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Looking for The winners of Tropfest 2019



The winner of Tropfest 2019 will be awarded a shiny new Equinox LS+ valued at $32,000 thanks to Holden, returning to Tropfest as Exclusive Automotive Partner; a $10,000 cash prize courtesy of Kennedy Miller Mitchell; and a Studio Filming Prize Package from Western Sydney University.

The winner will also earn a film immersion course and ‘week of meetings’ in Los Angeles with agents, studio executives and other industry professionals courtesy of the Motion Picture Association, and a year’s membership to the Australian Director’s Guild.

“There’s just a month left for you to submit your film! This is your chance to be a part of Tropfest history, and join the long list of screen icons now making huge waves in the industry,” said Tropfest Founder and Executive Chair John Polson. “All you really need is a camera and a story to tell… some of the best films we’ve seen over the years were brilliant, imaginative ideas pulled together on just tiny budgets, so make sure you get in quick!”

“The entries we’ve already received so far have been absolutely phenomenal, and we’d love to see even more diverse stories from filmmakers from all backgrounds and upbringings,” he said.

“Holden is thrilled to support Tropfest and witness the next generation of creatives drive filmmaking in Australia,” Holden Director of Marketing Kristian Aquilina said.

Every year, Tropfest lights the way forward for the brightest talents from all walks of life.  

After winning with her film Be My Brother, Genevieve Clay-Smith launched Bus Stop Films, offering film school experiences to people with intellectual disability. In 2019, they will bring accessible filmmaking to Parramatta in partnership with dynamic digital arts organization Information and Cultural Exchange.

“Winning Tropfest was a game changer for me and the film industry more broadly on the need to empower people with disability to authentically and inclusively tell their stories” said Genevieve Clay-Smith. “A small film can certainly have a BIG impact on so many people’s lives!” 

Earning his film chops at Western Sydney University, Craig Anderson won Best Actor and Comedy with his film Life in a Datsun. He went on to direct the hilarious, AACTA-winning comedy shows Double the Fist and Black Comedy. In 2016, he produced the documentary-thriller Red Christmas, which premiered at Sydney Film Festival, and featured on US Netflix.

"As someone who had never studied film, but loved mucking around with a camera, Tropfest became an incredible launching pad for my career in film and TV," said Craig Anderson. “Our film cost only $80, but it ended up screening to thousands and thousands of people. The following week we had meetings at ad agencies. It really did kick start our career."

Armed only with a smartphone and a $57 budget, Tropfest New York winner and Australian born Jason van Genderen shot into the limelight with his film Mankind is No Island. Jason has since gone on win accolades at film festivals internationally, and consulted for tech giants Sony, Nokia, Nikon and Apple Australia for his knack for smartphone storytelling.

"What Tropfest has taught me is that there's no barrier, no limits, to making your story come alive - it doesn't matter if you've got a $100,000 camera or a $50 one in your hand," said Jason van Genderen. “Make that film like there's no tomorrow. Sit back and see what happens... you might just kick off the rest of your career."

In Tropfest tradition, films must be no longer than seven minutes, and must contain the Tropfest Signature Item (TSI) – “CANDLE.” It is entirely up to entrants as to how they include the TSI in their film, with filmmakers encouraged to be as literal or as subtle as they like.

Trop Jr, a film competition for entrants aged 15 years and under, will also close submissions on the same date. The TSI for Trop Jr this year is "PIZZA", with finalist films premiering in Parramatta on the event day.

Tropfest - a highlight in Parramatta Park’s Crescent Summer Series - has grown incredibly since its humble beginnings at the Tropicana Café in Sydney’s Darlinghurst in 1993, where an eager crowd of 200 showed up for a short film screening organized by Tropfest founder John Polson. The event now attracts tens of thousands of Trop fans, with past jurors including Susan Sarandon, Julianne Moore, Nicole Kidman, Liev Schreiber, Cate Blanchett, Naomi Watts, Billy Crudup and George Miller — who heads the Tropfest Advisory Board.

Tropfest is supported by Foundation Partner CGU Insurance, Presenting Partner Melrose Park by PAYCE, Exclusive Automotive Partner Holden and Strategic Partners Western Sydney University, Parramatta Park Trust, and the City of Parramatta. Tropfest is also supported by Major Government Partner, Screen Australia.

Event details:
What: Tropfest 2019
When: Saturday 9 February, 2019
Where: The Crescent, Parramatta Park, Byrnes Avenue, Parramatta NSW 2150
Price: FREE

For festival details, screening venues and regular updates on all things Trop visit:


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