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City, Date, February, Festivals, General, Suburb


Ok, I’m in my fourth year here in Sydney and every year it gets better and better! There are a number of festivals/ activities that I just love to do every single year.

Just recently during Sydney Festival (in January) First Night, I took a look around Sydney and couldn’t quite get over how many people had descended into Sydney CBD, people in their thousands came to see street dance acts, vertical theatre shows and of course, who could forget DJ, Norman Jay performing from a Double Decker bus in Hyde Park. There was then the first night finale, where international musical globetrotter, Manu Chao performed in The Domain to a crowd of thousands – so much so they had to close The Domain.

The one thing that Sydney does VERY well is festivals and events! Tropfest is absolutely no exception! This too takes place in The Domain and is a great event for all the family! I’d suggest getting down there as soon as possible, taking a picnic and some friends of course and making a day of it!

Tropfest is an Australian short film festival, where attendees get the see the finalist’s entries in the shape of short films. At the end of the evening, the winner is announced. It’s so much fun! Don’t take my word for it, head down and see for yourself!


Tropfest is Australia’s most prestigious short film festival and one of its most iconic cultural events. It is also the largest short film festival in the world. At home, Tropfest is recognised for its enormous contribution to the development of the Australian film industry by providing unique platforms for emerging filmmakers through its events and initiatives, and new and expanded audiences for their work.

John Polson started the ‘Tropicana Short Film Festival’ (as it was originally known) as an informal short film screening for cast, crew and friends at the Tropicana Cafe in Sydney’s Darlinghurst. More than 200 people showed up for that first screening. Inspired by the turn out, John decided that a full-fledged short film festival was the next step.

Twenty years on, Movie Extra Tropfest in Australia attracts a live national audience of more than 150,000 people on a single night. The event is hosted at Sydney’s Domain in the Royal Botanic Gardens, with live satellite links to outdoor locations in major cities including Melbourne, Canberra, Perth, Brisbane, Hobart, Adelaide and Surfers Paradise. (Source: Tropfest)

Another exciting element has been added this year, Tropfest’s 20th anniversary, John Polson, Founder and Director of Tropfest, has announced recently named Australian of the Year, Geoffrey Rush, will be one of the stars judging the 20th birthday competition as well as join the line-up at Tropfest’s inaugural filmmaker symposium, Tropfest Roughcut, on Saturday 18 February 2012.


The all-day event is staged in collaboration with Screen NSW, the NSW Government’s screen development and funding agency, a day before Tropfest’s huge 20th Birthday on Sunday 19 February.  Rush joins keynote speaker and celebrated international screenwriter and producer of the 2011 box office hit Love and Other DrugsCharles Randolph direct from New York.



High-profile Australian film editor Jason Ballantine; Kieran Darcy-Smith whose new feature Wish You Were Here opened the Sundance Film Festival earlier this month; and leading international composer – Lisa Gerrard will also present as well as 2011 Tropfest Runner Up, Jason Van Genderen.

Rush says he is looking forward to meeting with emerging filmmakers.


“Tropfest is turning 20, that’s serious frisky adulthood – so vicenarians, please join this sexagenarian for a cinematic chat on known knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns… it’s a Q and A and I’d love to hear from you, ” he says.

Tropfest founder and director, John Polson will offer fresh insights into the 20 year history of the world’s largest short film festival.

The day will be hosted by actor, filmmaker and past Tropfest winner, Rob Carlton.

To find out what makes these industry heavyweights ‘tick’ creatively and how their respective disciplines contribute to filmmaking, pick up a ticket to the symposium from

The forum will be an intimate affair at the Domain Theatre, Art Gallery of NSW. Tickets are just $35 or $25 for Tropfest Alumni, but book early as space is limited.


Polson says Roughcut has been established to inspire and support those who have a burning ambition to build a professional career in film or television.


“If you are passionate about film and want to explore creativity and collaboration, and what inspires and drives the heart and soul of the filmmaking process, this event is for you,” he says.


Screen Australia, the key Federal Government’s direct funding body for the Australian screen production industry, along with Tropfest’s new festival sponsor, Nikon, have also supported bringing Roughcut to life for Tropfest’s 20th Birthday.


“We’re really excited to be partnering with Screen NSW, Screen Australia and Nikon to present Roughcut. This is going to be an incredibly interesting event for serious filmmakers,” says Polson.


Feeling social? Movie Extra Tropfest talent, filmmakers, judges and audience members have been invited to share their thoughts on twitter via #tropfest or #happy20tropfest.

Here’s last year’s winner:

About sydneysocial

One twenty-something year old girl who has been living in Australia since Jan 2009.



  1. i love your blog, i have it in my rss reader and always like new things coming up from it.

    Posted by ouija board | February 15, 2012, 11:06 pm

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