Okinawan sixth-grader places third in US film festival

Okinawan sixth-grader places third in US film festival

Kosei Matsuyama giving an acceptance speech at the UN Headquarters during the awards ceremony of the Peace in the Streets Global Film Festival. (Photo credit: PSGFF)

November 15, 2019 Ryukyu Shimpo

The awards ceremony for Peace in the Streets Global Film Festival 2019 was held on November 6 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, followed by a screening of the winning films.

The film festival is organized by the Peacemaker Corps Association (PCA), a non-profit organization.

Kosei Matsuyama, 11, a sixth-grader at Okinawa Amicus International Elementary School, placed third in the “Age Group 9-13” division.

Matsuyama submitted a five-minute film on the Fukushima Nuclear Accident titled, Nuclear Power Plant in Fukushima as Seen by Okinawa Student.

Matsuyama visited Fukushima Prefecture and interviewed Toshihiko Watanabe, a private attorney who assisted voluntary evacuees win compensation, and Dr. Ryoji Aritsuka, a psychiatrist who has researched PTSD in the victims of Fukushima.

The sixth-grader tells the current state of Fukushima through interviews, and questions the necessity of nuclear power.

The film raises issues of nuclear waste management and the harmful effects a nuclear accident has on the human body and mind.

A frame from Matsuyama’s short film, Nuclear Power Plant in Fukushima as Seen by Okinawa Student, which placed in the peace film festival.

Matsuyama also offered his own view that, “we should consider alternative energy sources.”

The young creator explained his motivation for this film, “I wanted to share what is happening in Fukushima today and what is on the minds of the local people.”

Matsuyama gave his speech in English at the awards ceremony, and engaged in discussions with the audience.

He is currently working out the concept for his next project, which will explore the relationship between the Japanese Constitution and the construction of the new Henoko base in Nago City (a move involved in the relocation of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.)

Matsuyama said stylistically, he wants to try his hand at “a docudrama, incorporating easy-to-follow dramatizations in addition to interviews.”

The young film maker’s artistic growth is promising.

(English translation by T&CT and Monica Shingaki)

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