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John Polson. John Polson.
01 December 2018 Posted by 

Founder John Polson on why TROPFEST works

THE world's most popular short film festical, Troipfest, returns to Parramatta for the third year in February 2019. WSBA editor, Michael Walls, spoke with  founder, John Polson.

Q: Why does TF work?
 
A: I think the short film format and being able to see such diversity on the big screen, really reso-nates with people from all walks of life. Every year, we screen everything from heartrending stories straight out of warzones, to uplifting coming-of-age tales, to hilariously crude animations and every-thing in between. One of the best things about Tropfest is how it combines the punchiness of the content we scroll through daily, with the visual splendor of the big screen – if you don’t like a film, just wait a few minutes for the next one!
 
Q: How does it differ from film festivals the world over (how does it compete for par-ticipation)?
 
A: Tropfest differs in that every film must incorporate the Tropfest Signature Item, which changes every year. We encourage everyone to be as literal or as subtle as they like, so it’s a great way for people to showcase their ingenuity. This way, we can also ensure each film is being made specifically for Tropfest and has never been seen before. You don’t need to be a huge Hollywood star or have a big budget to win – you can be anyone with a camera and a story to tell.
 
Q: Please describe your top two TF moments (of all time)?
 
A: Last year, we celebrated one of the most culturally diverse finalist line-ups in Trop history, as well as achieving substantial gender diversity again, and it was an awesome reminder of what Tropfest is all about – showcasing stories on the big screen that might not otherwise be told. On the list of best moments has to be when we first closed down Victoria Street in Darlinghurst for Tropfest in the mid-90s (I believe it was the first time it had been officially closed to traffic since cars were invented!). And definitely when we first moved from Victoria Street to Rushcutters Bay Park, thereby taking our audience from a few thousand to 25,000 overnight. But there have been countless other special moments along the way as well, and every year when the winner takes the stage, you can hear a pin drop as you realize this person’s career is about to get a massive boost — and Tropfest has played a role in that. It’s an amazing feeling that only gets stronger each year.
 
Q: How can/will you continue to innovate the TF purpose?
 
A: For us, moving forward means really building on diversity and representation on-screen. Now that we’re nestled in the cultural heart of Sydney, we want to showcase stories from everyone, from all backgrounds and identities. People are always asking me what kind of stories we’re looking for… my answer: Yours.
 
Q: Your biggest TF success in terms of TF being a launch pad for talent?
 
A: Over the years, Tropfest has acted as a launch pad for some of the biggest names in the industry today, from Sam Worthington to Rebel Wilson. Our 2012 winner Alethea Jones’ debut feature Fun Mom Dinner starred Toni Colette and Adam Levine, and she’s now working on the upcoming web series Queen America, which will star Hollywood legend 
Catherine Zeta Jones.
 
 

 



editor

Publisher and editor, Michael Walls.
Mobile: 0407 783 413
Email: info@wsba.com.au
Mail: PO Box 186, Kurrajong NSW 2758
Office phone: 61 2 4572 2336

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