Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Screen It 2009 National Finalists Announced

Screen It finalist film 'A Facial Decision'
Launceston Secondary Animation finalist Alyssa Smedley's film

The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) today announced the finalists in the 2009 national Screen It competition.

The 2009 competition attracted 172 entries created by nearly 500 students nationwide.

Designed to encourage imagination and inventiveness in Australia's primary and secondary school-aged students, Screen It fosters a new generation of young film makers and gamers.

In 2009, students were required to create works responding to the theme, Cybersmart, chosen in consultation with competition partners the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), to get students thinking creatively about how they engage with the internet.

Many of this year's entries focused on the topical issue of cyber bullying, demonstrating that students and teachers are taking the discussion to the classroom.

ACMI Education Programmer Kim Bounds today said the theme is particularly relevant in our technology-saturated society.

"Australian students are engaging with the internet every day, many of them having used it daily since childhood. What ACMI has aimed to do is integrate lessons about cybersafety into the curriculum, bringing it into the consciousness of students. Through Screen It, teachers and students investigated topical issues such as what it means to be a cyber citizen, they explored the types of relationships that occur online, the way we experience online communities, as well as investigating topical issues such as online conflict, online language and information sharing and copying," she said.

"Besides learning about cyber safety, students benefit from learning production techniques - sometimes teaching their teachers a thing or two - and developing their creativity, resourcefulness and teamwork skills along the way. Perhaps most importantly, students have a lot of fun throughout the process and walk away with work they can really be very proud of."

Entries represented every state and territory - from Red Hill  in the ACT to Rose Bay in NSW; Caboolture in QLD to Caulfield in VIC; Marryatville in SA to Mandurah in WA; Darwin NT to Launceston TAS - Australian school students have been learning what it means to be cyber safe and stretching their creativity in the process. 

Open to all school-aged students nation-wide, entrants are invited to enter a work into one of three categories - live action film, computer game or animation, in either the primary or secondary school sections of the competition.

For the second year running, the most popular categories were Primary Animation and Secondary Live Action, indicating a great confidence in harnessing technology among students, especially at a primary level. Contestants ranged from Grade 1 right through to Year 12. Entries from primary and secondary schools were split with 47 per cent of entries coming from primary students and the remaining 53 per cent from secondary students.

The competition is judged by a panel of industry experts, including representatives from ACMI, ACMA, the Australian Children's Television Foundation (ACTF), Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) and independent games developer, Tantalus Media.

The judges have been impressed with the standard of entries. "It has been fantastic to see the high standard of submissions and the ways in which the students used the theme of Cyber Safety," Kim said.

"Further, there has been resounding interest in the sub-theme of cyber bullying, which indicates that it is an important issue among students, teachers, parents and the wider community and great to see it is being discussed in schools."

Winners are announced on Monday 2 November and the Awards Ceremony will be held at ACMI on Friday 4 December.

Category winners each receive a trophy and a DVD prize pack courtesy of Madman Entertainment. The primary and secondary school with the most finalist entries each win a prize and a perpetual trophy will be awarded to the school with the most number of finalist entries overall.

In addition, winners' work will be shown on the ACMI website and will be accessible via the Australian Mediatheque's video-on-demand viewing system, accessible to all ACMI visitors.

For more information on the competition and for the full list of finalists, visit our Screen It page.

Teachers interested in being involved in 2010 should contact ACMI's Screen Education unit: screenit@acmi.net.au

Further information

Claire Butler
Communications Coordinator
[direct phone] 61 3 8663 2415 [fax] 61 3 8663 2498 [mobile] 0434 603 654
[email] claire.butler@acmi.net.au  
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