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Tropfest 2012 @ South Bank

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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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I've always been a fan of short things - short black coffees, short stories, shortbread, children, and short films. And it seems that the rest of the world is catching up with me. 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 Suncorp Piazza, South Bank on 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 closed on 7 January and the judges are currently wading through the flood of submissions from established, emerging and wannabe film-makers around the world to select sixteen worthy finalists. Finalists will be announced on 3 February and their artistry will be shown at eight venues around Australia, and for the first time one in New Zealand, on Sunday 19 February 2012.

Adam Spencer interviews Matilda Brown, a previous Tropfest finalist.

The Event
The format has Sydney's Domain hosting the live event, complete with red carpet and celebrity guests, while live satellite links will bring the razzle dazzle, films and winners to Suncorp Piazza, Southbank from 4pm to 10.30pm. Entry is FREE.

Competition Rules
The rules require that submitted films run for less than 7 minutes, must have been made especially for Tropfest, must have their first public screening at Tropfest and contain the Tropfest Signature Item - this year a light bulb.

Other Categories

16th Finalist Competition - Public Voting Category
15 Official Finalists will be selected by a panel of industry leaders but the final spot is up for grabs and in true Aussie democratic style, you get to decide who it will be. Ten films will be chosen by Tropfest and uploaded on 3 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.

Telstra Mobile Masterpieces
This category is for films made on mobile phones or tablet devices.

APRA Tropscore
Musicians and composers have been invited to produce a musical score for a short film provided by Tropfest. The winners will perform the score live at the Sydney Tropfest event of 19 February.

To whet your appetite check out the following:

Last Year's surprise winner was the stop animation entry, Animal Beatbox, made for only $80 by actor Damon Gameau.

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. I have to tell you that as a former recruitment specialist who has conducted thousands of interviews with prospective job applicants this one really speaks to me and makes sense of some of my interviewing experiences.

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Why? It's short, sweet and sharp entertainment.
When: Finalists announced and public voting begins 3 February 2012. Tropfest Event @ South Bank 19 February 2012.
Where: Suncorp Piazza, South Bank.
Cost: Free
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