STUDENT SHORT FILM CONTEST
2019 Judges’ Comments
This is our 11th year of the Video Matsuri. We would like to start by saying a big thank you to all the teachers and parents for their continued support. We are delighted to report that once again we received a large number of entries especially in the Junior Secondary Division.
We would like to congratulate all of the winners and contestants who entered the competition. We were thoroughly entertained and impressed by the quality and creativity of the entries and it was lovely to see the students enjoying themselves and expressing themselves in Japanese. The judges found it extremely difficult to choose an outright winner in each division, and as a result we chose to recognize a number of outstanding entries with a special prize and to give two 1st prizes in the Junior Secondary Division.
In this year’s contest, the signature item was a pair of ‘chopsticks’, which had to appear in an interesting and imaginative way. Some videos used them as a major theme, whilst in others they only played a small part. The judges thoroughly enjoyed discovering how the chopsticks would appear and be included in each video. There were also a few that cleverly used the homophones hashi (as in chopsticks) and hashi (as in bridge) within the plot of the story.
In the Primary Division, a wide variety of genres were presented, including classroom dramas, singing, cooking, and a TV-style detective drama. The prize winners all demonstrated excellent use of Japanese skills and language taught in class. They also showed great originality, using interesting visual effects such as shrinking/enlarging the size of the actors. The scripts were consistently pronounced clearly, with good acting skills and good coordination between the students.
We had a large number of entries in the Junior Secondary Division and were very impressed by the high quality camera techniques, editing and effective use of music and sound track. The judges were unable to select just one winner for the division, so we decided to award 1st prizes to two videos. The first of the winning videos, titled ‘Ohashi No Kurou’, conveyed their message very well and, by shooting from a number of different camera angles, they made the storyline both interesting and easy for the audience to understand. The judges also want to recognise the excellent performances of the actors.
The second winner in this category was titled ‘Hanako Of The Toilet’, which had a spooky and suspense-filled storyline that was delivered through great acting skills and sound effects that really enhanced the horror theme and tension.
In the Senior Secondary category, the winning video titled ‘Chopstick Demon’ had an interesting twist of humour in the story, excellent acting, and interesting use of editing skills to add a red tinge to the film to create a mysterious and moody feel. The script was also well written and well delivered, and some interesting camera angles were used.
In the Tertiary Division, the entries exhibited a depth of content and a genuine understanding of intercultural perspectives. The winning video was particularly impressive because it was written, filmed, performed and edited by a single person. She demonstrated a high level of creativity in the subject matter by making a video about learning to use chopsticks, transporting herself into a ‘YouTube’ video with a catchy, up-beat Japanese children’s song. The overall effect was very relatable and appealing to the audience.
Many of the videos that were submitted had interesting storylines, but not all were as cohesive or as flowing or as understandable as they could have been. We would like to suggest that in future scripts are checked by a third person before production in order to improve the clarity of the story. The dialogue also needs to be pronounced clearly with appropriate pauses in order to be understood by the audience, and it is important to ensure that the sound quality is as good as possible.
We are delighted to note that this competition continues to be a powerful driver of language learning, teamwork, and development of multiple skills.
All entries are available to be viewed online. We do hope that students and teachers will enjoy viewing the entries and award winners and will share their own videos with their friends, families and beyond.
Thank to everyone who took part in the Video Matsuri competition this year—including the teachers, families and any others who supported students’ projects. We look forward to seeing your amazing videos next year!
The Video Matsuri Judges
Redland Bay State School (QLD)
HANAKO OF THE TOILET
St Scholastica’s College (NSW)
OHASHI NO KUROU
Christ Church Grammar School (WA)
The Armidale School (NSW)
OHASHI DE TABERU
Curtin University (WA)
Ohashi no mochikata
Ashmore State School (QLD)
Lost in Translation
Mount Manypeaks Primary School (WA)
Hornsby Girls’ High School (NSW)
Marist College Canberra (ACT)
The Chopstick Thief
Danebank School (NSW)
Yoru no densha
Caroline Chisholm College (NSW)
University of New South Wales (NSW)
The Pillars of Life
The University of Melbourne (VIC)