Iitate village’s video work gets gold award in world media festa’s VR segment

17 April 2018

A virtual reality (VR) video series produced by the village of Iitate, Fukushima Prefecture, to show the rest of the world its history and natural attractions as well as progress in its post-disaster reconstruction has been awarded a gold prize in an annual world media festa. The video trilogy, titled “Madei; Sincere Way of Life is Coming Back,” won the honor in the “Web & Web TV: 360-degree VR” segment of the “WorldMediaFestival” event. “Madei” is a dialect word meaning “polite, decent.”

The WorldMediaFestival, an international competition launched by a German media-related company in 2000, grants awards to corporate videos, TV programs, Website videos and other works in 14 categories, including animation and documentaries. The festival collected 785 works from 37 countries this year. Japanese entries won seven golds and seven silvers.

“Madei; Sincere Way of Life is Coming Back” comprises three parts, lasting 5 to 7 minutes each. The village commissioned its production to major advertising agency Dentsu Inc. Part 1 shows Iitate’s history and developments there since the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and ensuing nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Daiichi plant, among other scenes. Part 2 depicts events associated with the lifting of an evacuation order except in part of the village at the end of March last year. Part 3 portrays scenes in the Nagadoro administrative district still designated as a “difficult to return” zone. The video series is available in three languages – Japanese, English and French – on the “YouTube” Internet channel and the village’s official Facebook page.

The gold award puts the video work on the list of entries nominated as candidates for a grand award in each category and a grand prix to be announced at a ceremony in Hamburg, Germany, on May 16. Iitate Mayor Norio Kanno voiced jubilance, saying, “We would like to keep sending out information to the rest of the world on the forward-looking posture of villagers seeking to achieve reconstruction.”

For inquiries about the VR videos, please call the planning section of the general affairs division in the village office at 0244-42-1613.

(Translated by Kyodo News)