Top Designs 

Frequently asked questions

I have used non-original material in my work. How do I apply for copyright clearance?

Please see information in the Copyright guidelines for VCE Season of Excellence (Top Designs, Top Screen and Top Arts) applications (docx - 94.84kb).

If you need further information please talk to your teacher or visit the Australian Copyright Council website.

VCAA staff are not able to give legal advice and the information provided should be used as a guide only.

Note: If you do seek copyright clearance, please attach either the email or letter you sent to the copyright holder and their response to your application. The panel needs to see both to consider your work.

Where do I find the Authentication Record Form?

Students are required to provide a copy of their Authentication Record Form as part of their application. For school-assessed coursework undertaken outside classroom time, teachers need to monitor and record development of work from planning through to completion, including any assistance/external support used. Authentication Record Forms are required for all studies. Please ask your teacher for a copy of the completed form. The forms are available on the study design pages of each study. The original form is to be retained at the school.

Why am I only allowed to submit a certain number of pages copied from my folio/design plan/record of planning? Some of the information runs over one page.

The panel will be able to see the quality of your work from the one page sample provided for each part. Select the page which best represents your skills and knowledge in each area. If the panel feels that they need to see extra pages you will be contacted to supply more information or short-listed and asked to bring in your work in early December.

What if I print double-sided?

It does not mean you can increase the pages submitted as we are referring to single sheets. For example: if we have requested six pages and you are submitting three double-sided sheets that total the six pages required. The panel will not look at pages over the requested number.

Why does my application need to be postmarked by the due date to be accepted?

This applies only if you are applying in hardcopy. Applications do not need to be hand-delivered on the due date – just make sure you get to a post office by 5pm on that date as applications need to be date stamped on or prior to the due date to be accepted.

Posted applications may take a few days to arrive and we will check all envelopes to make sure they were posted by or on the due date.

However, be aware that the selection panel meets soon after the closing date so it’s a good idea not to leave it until the last minute!

What if I do want to hand deliver my Top Designs/Top Screen application on the due date?

Security staff at the reception at the VCAA can accept applications between 10am–5pm weekdays but posting applications or submitting online is preferred. If you have to hand deliver your application, please email for details.

Why do I need to include a stamped self-addressed envelope?

If you want confirmation that your hardcopy application has been received by us, you must include a stamped self-addressed envelope with your application. We receive thousands of applications so cannot respond to confirmation requests by email or phone. This is encouraged as it ensures you know your application has been received. If a stamped envelope with the applicant’s name and address is included with the application form we will send an acknowledgement of receipt by November. Unstamped envelopes or envelopes addressed to schools cannot be used.

If I apply online, do I have to submit a hard copy application?

No. You must submit only one application per study for Top Designs/Top Screen.

Why can't I use my school email address?

If students leave school after the VCE exams their school email is often discontinued. Email will be the main way of contacting exhibitors/filmmakers during event preparation so we need a personal email that will continue well into the following year.

If you do not have a personal email address, we recommend you set one up for this purpose.

How will I know if I have been short-listed for the exhibition?

Only short-listed students will be contacted by late November (this is why it is important to list student’s contact details rather than school details). Students who have not been short-listed will not be invited to bring in their work. All short-listed applicants will be notified of the outcome in late December.

Why are you so strict about this deadline when it is such a busy time of year for students and schools?

Thousands of applications are received and it takes time to process these and prepare them for the selection panel to view. The panel start meeting a few days after the deadline. The Season team works to a very strict timeline to ensure that your work is ready for exhibition in Top Screen/Top Designs in March.

Who selects the work for Top Designs and Top Screen and what are the selection criteria?

The six selection panels for Top Designs comprise leading study practitioners including the State Reviewer, a subject association representative and/or a regional representative. The Media panel selects films for both Top Designs and Top Screen.

The final selection will aim to demonstrate a range of works from students across Victoria and from all school sectors. The selection panels take into account that while some schools have far better technical facilities than others, it is the quality of the conceptual development and the production values within these constraints that are central to the selection process.

Once the panel has made a list of selected works, the panel Chair (usually the State Reviewer) meets with the Project Manager, the Top Designs Curator/s and exhibition designer to discuss all works and their presentation, and the final selection is confirmed.  Folio pages are also marked up at this stage so that they can be photographed for use in the catalogue, online resources and education programs.