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Top Screen 2019 launch

Two ladies in a classroom 

Top Screen 2019 was officially launched on Thursday 7 March at ACMI in Federation Square.

Among those attending the event were the 14 Top Screen 2019 finalists, whose films were chosen from over 300 submissions by 2018 VCE Media students from Victorian Government, Catholic and independent schools.

VCE Media gives students the opportunity to build their communication skills, creativity and critical thinking, as they engage in the research, planning, production and post-production of a media product.

Former Footscray City College student, Madelaine Jamieson, won the Top Screen Jury Prize for her short animation Leased. Inspired by the absurdist work of Noel Fielding and the aesthetic of Aardman animation studios, the stop-motion animation depicts a clash between stereotypical cultures.

Madelaine, who is now studying a Bachelor of Arts (Film and Television) at the Victorian College of the Arts, says she was surprised to have won the award given the outstanding talent she was up against.

‘I was shocked, I didn’t think that would happen but I’m pretty happy it did and very proud,’ she said.

‘I originally came up with the idea for Leased in Year 11. I was inspired by my experiences of moving house.’

The genres explored in the 14 short films range from fantasy to psychological thrillers, and the students have used various filmmaking techniques, including animation.

The guest speaker was Melbourne filmmaker Claudia Sangiorgi Dalimore, who is the co-creator of Her Sound, Her Story, celebrating women in the Australian music industry.

Claudia said the sophistication and variety of the films this year was outstanding.

Chris Wardlaw, Chair of the VCAA, who also spoke at the launch, said he was impressed by the calibre of the work created by the Top Screen finalists and hoped there may be a future Jane Campion or George Miller among them.

The Top Screen 2019 program runs until Tuesday 7 May and features several events, including Meet the Filmmakers panel discussions with Top Screen 2019 filmmakers, How Do I Do It? presentations offering insights into the Production Design process, and Beyond Top Screen, a panel discussion with former Top Screen filmmakers who have forged careers in the media industry.

For more information about the Top Screen 2019 program and to purchase tickets, go to the ACMI website.

Top Screen is part of the VCE Season of Excellence, which includes Top Talks, Top Acts, Top Arts, Top Class and Top Designs.