Tropfest has suffered some very heavy blows both financial and physical.
Tropfest was nearly dealt a fatal blow due to financial mismanagement but not at the hands of founding director John Polson. CGU Insurance and Parramatta Council came to Tropfest’s rescue whereby it transferred from Centennial Park to Parramatta Park. In fact, a few years ago, in Centennial Park, Tropfest had to be suspended due to a violent electrical storm over the park .
Once again, this time in the lead up to this year’s Tropfest, a severe electrical storm accompanied by torrential rain and strong winds smashed Tropfest’s stage and screens, soaked the electricals, and left the Crescent lawns sodden. However, the construction crew worked around the clock to set up two substitute screens , and an admittedly tiny stage up the hill in a pasture next to old Government House. The traditional black carpet was also rescued so all was ready by 3pm when Tropfest’s proceedings officially began.
People streamed in with picnic baskets, deck chairs, blankets and drinks under a glorious cloudless sky which led into a lovely balmy night. Both Tropfest 27 and Trop Junior had the usual yet exciting mix of larrikin humour, surrealism and illuminating serious social issues.
Both categories’ short films could be no longer than seven minutes and each had to include an item in the case of Trop Junior- a pizza, and in the case of Tropfest 27- a candle.
Trop Junior judges were actors Hugo Johnstone-Burt, Miah Madden, Sophia Forrest, Will McDonald and last years’ Trop Jnr winner Tadji Ulrich.
The winner of Trop Jnr was the film Rewire , director/producer Kat Alexander. Best female actor went to Tyallah Bulloch and best male actor went to William Kaspar.
In between the screenings of Trop Jnr and Tropfest 27 Craft awards were handed out to, in some ways the most important people in the film’s production, those working ‘behind the screen’.
Tropfest 27 judges were actors Eric Bana, Marta Dusseldorp, Aaron Pedersen, Jessica McNamee and director and Tropfest alumnus David Michod.
The prize for best Picture went to Be You T. Fool. Best female actor award was shared by Shabana Azeez and Evelyn Krap. A tie is a rare event and it may be that the $3,000 prize courtesy of Nicole Kidman may have to be split. Best male actor was again also a tie with the award going to Ryan New and Andrew Tressuder. Nicole Kidman also sponsored this prize to the tune of $3000.
Kristy Best hosted Trop Jnr, Giles Hardie hosted the craft awards with Yumi Stynes and Rob Shehadie hosting Tropfest 27. These hosts together with a DJ ensured there were no dull moments in between the screenings.
Featured image- Maude Garrett and Marta Dusseldorp.Pics by Ben Apfelbaum