take II

  • 50’15”
  • Apartment 11 Productions Canada

This documentary features the decade-long struggle of a young producer, Paul Nadler, who suffered severe brain damage in a traffic accident. The program follows his miraculous recovery. It shows the rehabilitation process recorded on a home video camera, interviews with his parents, friends, specialists and others who supported him. The program also distinguishes itself with Paul’s interviews that carry a touch of poetry and utterly original visual images in response.
Innovative, creative, inspirational, powerful, and loud are all words used by the judges to describe Braindamadj’d. It is fully life affirming. It forcibly reminds us of simple imperatives: to treasure friendship and family and to be brave in confronting life’s cruelties.

2007
34th
A Lesson In Discrimination

A Lesson In Discrimination

  • 42’00”
  • Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Société Radio-Canada (CBC Radio-Canada)

A third grade teacher in Quebec conducted an experiment in which she contended that scientific studies prove shorter kids are generally more creative and intelligent, and taller ones are awkward and lazy. She divided her class up based on those assumptions. The next day, she turned the tables and had them switch roles. A handful of the nine-year-olds understood it was all a game, but for the rest it turned out to be a very powerful experience.
This program reflected a teacher’s ambition to educate her young students on the impact of discrimination by placing them in a real life experiment. There was an immediate and long-term impact. The producers of the program captured this incredible lesson with simplicity and sensitivity. They let the profound images and words of the children reach the viewer.

2008
35th
Tell Us about Your Life: A Light in the Darkness

Tell Us about Your Life: A Light in the Darkness

  • 28’30”
  • Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK)

This is a weekly series that features prominent leaders as they return to their elementary schools to give special lectures on their professions and lives. The teacher in this episode is Satoshi Fukushima, the first deaf-blind person in Japan to pass a university entrance exam.
When the students first meet Prof. Fukushima, the camera captures their anxious faces. But as they gradually understand what it is like to live with a disability, the camera shifts to Prof. Fukushima, exposing his appreciation. The program makes an important contribution to a central aspect of human life: communication and improving the ways in which we interact and understand each other. The jury chose this program as it could achieve a long-lasting transformation in both thought and action for its young target audience.

2009
36th
What's Your News?

What's Your News?

  • 22’00”
  • TT Animation (TTA) United Kingdom

This is a news show produced for children from the child’s point of view. With a target age of 4 to 6, this is a time for children to broaden their viewpoints and see the larger world aside from their family environment.
The program aims to help children understand and accept the gradual transition from a small world to the big wide world which will enable them to feel connected with other people. The reporter is an animated character who gives news submitted by other children in a lively way. Collaborating with the studio, it’s just like a real news program delivering timely news reports right on the spot.

2010
37th
Cosmic Code Breakers: The Secrets of Prime Numbers

Cosmic Code Breakers: The Secrets of Prime Numbers

  • 89’00”
  • Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK)

The Riemann Hypothesis, raised 150 years ago by Bernhard Riemann, remains the greatest unsolved puzzle in the history of mathematics. Its implications about the distribution pattern of seemingly ordinary prime numbers have led mathematicians to believe that the solution could help reveal the laws that govern the universe. Very few people realize what an enormous impact such a solution would have on the world we live in. For example, encryption of credit card and bank account numbers relies entirely on the assumption that this distribution pattern will never be discovered. Through a mystery drama approach designed to draw the viewer in, the film introduces the mystery of prime numbers with computer-generated imagery that presents complex mathematical ideas in easily understandable ways.

2011
38th
American Experience: Freedom Riders

American Experience: Freedom Riders

  • 115’00”
  • WGBH Educational Foundation United States

In the American South during the early 1960s, racial segregation laws separated whites from blacks in buses, public offices, restaurants, and countless other settings. On several occasions, the Supreme Court had ruled such laws unconstitutional, but the situation in the South had yet to improve. In May 1961, twelve black and white youths seeking to end racial discrimination boarded a long-distance bus headed for the South. People called them the Freedom Riders. However, they faced numerous obstacles, including attacks from white supremacists and arrests by local police for violating state laws. This program takes a new look at these young people, whose actions helped spur the American civil rights movement.

