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Tropfest has staged the first ever Tropfest ‘Roughcuts’, with film industry heavyweights such as Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush

  A DAY OF FILM INSIGHT FOR ROUGH BUFFS                                                                                                                                                 Tropfest in collaboration with Screen NSW has staged the first ever Tropfest Roughcuts’, with film industry heavyweights such as Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush, and seasoned screenwriter Charles Randolph taking to the stage to share knowledge with emerging filmmakers.  

High-profile Australian film editor Jason Ballantine and Kieran Darcy-Smith - whose new feature Wish You Were Here opened the Sundance Film Festival this month, also presented at Roughcut.


Other speakers included 2011 Tropfest Runner Up, Jason Van Genderen, Tropfest Arabia winner, Jassem Al Jabbouri and Tropfest founder and director, John Polson.

 The Domain theatre at the Art Gallery of NSW buzzed with anticipation all day as the moment built for Australian of the Year, Geoffrey Rush to take to the stage. Held as an informal sit-down conversation between host Rob Carlton and Rush, the Oscar winner gave a personal look into his own journey towards filmmaking success.  The audience was hanging from Rush’s every word as he gave a series of anecdotes on his life, from his time as a young high school drama student to the ‘post-Oscar’ shine.  The all-day event opened with Rob Carlton chronicling his own Tropfest success story before introducing the Founder and Director John Polson.  Polson gave a stirring introduction into the 20-year history of the world’s largest short film festival, its global expansion and his own experience as a prolific director and producer of film & television in Australia and the US.  Next to take the mic was Charles Randolph, celebrated screenwriter and producer of the 2011 box office hit – Love and Other Drugs. The international heavyweight gave insight into how up and coming Aussie filmmakers can make it overseas, urging them to hone their skills on home soil first. For a different look into filmmaking, YouTube’s Tom Ugloe presented a 20 minute talk on the evolution of technology and how that has played a part in in the creation of instant filmmakers. The example of Rebecca Black and her ‘Friday’ music clip brought on a roar of laughter from the crowds, who by this stage were spilling into the aisles as seats filled up. Tropfest Founder and Director John Polson said Roughcuts went off without a hitch. “The day ran so smoothly. It was really exciting to see the flurry of ideas being thrown around. Everyone was so inspired – I can’t wait to do it all again next year!”  “Roughcut demonstrated the passion and creativity of emerging Australian filmmakers, whilst giving an up close and personal insight into the minds of seasoned industry heavyweights.” Says Polson Past Tropfest winner Kieran Darcy-Smith, was a clear crowd favourite. The rising star gave audiences a look at what drives him in telling a story, believing it’s the real stories already out there that need the telling.   The event closed with all participants invited to join new sponsor Nikon for drinks with the presenters before all departed the Art Gallery of NSW in preparation for Tropfest’s main event – Movie Extra Tropfest’s 20th Birthday.


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