HONOLULU – Chiefess Kamakahele Middle School (CKMS) won six out of seven categories at the recent 17th Annual ‘Olelo Youth Xchange Student Video Competition, which brings students from across the state to compete in film making.
Top prizes went to Maui High, Wai‘anae Intermediate and Moanalua High, but CKMS students held their own and students were proud they took top honors in some categories.
CKTV (Chiefess Kamakahele Television) had two finalists in the “808 No Vape” category, Nigel Acaoili and Esaias Cassidy, and Gabriel Go. Go won first place.
“It felt amazing when one of my videos won. It also felt amazing when we won six out of seven of our videos that we entered into the contest. It was a great way to end the 8th grade year for me,” said Go. “I took inspiration from the 808 No Vape Website with all their videos listed on there. My video took around two weeks to produce.”
In the “Creating Peace” category Khristine Pasion took first place in the “Creating Peace” category, and said she was happy her video won because she wants to spread a message.
“My message is that your words and actions can really affect a person and a small act of kindness can really change someone in a good way,” said Pasion.
Pasion said it took her about two months to make her video.
In the “short” category CKTV’s winners were Aubrey Bechard, Stella Blanchard, Rachel Chidester, and Khristine Pasion for their “Disconnect to Reconnect” video which was about a mom who is addicted to her phone.
Rachel Chidester was inspired by her team’s video “Disconnect to Reconnect” and won in the Public Service Announcement category with her video called “Don’t Let Your Phone Tune You Out of Life,” which was a PSA on electronics addiction.
“It made me feel really happy, especially since my whole family was cheering in our living room. It was something to cheer me up after being home for a while,” said Chidester.
Chidester said it took her only two days to film, but a little long to write the script and edit.
Teammate Stella Blanchard said it felt great to win or just be a finalist.
“I was so lucky to get this opportunity. I had so much fun creating the video,” said Blanchard.
In the “Jump Start Your Day With a Healthy Breakfast,” Aubrey Bechard took first place and again took first place in the “Value of Water” category with Katelyn Lopes.
CKTV teacher Kevin Matsunaga was delighted about his team’s awards and he believes its due to their hard work ethics and their will to learn.
“Overall we had nine entries into seven categories and came home with six 1st place wins. It was just an incredible experience watching it live on TV and seeing our students win the first five categories they announced,” said Matsunaga. “It’s hard to win just one award and to be a multiple winner? Amazing.”
He continues: “I am so proud of our students who have just worked so incredibly hard this year to push themselves to not only be good, but to go beyond what’s expected to be great. It’s sad we weren’t able to attend the awards ceremony on Oahu because they cancelled the in person event due to COVID-19, but it was still a special night to see their hard work recognized.”
Over 900 video submissions this year were created by elementary, middle and high-school students who attend 71 public, charter and private schools statewide. Winning videos were from across O‘ahu, Maui, the Big Island, Kaua‘i and Molokai. The 54 award winners will receive high-definition Sony digital video cameras as prizes.
‘Olelo Youth Xchange was developed in 2003 to give island keiki a voice to tell stories in a variety of video formats and about subjects.
The winning videos were selected based on subject impact and technical production. The judging panels included local news media, film-making professionals and, in the case of sponsored categories, subject experts. Since its inception, ‘Olelo Youth Xchange has awarded over 650 video cameras to schools throughout Hawai‘i.
This year, Youth Xchange videos competed in 18 categories.