Sunday, 18 February 2007


TropfestTropfest, the world's largest short film festival, is on again tonight.

Now in its 15th year, it has become a major national event with venues in Sydney Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth, Hobart and this year in 8 other regional centres. There's even talk of international screenings later this year. I heard the Tribeca Film Festival mentioned in the media today as a possible link to a U.S. festival.

Tropfest now has major corporate sponsors and celebrity support. Patrons of the festival include Nicole Kidman, Tom Cruise, Sam Neill, Russel Crowe, George Miller, Lachlan Murdoch and Geoffrey Rush.

The festival continues to get bigger and bigger every year, aided by digital technology and live satellite link-ups. This is a far cry from it's original roots at the Tropicana Caffe in Darlinghurst 15 years ago. I lived close to the the Tropicana in the mid to late '90s, so I remember when the festival was just a few hundred people crowded in the street outside the Tropicana watching a couple of outdoor screens and having a street party; it's certainly grown from that!

Every year the call for entries goes out to the general public and the festival asks budding filmmakers to include a compulsory Tropfest signature item, which this year is a sneeze. The 16 finalists have already been chosen, so good luck to all. Big things have tended to happen for previous winners, and also for the festival founder John Polson.

Keep and eye on the Tropfest video channel over at ninemsn.

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