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Parramatta Lord Mayor Andrew Wilson meets entertainer Tim Minchin at the Topfest 2018 VIP event. Parramatta Lord Mayor Andrew Wilson meets entertainer Tim Minchin at the Topfest 2018 VIP event. Featured
28 February 2018 Posted by 


Celebrities head west for $2M windfall
TROPFEST founder John Polson has hailed the annual film festival a great success after its second year in Parramatta.
“I think this was one of the best Tropfest’s we’ve had in 26 years,” the Australian actor and director said of the four day event that saw film lovers converge on the host city.
“The weather was perfect, the crowd was responsive, and the films were arguably the strongest we’ve ever had. 
“Add to that Susan Sarandon, Rachel Griffiths, Tim Minchin and more, it was definitely one of the strongest events in 26 years. The feedback we’ve had has been phenomenal.”
This year’s range of culturally diverse film entries was in part due to the decision in 2016 to move Tropfest to Parramatta, one of Sydney’s most ethnically vibrant areas, Mr Polson said.
“We’ve been trying to ensure we’re not just ‘transplanting’ an eastern suburbs event out to Western Sydney. Instead, we’re always looking for ways to make sure Western Sydney is our true emotional home, not just our geographical one,” he said.
“We definitely had a more diverse selection of films than we’ve ever seen - including two films that were entirely in other languages (Arabic and Spanish). So I think our move to Parramatta had an impact on that. Parramatta - and in fact Australia - is a culturally diverse place, and we believe Tropfest needs to reflect that.” 
There is also an economic upside to the festival. Parramatta Council said Tropfest injects about $2M into the local economy and Deputy Lord Mayor Michelle Garrard commended it for also bringing a little bit of celebrity to Parramatta.
“Parramatta is starting to be looked at as a destination and Tropfest is an example of that,” she said.
“It brings crowds of thousands of people who go somewhere before Tropfest and go somewhere after and usually they would stay local so the business benefits from this type of event is significant.”
Mr Polson said it was difficult to determine the exact number of attendees but The Crescent amphitheatre was almost packed.
“It seemed to me like a big increase over last year, which is nice,” he said. “When we moved to Parramatta, the plan was definitely to fill the park so we have some work to do over the coming 12 months to ensure we get the word out even more and it’s standing room only next year.”
And on next year, Mr Polson said planning was already underway.


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