9th grade filmmaker wins national award for “The Constitution and the Camps,” documentary about Japanese American internment

Pretty powerful stuff. Matthew Shimura, a 9th grader from Honolulu, Hawaii won the Grand Prize for his documentary, “The Constitution and the Camps,” in C-SPAN’s annual StudentCam competition. The Grand Prize winner (announced March 7) received a $5,000 award and $1,000 for his teacher to buy video equipment for his school. (Coincidentally, he attends the Punahou in Oahu, where Barack Obama went to school.)

The contest chooses themes each year to get students to think about issues affecting the country. This year the topic was “The Constitution and You: Select any provision of the U.S. Constitution and create a video illustrating why it’s important to you.”

Shimura chose to focus his documentary on Japanese American internment camps because his uncle was imprisoned during World War II. The StudentCam website has more information and a list of all the winners (and links to every video in each category).

Here’s also a link to a cool interview with Shimura and Sen. Daniel Inouye on C-SPAN.

Congrats to Shimura for winning the competition, and for the great hard work he did to produce the video. Nice job!

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