HONOLULU (KHON2) — For 20 years, the ‘Ōlelo Youth Xchange program has provided access to filmmaker training and mentorship for Hawaiʻi’s keiki. Armed with training and knowledge, many of the keiki who participate in the program go on to become filmmakers, journalists and business leaders.

This year, there are over 600 keiki competing in the 20th Annual ‘Ōlelo Youth Xchange Student Video Competition. There are 52 schools from all over Hawaiʻi being represented.

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These programs are offered for free at public, private, homeschool and charter schools where certified teachers embark on a journey of developing skills and knowledge and help foster ambition and aloha-based competition.

‘Ōlelo Community Media hosts live, in-person awards ceremonies that have been described as the Keiki Oscars.

“The finalist Youth Xchange student videos were selected based on subject, impact and technical production. The judging panels included local news media, filmmaking professionals and, in the case of sponsored categories, subject experts,” said ‘Ōlelo Community Media.

Something new is coming for this year. Usually, the ‘Ōlelo media crew sets up and covers the entire awards ceremony. But, this year, ‘Ōlelo has passed along the production mantle to local keiki who are producing and covering the ceremony, themselves.

This year’s emcee is a former Youth Xchange finalist from Kaua‘i High School, Dillon Ancheta. He will be joined by radio and TV personality Mele Apana and local music group sensation, Crossing Rain, who will perform throughout the awards.

‘Ōlelo does not forget the teachers who tirelessly and ceaselessly encourage their students to push the bounds of their own skills and knowledge in order to help them flourish and discover their strengths and talents.

The Media Teacher of the Year award will be determined by votes from participating students in the Youth Xchange program and will win their own award package.

There are 13 categories for awards. Of these, there are eight sponsored categories that are supported by local government agencies, non-profits and locally minded businesses. The keiki are split into three divisions — elementary, middle and high school — which take into account skill and maturity levels of the participants.

A More Resilient and Sustainable Hawai’i Category:

  • Elementary Schools:
    • Energy Conserved is Tomorrow Preserved – Pearl City Highlands Elementary.
    • Natural Energy – Kīpapa Elementary.
    • Out of This World Energy Savings – Waipahu Elementary.
  • Middle Schools:
    • Do Your Part – Mid-Pacific Institute.
    • Overcoming the World’s Problems with Sustainable Energy – Moanalua Middle.
    • Ways to Use Renewable Energy – Honouliuli Middle.
  • High Schools:
    • Cleaner Energy Cleaner World – Mililani High.
    • End of the World – President William McKinley High.
    • Let’s Give Back – Kamehameha Schools Maui.

Creating Peace Category:

  • Elementary Schools:
    • Bucket Filler – ʻĀina Haina Elementary.
    • Choose Love: A Change of Heart – Waipahu Elementary.
    • Kindness Is the Key – Hoʻokele Elementary.
  • Middle Schools:
    • A Much Better World – Highlands Intermediate.
    • Schools Should Be Safe – Āliamanu Middle.
    • Welcome – Moanalua Middle.
  • High Schools:
    • A Peace Of Cake – Moanalua High.
    • Peace Is Like A Puzzle – Moanalua High.
    • The Contract of Peace – Moanalua High.

Food Systems and Access to Healthy Food Category:

  • Elementary Schools:
    • How Is Our Cafeteria Doing This? – Alvah A. Scott Elementary.
    • Healthy Farms, Healthy Food, Healthy Me – Waipahu Elementary.
    • My Foods From Around The World – Maunawili Elementary.
  • Middle Schools:
    • Hawaii’s Access to Fresh Produce – Kaimukī Middle.
    • Healthy Rules! – Āliamanu Middle.
    • Mr. Pineapple’s Healthy Eating Habits – Sacred Hearts Academy.
  • High Schools:
    • Access to Food in Waiʻanae – Waiʻanae High.
    • Be Vocal, Support Local – Mililani High.
    • Our Greatest Source – Kamehameha Schools Maui.

Forest Inspired Category:

  • Elementary Schools:
    • ʻAʻole Apple Snails – Maunawili Elementary.
    • Crazy Coquis – Kīpapa Elementary.
    • ʻŌpeʻapeʻa the Hawaiian Hoary Bat – Kalihi-Waena Elementary.
  • Middle Schools:
    • Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death – Kailua Intermediate.
    • Saving Our Forests – Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle.
    • Saving our Native Birds’ Homes – Āliamanu Middle.
  • High Schools:
    • Addressing the Disruption of Invasive Species – Kauaʻi High.
    • Hānau ka Ulu Lā‘au, E Ola Mau nā Hua – Kamehameha Schools Maui.
    • Protect the Indigenous, Don’t be Ridiculous – Moanalua High.

