Lights, Camera, Action! Tropfest 2013 Calling For Entries

By July 8, 2013 Industry News

Winner will take home a new Toyota, $10,000, a Nikon DSLR filmmakers kit and a trip to LA!

Budding and experienced filmmakers are invited to take part in Australia’s most prestigious short film festival. Entries for Tropfest officially open on 15 August and close on 10 October 2013. Filmmakers taking part will have the opportunity to showcase their work to thousands of live and free-to-air television viewers on the world’s largest platform for emerging and established filmmakers. The competition is open to all members of public – regardless of their experience or background. The winning filmmaker will take home a brand new Toyota, a Nikon D800 DSLR plus $2,000RRP worth of Nikkor lenses, $10,000 thanks to Kennedy Miller Mitchell and a film immersion trip to Los Angeles, where the winner will meet with industry executives, courtesy of Motion Picture Association and Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft. Tropfest Australia attracts an event audience of approximately 150,000 people on a single night and this year will attract even more with short film fans across Australia tuning in to SBS 2 to watch the event on December 8.

Films must be no longer than seven minutes and must include this year’s Tropfest Signature Item (TSI): “Change”. It is up to entrants to interpret how they will include the TSI in their film. Complete entry guidelines are available on the Tropfest Australia website. With the return of the Nikon DSLR Film category, Tropfest recognises that the advanced technology now available in DSLR cameras has changed the face of filmmaking, making cinematic pursuits more accessible to filmmakers of all levels and budgets. In the February 2013 Tropfest competition, over 25% of all films submitted were made entirely on a DSLR camera; proving that as filmmaking technology evolves, DSLR technology continues to provide more options to express creativity.

Matt Bird, three-time finalist at Tropfest, has watched the competition and the talent pool grow over the years. When asked what keeps him coming back to the competition, Bird answers: “It’s such great exposure to filmmakers and a chance for me to show my creative projects to thousands of people.” His advice to future Tropfest entrants is simple: “Stop procrastinating, just put your ideas into action and get the ball rolling.”

Entrants will have their work judged by some of the biggest international actors and filmmakers around. Past judges have included Cate Blanchett, Nicole Kidman, Toni Collette, Russell Crowe, Geoffrey Rush, Sam Worthington and many more. Jefferson Grainger, director of Better Than Sinatra, which took home the second prize at Tropfest last February, knows just how valuable the experience was. His documentary about a pensioner with a passion for dance took second prize and proved to be a crowd and judge favourite, with Sam Worthington announcing an impromptu $3000 award to the star of the film, Raymond Borzelli, for a one-off category: Best personality in a documentary.

“Tropfest has been a great stepping stone for me,” says Grainger. “Following the success of Better Than Sinatra, I am hoping to make a feature-length documentary. I am still filming Raymond and he is just delighted to be part of the whole process.” Cargo, a finalist of Tropfest last February, gained viral status on YouTube with close to 3.5 million views from all over the world at last count.

Established in Sydney over 21 years ago, Tropfest has become the world’s largest short film competition. The outdoor screening held annually in Sydney has grown into a massive festival event, and this year’s festival day on December 8 will draw even greater numbers. The move of dates and venue, from The Domain to Centennial Park,  reflects the increase in interest and live audiences that are being attracted to the event. Along with the new long-term SBS partnership it signifies a substantial step in the long term development of the event.

As for budding filmmakers, cinematic stardom might be just one film away, time to start shooting!

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