Greenpeace Japan Video Wins Top Global Award

Miwatari touched the hearts of judges and diverse audiences

A Greenpeace Japan video on the traditional rituals of Nagano Prefecture’s Lake Suwa, which is threatened by climate change, has won the Grand Jury Prize in the documentary category of the “Changing Climate, Changing Lives” (CCCL) Film Festival in Bangkok, Thailand.

Miwatari explores a natural phenomenon in which huge streaks of ice appear on the surface of the lake due to the difference in temperature between day and night, and the 11-minute video of the same name shows how their appearances have decreased due to recent climate change.

A total of 383 short films were submitted and 38 were selected to be screened as official CCCL Film Festival entries. At the award ceremony on February 18, Greenpeace Japan Project Manager Hisayo Takada, Creative Director Yuka Miyazono, and Director Yusuke Ono received the award and prize money of 50,000 baht (about ¥200,000) that will be used to support young creators who express the effects of climate change in Japan through art.

Kiyoshi Miyasaka, the chief priest of Yatsurugi Shrine, who presides over the Omiwatari ritual that the movie explores, said, “I am beyond happy that Miwatari won an award, and I would like to express my respect to the judges who are working to spread awareness of climate change. I will continue to observe Lake Suwa in the future. I pray that the Earth will be a safe place.“

Takada said: “The video has transcended the ocean and touched the hearts of judges and audiences with different languages and social backgrounds. I am honored to receive this award. I am also grateful that the migration, which has been going on for over 580 years, will not only be observed for six consecutive seasons this winter, but also that the lake will not be completely frozen. I feel terrible that this happened. I hope many people will see this work and live humbly in harmony with nature.”

The CCCL Film Festival was launched in 2020 by Canadian novelist Christopher G. Moore—who lives in Thailand—and his wife, Busakorn Suriyasarn. The festival aims to allow fledgling filmmakers to tell their stories, support local communities, and develop Thai support networks.

See the video here with English and Japanese subtitles:

Share this Story