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Presented by Independent Schools Victoria

Student Film Festival 2020: Middle Years


Suitable for

All ages

ISV’s Student Film Festival 2020 is a month-long celebration of the creative talents of student filmmakers.


Out of almost 80 entries, six finalists have been chosen in each category, to be featured here on the Arts Learning Festival website.


Here are the Middle Years finalists, with judges comments kindly provided by acclaimed TV and film director David Swann.



1. The Team XX


Finn Heller-Jones – Year 10, Alice Miller School



What did the judges say?
“Here is a great example of how media can be used to celebrate sport. As camera work goes, shooting some of the images in the ‘magic hour’ at sunset also enhanced the style, giving it a really cool look. But the undercover tracking shot that follows one of the skaters is a real knock out – not only for the skater who has such a perfect run, but a great dynamic way for the audience to follow and capture the spirit of what skateboarding is all about.”


2. Isolation: the Hunk, the Chunk and the Drunk

Zac Ristevski – Year 8, Brighton Grammar School



What did the judges say?
“This project is an excellent example of stop frame animation, which is a very time-consuming way of creating film – image by image, frame by frame. The overall tone is humorous and achieves this with the parody of Madonna’s hit song ‘Vogue’. As for the use of Lego, the fact that the filmmaker had to construct the characters and the world in which they live shows not only showed a real determination but a passion for film making, which really paid off. Well done.”


3. Maths Where You Least Expect It

Jamieson Perree – Year 7, Kingswood College



What did the judges say?

“Maths might not be everybody’s favourite subject, but the charisma of the presenter makes us sit up and take notice. His obvious love for the subject, and the way he conveys this visually, really brings the subject to life. The sheer joy and confidence that the presenter conveys pulls us in. This combined with the various cutaways of the basketball images is so simple, but really effective. One can never underestimate the power of enthusiasm, something this filmmaker has in abundance.”



4. Calvin

Ryan Riccardi – Year 7, Loyola College Watsonia



What did the judges say?

“This movie is testament to the creative drive of one individual who not only wrote and directed the project, but acted, composed the music, did the sound and visual effects, and edited. It’s a good, all round example of the use of chromakey, stop frame animation, split screen, contrasting shot sizes and the use of special effects. As a filmmaker, Ryan shows all the hallmarks of a budding Spielberg and should be encouraged to continue his love of cinema.”



5. Planet MITS (Creative Award)

Year 7 students, Melbourne Indigenous Transition School (MITS)



What did the judges say?

“It’s hard to believe this production was created by Year 7 students, as it is a stand out in all aspects of film making. The first thing that strikes you is the quality of the music composed for this piece. The second is the striking visuals used in the stop frame animation. The other outstanding feature is how each of the narratives emotionally engage with the audience, exploring universal themes such as belonging and finding our place in the world. All round a cracker production, well done.”


6. Friend or Foe (Technical Award, People’s Choice Award)

Campbell Latch – Year 10, Highview College



What did the judges say?

“From the first images in the opening dream sequence we are aware of the quality of the cinematography, the use of shallow depth of field, the composition of the shots, the great use of sound FX to establish the dramatic mood. The film also uses colour grading to help create the retrospective feel of the past and the quality of the sound recording is first class. The overall production is testament to the quality of work that can be produced by someone of such a young age, which is truly inspirational.”


Return to the Film Festival homepage.