Monday, 2 February 2009

screen it: student filmmaking competition 2009

Screen It winner Louis Mitchell of Leongatha in Victoria

School is back and so is Screen It, ACMI's annual national film making competition for school aged students.

Registrations for the 2009 competition open on Monday 2 February, just in time for the start of the school year.

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.

This year entrants will be asked to create works responding to the theme of 'Cybersmart: constructing online identity'. The theme has been designed to get students thinking creatively about how they engage with the internet.

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.

By participating in Screen It 2009 students will learn to be cybersmart though thinking creatively and learning filmmaking techniques along the way. Teachers and students will investigate topical issues such as what it means to be a cyber citizen, explore the types of relationships that occur online, the way we experience community online, as well as investigate topical issues such as online conflict, online language and information sharing and copying.

The benefits of being involved are endless, according to ACMI's Screen Education Manager, Brett McLennan. "Not only do entrants develop key screen literacy skills - essential for navigating and producing content in a global online environment - they learn production techniques, demonstrate incredible creativity and resourcefulness, foster teamwork and most importantly have a lot of fun throughout the process and walk away with work they can really be very proud of".

Teachers are encouraged, with the help of ACMI's Screen It Education Resource Kit, to incorporate the competition into the school curriculum. With a topical theme and the potential to explore it while exercising creativity and learning film making techniques, the opportunities for learning are endless. The Resource Kit is accessible to teachers once registered and has been written by ACMI's team of experienced educators.

Students can also register independently of their school.

This year the duration of the competition has been extended to allow plenty of time for students to register and create their films, with entries not due until the end of Term 3 in most states.

Judged by a panel of industry experts, 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. Winners are awarded at an awards ceremony in December. In addition, winners' work will be added to the library of the new ACMI Resource Centre opening mid 2009, accessible to all ACMI visitors. 

In 2008, ACMI received 240 entries from individuals and groups from all corners of Australia; from Ingham in Queensland to Williamstown in Victoria, from Battery Point in Tasmania to Conder in the ACT, from Marryatville in South Australia to Hurlstone Park in New South Wales, and the standard was high.

"It was fantastic to see the high standard of submissions and the ways in which the students used the theme of Australian Identity," Brett said.

"Interestingly, the most popular category was animation and it was the primary school students leading the way with the most entries, demonstrating their ability to harness the latest technology to create films. We expect a similar, if not better, standard of submissions in 2009. Each year they get better and it will be exciting to see what students create and how they have understood the theme," he said.

Students and teachers from across Australia can register online from Monday 2 February at:

Screen It 2009 key dates:
Monday 2 February - Registrations open
Wednesday 9 September - Registrations and receipt of entries close
Monday 2 November - Winners announced
Friday 4 December - Screen It 2009 Awards Ceremony


Further information

Claire Butler
Communications Coordinator
[direct phone] 61 3 8663 2415 [fax] 61 3 8663 2498 [mobile] 0434 603 654
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