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Tropfest 2012 @ The Domain

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by Geraldine Massey (subscribe)
I'm an experienced corporate communicator and editor with an eye for interesting events and an attachment to my trusty Oxford dictionary.
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These films may be short but what they lack in length they make up for with talented storytelling, artistic design, superior production and convincing performances. Short films are definitely uber chic at the moment and there's no better place for short films than Tropfest 2012 - the world's largest short film festival, this year celebrating its twentieth birthday with lights, cameras and plenty of action at Sydney's Domain on Sunday 19 February 2012.

The Festival
Tropfest began life as the "Tropicana Short Film Festival" at a cafe in Sydney's Darlinghurst in 1993, the brainchild of director John Polson. It has expanded from these small first footsteps and is now an important international film festival with showings in New York, Malaysia, Las Vegas, Arabia and soon China and Paris.
The Competition
Entries in the main competition, as well as Trop Jr for entrants aged 15 and under, closed on 7 January. The judges waded through the flood of submissions from established, emerging and wannabe film-makers around the world to select fifteen Tropfest and thirteen Trop Jr finalists. All films clock in at under seven minutes and contain the competition's Signature Item - this year a light bulb.

The Finalists
Finalists, announced on 3 February, include "One Thing" by Matilda Brown, "Matchbox Brothers" by Scott and Brent Holgate, Rupert Reid's "Boo", and "Alice's Baby", a film by Tropfest's youngest finalist, actress Eza Lazzaro. You can view information about the finalists and their films here. Trop Jr finalists include Lauren Crowther's "Freshly Squeezed" and "My First Pet" by the competition's first ever international finalist, Argentinian Marcos Krivocapich. Find out about their work here.

2012 Trop Jr finalists.

The Event
This year has an expanded format with events happening from Friday 17 February to Sunday 19 February.

Check out past finalist films at a special screening at Dendy Newtown at 9pm.

Tropfest Roughcut, a symposium for emerging film-makers, will be an all day event at the Domain Theatre, Art Gallery of NSW. Details are available here.

The main awards ceremony and screening of finalists' films will be held at Sydney's Domain, complete with red carpet and celebrity guests, while live satellite links will bring all the razzle dazzle to the other Australian venues. Entry is FREE.

Trop Jr festivities will run from 11am to 2pm.

Movie Extra Tropfest Australia kicks off at 3pm and runs through until 11pm.

16th Finalist Competition - Public Voting Category
The last finalist's spot is up for grabs and in true Aussie democratic style, you get to decide who it will be. Ten films have been chosen by Tropfest organisers and will be uploaded on 6 February to the Tropfest YouTube Channel where the public will vote for their favourite. The film with the most votes will become the 16th finalist.

There are also awards for films made on mobile phones or tablet devices (Telstra Mobile Masterpieces) and APRA Tropscore for the best musical score produced for a short film provided by Tropfest. The winners will perform the score live at the Sydney Tropfest event.

To whet your appetite check out the following:

"The Applicant" is my personal favourite from last year's finalists. It was made by director Tim Dean and writer Chris Corbett and features the always excellent Peter Rowsthorn and Nicholas Bell. As a former recruitment specialist who has conducted thousands of interviews with prospective job applicants this one makes sense of some of my interviewing experiences. Beam me up Scotty.
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Why? It's short, sweet, sharp entertainment.
When: Voting for 16th Finalist from 6 February. Tropfest Event @ The Domain 19 February 2012.
Where: The Domain, Sydney
Cost: Free
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