The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) today announced that hosts of ABC TV’s popular Good Game program, Bajo and Hex, will come on board as Ambassadors of Screen It, Australia’s largest competition for school-aged filmmakers, animators and game makers.
Since Good Game’s first episode in 2006, Bajo (aka Steven O’Donnell) and Hex (Stephanie Bendixsen) have been championing what is now one of the most popular expressions of the moving image – video game development – to young people all over the country.
Speaking on behalf of the hosting duo, Hex said Screen It was an excellent opportunity to be creative and learn technical skills along the way.
“We’re stoked to be a part of Screen It, Australia’s largest competition for the next generation of filmmakers, animators and game developers,” she said. “Like Screen It we’re always hoping to discover the next big thing. We often hear from young people aspiring to careers in game development, television, and other forms of the moving image, and we know just how passionate and eager they are. We can’t wait to see what Screen It uncovers in 2013.”
In a special video message to coincide with the announcement, Bajo encouraged students across Australia to enter the competition.
“If you are a school student and you have the creative itch, it’s time to make your mark on the Australian media by making a short film, animation, or video game,” he said.
“You can work solo or combine your creative power with friends to win prizes for you and your school”, added Hex.
Run annually by ACMI, the competition is free to enter and open to all primary or secondary aged students. Students can enter through their school or independently. Entries can be live-action films, computer games or animations, based on the set theme. This year’s theme, Connect, provides a starting point for students and teachers to investigate topical issues while learning game, animation and film-making techniques along the way. Students may chose to engage with the theme of Connect in response to global, local, personal, cultural, symbolic or online connection.
ACMI’s Screen Education Manager Christine Evely hopes that Bajo and Hex’s involvement spurs a new generation of moving image makers to enter the national competition.
“Screen It is all about getting young people excited about the possibilities of the moving image, much like the way Bajo and Hex excite viewers via television and video game appreciation”, said Christine. “We strive to support students with creative and technical skill development, and foster generation of young people well able to critically reflect upon important issues such as the interconnected nature of our world.”
“With the support of Bajo and Hex, who both connect with and inspire young people interested in the moving image, ACMI hopes that students and teachers will take part in Screen It.”
“We hope that Bajo and Hex are the first in a long line of Screen It Ambassadors that one day might include the competition’s alumni returning to support and inspire the next generation of creative talents of Australia”, said Christine.
Unlike other student film competitions, Screen It is designed to provide rich cross-disciplinary educational outcomes for participants. Teachers registering their students are encouraged to download the Education Resources devised 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.
Screen It is judged by a panel of industry professionals including Tropfest finalist writer-director Nicholas Verso, artist Ghostpatrol, film festival directors Ben Laden (Little Big Shots) and Malcolm Turner (Melbourne International Animation Festival), as well as Phil Larsen of Halfbrick, the Queensland-based team behind the worldwide video game phenomenon Fruit Ninja. Industry representatives from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, the Australian Children’s Television Foundation and the Victorian College of the Arts, also judge the entries.
Winners will be presented at a red carpet awards ceremony in December, each receiving a certificate, a trophy and a DVD prize pack courtesy of Madman Entertainment. The primary and secondary school with the Best Overall Entries will each be awarded a state-of-the-art Mitsubishi projector for their school. ACMI will also recognise special achievements by awarding a Sony PlayStation 3 and a Sony PlayStation Vita. In addition, the winning entries will be added to the library of the Australian Mediatheque where visitors to ACMI can view moving image works on demand, as well as being exhibited on the ACMI website.
Since 2011, ACMI has partnered with Bullying. No Way!, an initiative of all Australian education authorities, to present special Screen It awards. This year, Bullying. No Way! will present awards for the best primary and best secondary entries that address the issue of bullying and how it relates to connectedness. Winners of these categories will receive a $1000 bursary for their school.
The 2012 Screen It competition attracted 398 entries submitted by over 1281 students nationwide, making it Australia’s biggest moving image competition for young people.
Entries for the 2013 competition close on Friday 13 September.
“Get coding, animating and filming and good luck!”, said Screen It Ambassadors, Bajo and Hex.
For more information, please visit the Screen It page on the ACMI website.
Screen It media source supplied by: ACMI