Hugh Jackman presided over the capacity crowd of approximately 10,000 lovers of short film for the first ever US Tropfest competition.
The “world’s largest short film festival” concluded in New York with Josh Leake of Portland, Oregon claiming the top prize for his film Emptys, made for just $1,300 dollars. For that he received a $20,000 from the Motion Picture Association (MPA). The panel of judges consisted of Rose Byrne, Jennifer Westfeldt, Judah Friedlander, producer Ted Hope and Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Scott Founda.
Alexander Poe came in second and Matt Hulse took ‘bronze’ for their films The Break-Up Tour and Elvis: The Lonely Hunter of Circle-Beach, while Ian Unterman and Eliza D’Souza earned best actor and best actress honors for their starring turns in The Break-Up Tour and Elevator respectively.
The evening also saw a “best of Tropfest” screening of highlights from the last 20 years of Australian short filmmaking.
Tropfest is the world’s largest short film festival. It began in a Sydney café (‘The Tropicana’) 20 years ago with a single $100 short film and an audience of 200 people. Today the Australian FREE event is attended annually by a live audience of over 150,000 film-lovers and hundreds of thousands more watching via its national, live TV broadcast and other platforms. Tropfest has recently launched in New Zealand, Arabia, and other territories, with China, South East Asia and more in planning stages.