Mini Documentary Category:

  • Elementary Schools:
    • Loko Ea – Kīpapa Elementary.
    • Save Our Oceans – Sacred Hearts Academy.
    • Skating in the Dark – Kīpapa Elementary.
  • Middle Schools:
    • Living Water – Kamehameha Schools Maui.
    • Protect Our Waters – Lahaina Intermediate.
    • The Dangerous Harms in Hawaiʻi – Highlands Intermediate.
  • High Schools:
    • Athlete’s Mental Health – Hawaiʻi Technology Academy PCS.
    • Love Of My Hair – James Campbell High.
    • Nā Kiaʻi Ola o Kauaʻi – Kauaʻi High.

Pledge to Our Keiki, Taking Care of Our Island Home Category:

  • Elementary Schools:
    • Protecting Sherwoods – Maʻemaʻe Elementary.
    • Save Our Ocean – Kīpapa Elementary.
    • Take Care of Our ʻĀina – Pōmaikaʻi Elementary.
  • Middle Schools:
    • Kahoma Valley – Kamehameha Schools Maui.
    • Koʻu Wahi Pana – Kamehameha Schools Maui.
    • My Secret Spot – Moanalua Middle.
  • High Schools:
    • Kaʻala to Kaʻena – Waiʻanae High.
    • My Hawaiʻi – Kamehameha Schools Maui.
    • Wetlands: Our Island’s Natural Filter – Maui High.

Prepare Now – Talk Story: Share Naʻauao…Wisdom!! Category:

  • Elementary Schools:
    • BOX IT UP! Be Prepared! – Waipahu Elementary.
    • Hurricane Preparedness – Pōmaikaʻi Elementary.
    • Hurricane Warnings – Take them Seriously – Alvah A. Scott Elementary.
    • Storm Safety– Kīpapa Elementary.
  • Middle Schools:
    • Ahead of the Storm – Āliamanu Middle.
    • How Do We Prepare? – Honouliuli Middle.
    • If COVID Didn’t Wait, You Can’t Either – Moanalua Middle.
  • High Schools:
    • Story of the Kilauea Eruption – Waiākea High.
    • Volcanic Safety – Hawaiʻi Technology Academy PCS.
    • When Water Pulls Back, Act Fast – Waiākea High.

Public Service Announcement Category:

  • Elementary Schools:
    • Brain Power – Kīpapa Elementary.
    • Don’t Take the Bait and Block out the Hate – Pōmaikaʻi Elementary.
    • Try It, For a Good Diet! – Moanalua Elementary.
  • Middle Schools:
    • Don’t be a Killer, Pick Up Your Litter – Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle.
    • Nightmare Milkman – Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle.
    • There is No Use for Abuse – Highlands Intermediate.
  • High Schools:
    • Checking In – Waiʻanae High.
    • Kindness Leaves a Mark on the World – Maui High School.
    • Talk to Someone – Moanalua High.

Short Category:

  • Elementary Schools:
    • Getting Around Oʻahu – Maunawili Elementary.
    • Please Don’t Waste the Water – Mayor Joseph J. Fern Elementary.
    • Stop Crime in Its Tracks – Pearl City Highlands.
  • Middle Schools:
    • Being Kind Is Cool – Sacred Hearts Academy.
    • Finding Myself – Kamehameha Schools Maui.
    • Stop Staring, Start Helping – Moanalua Middle.
  • High Schools:
    • Escape – Mid-Pacific Institute.
    • My Voice – Waiʻanae High.
    • One Last Picture – Kamehameha Schools Maui.

Traffic Safety Category:

  • Elementary Schools:
    • Be e-Safe – Pearl City Highlands Elementary.
    • Don’t Clown Around, Slow It Down! – Waipahu Elementary.
    • GAME OVER – Āina Haina Elementary.
  • Middle Schools:
    • Bike Safety – Āliamanu Middle.
    • Road Safety – Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle.
    • Traffic Safety – Highlands Intermediate.
  • High Schools:
    • Time to Drive – Kauaʻi High.
    • Stay in Sight – Moanalua High.
    • Watch Out Aunty – James Campbell High.

World War II in Hawaiʻi Category:

  • Elementary Schools:
    • A Memory of Pearl Harbor and Martial Law in Hawaiʻi – Le Jardin Academy.
    • Personal Stories of Pearl Harbor – Kailua Intermediate.
  • Middle Schools:
    • Untold Stories of World War II in Hawaiʻi – Maunawili Elementary.
    • WWII Pearl Harbor – Mid-Pacific Institute.

Junior Expert Category:

  • Embrace, Not Reject – Highlands Intermediate.
  • The Innocence Project – Highlands Intermediate.
  • You Matter – Kailua Intermediate.

Expert Category:

  • Family – Henry Perrine Baldwin High.
  • Institutional Bias – Waiʻanae High.
  • Walt’s First Birthday – Moanalua High.

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The awards banquet takes place on April 25 starting at 10 a.m. at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center. It will air live on ‘Ōlelo 53, ‘Ōlelo’s Facebook page, ‘ŌleloNet and through their app.