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SLRC’s Walk in the Wild wins 2013 Japan Prize TV proposal

A program showing children learning from their environment on their way to school has won the TV Proposal Division of NHK’s annual Japan Prize.

Mr Athula Disanayaka, TV Producer/Director of Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC), was selected from five finalists after what organisers said was “a beautiful and convincing presentation on his educational program proposal ‘Schooling Along Wild Track’ before an international jury at the NHK Broadcasting Center in Tokyo.

Mr Disanayaka plans to produce an educational program featuring children in Sri Lanka who learn about nature and environmental conservation on their daily way to school.

He will use the US$8,000 Hoso Bunka Foundation Prize to make the program within a year to be aired on SLRC.

Jury chairperson Mr Ron Saunders, General Manager of Beyond Screen Production, Australia, said: “This is an inspirational concept, following the journeys to school through wild and difficult terrain of a number of Sri Lankan school children. In it we will see the children learning in a variety of ways from their environment.

“It is an inspirational message about how young people can face challenges and overcome difficulties and it will make a wonderful film that will appeal to audiences around the world.”

The international 2013 Japan Grand Prize for excellence in educational programming was taken out by Cultural Shock, a 26-minute TV program from Italy produced by Rai Educational, 2+1 and developed with the support of the EU MEDIA Program. Cultural Shock also won the Continuing Education category prize.

Other winners of the 2013 Japan Prize categories in the Audio-visual Division were:

  • Pre-school, Siebenstein: Nearest and Dearest from Germany;
  • Primary, Challenges “Hair Story” from Israel;
  • Youth, Mission US: “Flight to Freedom” from the United States;
  • Welfare Education, Alphee of the Stars from Canada;
  • Innovative Media, NHK Creative Library website from Japan;
  • Maida Special Prize, The Kamaishi Miracle from Japan;
  • Japan Foundation President’s Prize, Within the Eye of the Storm from Israel;
  • UNICEF Prize, Straight to the Dream: 18 Years Following of a Blind Swimmer Chikako from Japan.
  • Special Prize (The National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan Prize), Let There Be Light from Bangladesh.

The 2013 prizes attracted 331 entries from 208 organisations in 57 countries or regions. The awards ceremony took place at the International Producers Conference for Educational Media (IPCEM) in Japan on 24 October 2013.

A full list of the 2014 winners is available at the Japan Prize website.