Award Presentation Ceremony of UNICEF HK “Believe In Zero, Make A Video” Competition 2013 Two champion videos reveal an ironic phenomenon – Excessive stress of academic and extracurricular activities on Hong Kong children

 

Award Presentation Ceremony of UNICEF HK “Believe In Zero, Make A Video” Competition 2013 Two champion videos reveal an ironic phenomenon – Excessive stress of academic and extracurricular activities on Hong Kong children

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HONG KONG, 29 September 2013 — To raise the public awareness about children’s “Right to Play” and address the importance of play towards children’s development, the Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF HK) organised the second “Believe In Zero, Make A Video” Competition and encouraged youths to promote ‘true play’ through creating videos about their own views on the situation of children’s play in Hong Kong.

Both champion videos, Everyday detours from Open Category, and Little creator from Secondary School Category, portray how time, space and freedom of children’s play are deprived under the overly structured extracurricular activities and excessive academic pressure. UNICEF HK urges parents to respect children’s interests when arranging such activities and ensure at least one hour of free play a day to foster children’s healthy development.

Children’s “Right to Play” is a provision in the Article 31 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The article recognised “the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts”. However, play is always the most-forgotten children’s right. Considering the poor situation in Hong Kong where children face excessive academic pressure and fierce competition, children’s all-rounded health development has already been undermined by the lack of play.

The Champion video of Open Category

The First Runner Up, the Best Visual Effects
Award as well as the Best Screenplay Award
of Open Category
In view of it, UNICEF HK puts focus on advocating for the “Right to Play” in year 2013 and made it the theme of “Believe In Zero, Make A Video” Competition 2013. Once again, we coorganised it with the Academy of Film, Hong Kong Baptist University. The Competition has received more entries than last year, with over 80 teams of youth enrolled in Secondary School Category and Open Category (individuals age 24 or below).

After two rounds of review, including judging by film professionals, the Champion of Open Category goes to Everyday detours produced by Tiffany Fung and Vivian Ho. The two girls study overseas, and made good use of their summer holiday to join the Competition. The video features the different living attitudes and play spaces of two generations – the girl representing the older generation enjoys creating her own world and fantasy through play; the boy from younger generation is busy with studies and structured activities and only indulges in TV and mobile gadgets even during spare time.

The First Runner Up Call for play, also depicts the excessive academic pressure Hong Kong children face and encourages children to reclaim their joy of play. The Second Runner Up Let’s play together addresses the problem caused by the lack of children’s ‘true play’. Call for play is finally awarded three prizes including the Best Visual Effects Award as well as the Best Screenplay Award.

In Secondary School Category, the Champion and the Best Visual Effects Award go to Little creator, produced by Ying Wa College team of Yan Kai Yin, Wong Ying Ho, Tse Ho Ming and Chan Kit Fu. It features a secondary school student who creates his own play “Sudoku Rubik’s Cube” and “Smiling Rubik’s Cube”, illustrating that play should not be bound by time and space, and could act as an icebreaker among people.

The First Runner Up goes to Dead End by Hong Kong International School students, whilePlay, a sin by Kwun Tong Government Secondary School students won the Second Runner Up. The former talks about a child with no play in childhood, continues to live with no pleasure but work after growing up; the latter features children misunderstand play is a sin after their parents’ continuous suppression of play. The Best Screenplay Award goes to Play with Fire? filmed by non-Chinese students from Renaissance College.

Besides, the Online Most Popular Award is voted by the public through a mechanism of “1 View, 1 Vote” in the internet. Little creator, which wins the Champion and the Best Screenplay Award of Secondary School Category, gets this Award and becomes the winner of three prizes. For Open Category, the Award goes to Children’s play. The two videos have attracted more than 4,500 views within two weeks and successfully support UNICEF HK to further spread the message of children’s “Rights to Play” to the general public.

The Champion, the Best Visual Effects Award and the Online Most Popular Award of Secondary School Category

Winners of Open Category

Winners of Secondary School Category
“Children are born play experts. Play not only helps children’s healthy development, but also brings them a happy childhood. Without play, there is no real childhood,” said Ms Leonie Ki, Chairman of UNICEF HK Advocacy and Public Relations Committee in the speech. However, she added “Through the videos produced by Hong Kong youths, we can feel the deprivation of children’s ‘Right to Play’, and we shall all reflect, explore and recognise the importance of play to children.”

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has asked the Hong Kong Government to “enhance the quality of education in a manner that seeks to reduce the competitiveness of the education system and promotes…the right of a child to play and leisure” at the previous Concluding Observation after the Government submitted a report on the implementation of CRC. However, Ms Leonie Ki expressed concern, “The current situation seems not be improved. Children continue to face academic pressure. Parents keep arranging too many extracurricular activities for children and even consider such structured interest classes as play. Time, space and freedom to play of children are almost all deprived.”

Ms Leonie Ki stressed, “Hong Kong parents should consider their children’s interest when arranging extracurricular activities, and should give children at least one hour of free play a day. This helps foster children’s healthy development, reclaim their childhood that may be lost, and achieve Zero Underdevelopment for our children.” She added, giving children at least one hour of free play a day is a minimum requirement. Younger children may demand longer play time to satisfy their need.”

The Competition is greatly supported by two renowned filmmakers. Mr Poon Hang-sang, the three-time winner of the Best Cinematography in the Hong Kong Film Awards (HKFA) and the winner of Best Cinematography in the Golden Horse Awards, is the advisor and final judge of the Competition for the second year; Miss Heiward Mak Hei-yan, young local director who won the Best Screenplay of HKFA, with her team of four artists, PlayTime, play an important role in the Competition as the event supporter and also one of the final judges. They attended today’s ceremony and cheered up the winners by exchanging their filmmaking experiences.

“The video finalists are all quite good. Some have good shooting techniques and some have good storylines. I am impressed by some of their creative play ideas,” said Miss Heiward Mak. “Some images in the videos are very well produced. Some play ideas featured are creative and inspiring. The young people have made good efforts in the visual treatment and content development to stimulate people’s reflections,” said Mr Poon.

To watch the winning videos, please visit www.unicef.org.hk/makeavideo

 

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