2012
39th
WRINKLES

WRINKLES

  • 89’07”
  • Perro Verde Films/Cromosoma/Elephant in the black box Spain

Based on Paco Roca’s award-winning and popular graphic novel, "Wrinkles" is an adult, animated feature about the friendship between the dignified Emilio and the wily Miguel, two old men shut away in an aged care home. The recently arrived Emilio, having the early stages of Alzheimer’s, is helped by Miguel and his friends to avoid winding up on the feared top floor of the care home, also known as "the lost causes". The mischievous scheming of the residents transforms their otherwise tedious existence, proving that even towards the end our lives we can still find new beginnings.
This is an entertaining yet profoundly sensitive look at today’s complex issue of caring for the elderly with flights of fancy and some sharp humor.

2013
40th
Cultural Shock

Cultural Shock

  • 26’00”
  • Zenit Arti Audiovisive RAI Educational/ 2+1 Developed with the support of the EU MEDIA Program Italy

Cultural Shock is a cross-media edutainment project targeting young audiences and giving voice to a new generation of digital storytellers exploring the issue of world citizenship and cultural diversity with a fresh angle. A couple selected by a group of young people, with an ethical mission, takes a trip to their country of origin.
In this episode, Rasid and Agnese leave for the Balkans to discover their roots and identity.

2014
41th
Project Wild Thing

Project Wild Thing

  • 79'05”
  • Green Lions The BRITDOC Foundation United Kingdom

David is the father of a five-year-old girl and three-year-old boy. When David was little, he loved to play outside. But now children including his own are hooked on screens and don’t want to go outdoors. It is thought such trends increase childhood obesity and mental illness all over the UK. So David appoints himself as the marketing director for a brand called Nature. With the help of branding and outdoor experts and psychologists, he makes posters, creates a website and launches a nationwide marketing campaign “Project Wild Thing” to get British children to go outside. A father’s thoughts start to change a society.

2015
42th
Our Colonial Hangover

Our Colonial Hangover

  • 56'35”
  • De Familie Film & TV Netherlands

With a black-painted face and a slightly clownish outfit, Black Peter walks along with Santa Claus. This traditional character is essential to Christmas in the Netherlands but has become an issue which divides society. Is Black Peter a hangover of racism from the colonial age? Or is he an innocent custom in a traditional event? This program attempts to reveal hidden discrimination which has been handed down from the colonial age. In this program, an interviewer freely offers a microphone to people and the camera shoots people's behavior toward a black person who breaks bicycle locks in a park. And then the program posed a question: Isn’t Black Peter in the Christmas march a mark of hidden discrimination in your mind?

2016
43th
THE AMINA PROFILE

THE AMINA PROFILE

  • 84'59”
  • esperamos National Film Board of Canada (NFB) Netherlands

Amina is a lesbian dissident who lives in Damascus, Syria. She writes a blog titled A Gay Girl in Damascus, which attracts a worldwide following because of her dissident activities and erotic tone. Canadian Sandra falls in love with her online.
Then Amina suddenly disappears. Where did she go? Was she kidnapped by the secret police? Is she still alive? Speculations fly as the story grabs the attention of big media and intelligence agencies alike as they investigate the facts.
This program provides a vivid depiction of the risks behind today’s online world and the way modern society can trifle with online systems.

2017
44th
COAL HEAP KIDS

COAL HEAP KIDS

  • 51'29”
  • Chasseur d'étoiles / France Télévisions / CNC / Procirep/ Angoa / Java Films France

Fifteen year old Loïc and his ten year old brother, Théo, live in the French former mining town of Lens. Surrounded by poverty and unemployment, Loïc, has stopped going to school. While his teachers try to encourage him, his mother, Patricia, struggles to hold the family together. A reflection on the devastating effects of poverty and finding hope in the most unlikely of places.

2018
45th
My Life Born to Vlog

My Life Born to Vlog

  • 28'31”
  • Blakeway North United Kingdom

This program documents the daily life of Nikki Lilly, a 12-year-old vlogger with over 100,000 followers world-wide. Nikki delivers positive and inspiring messages on her video blog while living with a rare life-threatening medical condition called AVM (arteriovenous malformation).Nikki was first diagnosed with AVM when she was six years old. This blood vessel disorder caused severe headaches, nosebleeds, and swelling on one side of her face. Gradually, Nikki began to feel isolated and different. However, once she launched her own YouTube channel, her videos went viral, allowing her to connect with the world. In addition to recounting Nikki’s daily life, this program provides tips on how to produce vlogs safely and deal with online trolling. It aims to help people of YouTube generation gain confidence in their appearance as well as in their relationships with other people.

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