Tropfest NY

In Bryant Park it was a perfect night for a roll on the grass. The sky was clear, it was about 25*C, and as if on queue, the sun streamed through the trees creating a golden spotlight on stage just at the very moment Hugh Jackman appeared. After waiting in anticipation for at least 5 hours in the afternoon heat, applying and adjusting melting makeup and wilting hair, the fans screamed with excitement. Welcome to Tropfest NYC!

I haven’t ever attended Tropfest in Australia, but I always catch up with the films through a thoughtful friend in Sydney or on youtube. Invariably there are absolute gems with that classic Australian noir humour, and I look forward to the originality of ideas that emerge in the 7 minute challenge. I especially remember one from the umbrella year, when Bruce Spence played a homeless guy and lived a story about the ocean. I also loved ‘Unspoken’ from last year – wish I’d made that one.

For the inaugural Tropfest in New York, the program first introduced the audience to past ( Australian ) short films and then played the current eight finalists for NY 2012. The styles were quite different of course, and will probably become moreso as the US version evolves along with other Tropfest spinoffs around the world. The competition is a great opportunity for young filmmakers everywhere, but for me the uniqueness of the Australian style is most outstanding. Nevertheless, full marks to Mr Jackman for bringing in the crowds – whether you think he’s the sexiest man alive or a character from one of his films, I was just glad the moon wasn’t full……

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