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Top Screen

What is Top Screen?

Top Screen presents films including short fiction, animation and documentaries created by VCE Media students, plus associated education sessions with the filmmakers and the Media State Reviewer.

Apply for Top Screen

Applications for Top Screen 2021 are open and will close at 11.59pm Thursday 5 November 2020. Short films accepted into Top Screen also have their film included in the Top Designs exhibition at Melbourne Museum.

It is recommended that you complete your application in one session. To make sure you have everything you need prepared in advance, have a look at the VCE Media application guide (pdf - 776.97kb), which summarises all the bits and pieces you will need to complete your application.

Application form

This is an online application hosted on behalf of the VCAA by a third party. Before you leave the VCAA website to complete the application, please read the VCAA Privacy Statement and Collection Notice for important information about privacy. By clicking on the link to the online application form, you acknowledge and agree that you have read and understood, and consent to, the terms of the collection notice.

Media application form

Ticketing and venue information

Top Screen 2020 is available online for all VCE Media teachers from Thursday 16 March to Friday 26 June. Access to the full program can be requested via the ACMI website.


Mobility Impairments

Wheelchair Icon 

ACMI and its cinemas has wheelchair access and extra seating on the aisles for guests with special requirements.

Hearing Impairments

Listening Icon 

ACMI cinemas are fitted with assistance hearing devices.

Vision Impairments

Large print icon 

Large Print PDF versions of the Top Screen program will be available once program finalised in mid-February. This can be enlarged to suit your visibility requirements. Please print out a copy before you attend the Screening. Also you can choose the Read Aloud software option to convert the text into spoken word, to hear a description of the short films before you attend. Please email to request the program in either PDF or Microsoft Word format.

Guide dogs and other registered assistance dogs are welcome at ACMI.

For more information about venue accessibility, visit the ACMI accessibility webpage.

Top Screen 2020 Filmmakers

The VCE Media films of 15 students from across Victoria have been selected for Top Screen 2020.

Download a list of the filmmakers (docx - 81.28kb).

Top Screen application process

The VCE Season of Excellence team at the VCAA organises and facilitates a panel of Media teachers from metropolitan and regional Government, Catholic and Independent Schools to view and shortlist Top Screen applications.

The State Reviewer for Media oversees the panel, ensuring all work is considered fairly and represents best practice according to curriculum. The VCE Season of Excellence team and other VCAA staff members have no input into which films are selected.

After all applications have been viewed and shortlisted, the selection panel meets one final time to select the final program. Factors such as balance, length and copyright status can influence which films are included in the final selection.

Selection criteria for selected works

Exhibits should be suitable for public exhibition and fit exhibition constraints including space and weight restrictions, and be suitable for display purposes in regards to fragility and power needs, and stable enough to be shown for duration of exhibition, for example works on paper allow mounting or framing.

Works that exceed size and weight restrictions, but otherwise fit the selection criteria, may still be considered for shortlisting and final selection. They will only be displayed if the student can supply photographs or a video of suitable quality to be displayed in the exhibition.

Works selected will need to be suitable for display using the infrastructure – technical and display furniture available from the VCAA and at the Melbourne Museum.

Works selected must:

  • achieve an A+ or A in the School-assessed Task
  • meet all assessment criteria at a very high standard
  • are appropriate for public exhibition and reflect community standards
  • provide evidence of copyright clearance for all non-original material used
  • address the assessment criteria in innovative, individual ways
  • are accompanied by an exemplary Production Design
  • demonstrate individual and distinctive qualities
  • demonstrate technical excellence relative to their concepts and intentions

In regards to short films and multimedia, works are selected:

  • that demonstrate a range of genres, formats and content. For example: documentary, narrative, animation, music clips, web pages, games
  • taking 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 restraints that are central to the selection process.

Educational resources

Download the VCE Season of Excellence Order Form to order Season resources including Top Screen DVDs and Top Designs catalogues from previous years

Films and podcasts

The following resources were produced with past Top Screen filmmakers by the State Reviewer for Media, Brett Lamb.


Ben Head, Top Screen 2017
Kardinia International College
Making 'Quiet'
Duration: 9 minutes 39 seconds

Tessa Himpoo, Top Screen 2017
Lauriston Girls' School
[Insert Child's Name Here]
Making '[Insert Child's Name Here]'
Duration: 4 minutes 22 seconds

Tom Hughes, Top Screen 2017
Northcote High School
Proof or (The Tale of the Legendary Big Shrimp)
Making 'Proof'
Duration: 8 minutes 42 seconds

Jack Wilson-Lee, Top Screen 2016
Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School
The Panda
Making 'The Panda'
Duration: 7 minutes 58 seconds

James Nolan, Top Screen 2016
Xavier College
Rotten Monster
Making 'Rotten Monster'
Duration: 6 minutes 59 seconds

Bailey Cook, Top Screen 2016
Victory Christian College/Catholic College Bendigo
Making '10'
Duration: 5 minutes 28 seconds

Anna Diacos, Top Screen 2015
Thornbury High School
The Subjects
Making 'The Subjects'
Duration: 6 minutes 59 seconds

Samuel Bennett, Top Screen 2015
Distance Education Centre Victoria/Mount Evelyn Christian School
Making 'Albert'
Duration: 6 minutes 58 seconds


Willem Kingma, Top Screen 2017
Kardinia International College
Not Quite Right
Episode 16: Not Quite Right by Willem Kingma
Duration: 12 minutes 53 seconds

Tom Hughes, Top Screen 2017
Northcote High School
Proof or (The Tale of the Legendary Big Shrimp)
Episode 15: Proof by Tom Hughes
Duration: 10 minutes 28 seconds