Press release from ACMI

The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) today announced the winners of the 2011 national Screen It competition – the most competitive year in its history.

School-aged film makers from around the country have exercised their creativity to create films around this year’s theme, Respect, intended as a trigger for students and teachers to investigate topical issues while learning filmmaking techniques along the way.

The 2011 competition set a new record for the number of entries, doubling from the previous year with 499 submissions nationwide across the categories live-action films, computer games and animations.

Entries investigated what it means to respect ourselves, our friends, family and community, and considered respect in different environments such as the playground and online.

Participation came from diverse parts of Australia – from Glencoe in South Australia to Indooroopilly in Queensland; Wynyard in Tasmania to Cabramatta in New South Wales; Peppermint Grove in Western Australia to Sunbury in Victoria.

Consistent with previous years, Primary Animation was the most popular category demonstrating a great ability among Australian primary students to harness technology. The award for Best Primary Animation this year goes to 'Buzz Off', a film by Grades 5 and 6 at Yarraville West Primary School (VIC). Grades 5 and 6 at Norwood Primary School (TAS) also put their heads together to create 'Caught in the Crowd' which takes out this year’s Best Primary Live Action award. Best Primary Game award goes to 'The Respect Quest', created by a pair of Grade 5 students from Tea Tree Gully Primary School in South Australia.

For older students, the most entered category remains Secondary Live Action. This year, the award goes to 'The Locket', created by Blake Borcich, a year 10 student from Kew (VIC). The judges, impressed with the pool of entries for this category, chose to award two special mentions for ‘Demonstrating Outstanding Filmmaking Skills’. This special recognition goes to 'Taking a Stand', directed by Darcy Conlan, a year 11 student from Malvern (VIC) and Masks, by a group of year 10 students from Parramatta Marist High School (NSW). Best Secondary Animation goes to Shannon Castle, a year 9 student at Sunbury Downs College (VIC) for the film 'The World As We Know It'. Hailing from James Ruse Agricultural High School (NSW), year 12 student Nicholas Lee has been awarded Best Secondary Game for his work 'Twin'.

First place in these categories will receive a certificate, a trophy and a DVD prize pack courtesy of Madman Entertainment. In addition, they will be added to the Australian Mediatheque collection where visitors to ACMI can view moving image works on demand.

ACMI also awards the primary and the secondary school with the Best Overall Entry. The winning primary and secondary schools are Yarraville West Primary School in Victoria for the Primary Animation, 'Buzz Off', and James Ruse Agricultural High School in New South Wales for 'Secondary Game', 'Twin'. Winners of this category each receive a state-of-the-art Mitsubishi projector for their school.

The winners announced today will be presented at the 2011 Screen It Awards ceremony on Friday 2 December, hosted by MC Richard Higgins (The List Operators for Kids).

For the first time, ACMI has partnered with Bullying. No Way!, an initiative of all Australian education authorities, who will present their own awards to the best primary and secondary entries tackling the issue of bullying as a matter of respect. This category will be awarded at the ceremony and winners will receive a $1000 bursary for their school.

The Croydon Film Society Award for the most outstanding film as judged by the society goes to 'The Locket'. Blake wins a $1200 ACMI voucher.

ACMI Screen Education Manager Christine Evely said the response this year has been so impressive that it has made the task a difficult one for the judging panel of industry experts.

“It is exciting not only to see the number of entries double but also to witness the innovative and diverse ways in which the theme has been explored. With the field much larger and more competitive, the judges had a tough task this year.”

“Each year Screen It uncovers some extraordinary thinking and creativity from young people and reinforces the increasing importance of moving image as a key means of expression and communication. By encouraging students to understand and practise respect, we are equipping a generation of young Australians for bright futures,” said Christine.

Unlike many other student film competitions, Screen It is designed to provide rich education outcomes for participants. Teachers are encouraged to download the Education Resource written by ACMI's team of experienced educators to assist with developing the theme. ACMI’s online education tool, Generator (, can guide teachers through the production process.

The 2011 national Screen It awards will be held on Friday 2 December at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image. More information on Screen It can be found at: