Global Classmates Video Competition is a contest where schools participating in our virtual exchange program, Global Classmates, create unique short videos that offer their distinctive perspectives on a central theme. The students in Japan narrate their video in English and the U.S. students narrate in Japanese.
We began this competition in 2014, in an age where impactful videos and stories can instantly spread across the world, to help nurture in students the ability to create valuable and globally appealing content.
It is not easy for students to come up with a succinct and compelling storyline for a short 3-minute video, as well as follow through the numerous steps it takes to complete their product. However, we are continually impressed by the high quality videos submitted that showcase the creativity, teamwork, and dedication that went in to making them.
Judging of videos consists of Kizuna Across Cultures first selecting eight top videos, after which a team of external judges, consisting of global leaders with a strong background in U.S. and Japanese culture and education, evaluate the videos on a variety of factors to select four winning videos, two from each country. One video is also selected for top honors – the grand prize.
Students participating in Global Classmates can view all submitted videos, allowing learning to happen for all. We continually receive student feedback such as, “I realized the diversity of the partner country and my own country,” and “I was inspired by the creativity and skills of the other schools’ students.”
Winners of 2018 Video Koshien
Grand Prize: Thomas Jefferson High School (Virginia)
It was a very high quality video that showcased the entire school atmosphere very well. It was great to not only include the students’ passions but to also include the teachers’ passions. (Shin Donowaki/ President, JCAW Foundation, Inc.; General Manager, Sumitomo Corporation of Americas/ Washington Office)
It was great to hear the voices of a variety of individuals, not only students of Japanese, but also teachers and students not studying Japanese, emphasizing the inclusivity of passion. The variety of scenes and professional editing gives the video an extra polished feel. (Hideki Hara/ Director, The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles)
2nd Place: Stuyvesant High School (New York)
I enjoyed seeing the students be passionate about various aspects of their school lives. I also understood how individuality is emphasized in U.S. schools. (Kyoko Shimomura/ Wife of Former Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology)
With only minimal dialogue, the video conveys the impact people can have on others through the pursuit of their own passion. I liked how the two main characters seek to learn and develop themselves by observing and participating in activities that bring other people passion. (Jennifer Ishiguro/ U.S.-Japan Council Member; Legal Consultant, Gateway One Lending & Finance)
1st Place: Murasakino High School (Kyoto)
What a creative video. I loved their approach – having the government take away passion and then through the efforts of the students, people get their passion back. This is a really important topic – that people need passion to live their lives. Loved it! (David Janes/ Director of Foundation Grants and Assistant to the President, United States-Japan Foundation)
I was drawn in from the beginning because of its storyline. It was a great way to show the importance of having passion by showing what happens without passion. The video and the story development were rhythmic and they did a great job conveying their message in a short amount of time. I was also impressed with the English fluency of the student narrator. (Taichi Kaneshiro/ Director of Office of Promoting Foreign Language Education, Elementary and Secondary Education Bureau, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology)
2nd Place: National Institute of Technology, Hakodate College (Hokkaido)
I was very impressed with the level of video editing and technical skills that were unique to students at an institute of technology. The way they showed “END” in the ending scene was so creative. I was able to feel their passion filled school lives from watching the video. (Kyoko Shimomura/ Wife of Former Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology)
The beginning was quite innovative with great technical applications. Enjoyed all the students communicating their passion. (Rona Tison/ Senior Vice President of Corporate Relations, ITO EN, LTD.)
Judges (in alphabetical order)
Hideki Hara/ Director, The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles
Jennifer Ishiguro/ U.S.-Japan Council Member; Legal Consultant, Gateway One Lending & Finance
David Janes/ Director of Foundation Grants and Assistant to the President, United States-Japan Foundation
Taichi Kaneshiro/ Director of Office of Promoting Foreign Language Education, Elementary and Secondary Education Bureau, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
Kyoko Shimomura/ Wife of Former Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
Rona Tison/ Senior Vice President of Corporate Relations, ITO EN, LTD.