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Tropfest is more than a short film festival - it's a phenomenon. In its short history (this is the 8th fest) it has become the public outpouring of film passion in Australia, open to all to enter, free to all to consume - especially now through the live webcast, which reaches every rounded corner of the globe. Andrew L. Urban reports; and below, the 16 finalists for this year's Tropfest, the prizes and past winners.

If you need any confirmation that Tropfest is in the film festival big league, just take a look at the list of sponsors:

Digital One (webcast with Telstra and special guests Urban Cinefile), Showtime, Channel Nine, NSW FTO, Universal, thecomedychannel, Video Ezy, Who Weekly, Fox Studios, Sydney Morning herald, Apple, Pettaras Press, City of Sydney, Royal Botanic Gardens. If the Noosa Film Festival (September 1999) had only half these heavyweights it may not have floundered after one attempt.

And it's not the lure of lucre in the form of big prizes that accounts for the event's popularity, nor even the sexiness of founder John Polson, a figure of growing fame as actor and filmmaker with the low-key style that characterises Australians at large. No, it's what we may call the grassroots enthusiasm for filmmaking and the public's recognition and response to that passion. This is where the true grit of filmmaking is discovered and given a public airing.

This year's 16 finalists:

These will be screened on February 27, 2000 and will also be available (rrp $29.99) on VHS at the Domain on the night, as well as through all Video Ezy outlets, or online through their website

  • Happy Camper, Tim Porter, NSW
  • The Island, Kieran Darcy-Smith, NSW
  • The Baaa Flock Project, Darryl Thoms & Zenon Kohler, NSW
  • The Bathroom, Richard Lindsell, NSW
  • The Raw Prawn, Trent O'Donnell, NSW
  • How Far Can You Wear Your Underpants From The Beach, John Biggins, NSW
  • Hop, Skip, Jump, Michael Lui, NSW
  • Desy, Heather-Jean Moyes, NSW
  • Brother, Angus Strachan, NSW
  • Old Man, Robin Feiner & Jesse Gibson, NSW
  • Life in a Volkswagen, Bryan Moses & Craig Anderson, NSW
  • Face of the West, Rhian Hinkley, VIC
  • The Watermark, Lisa Dombroski, VIC
  • Noise, Chris Becnce, VIC
  • Meeting Misty Rain, Justin Kurzel, SA
  • 1 Day 2 Tracks, Shalom Almond & Tamsin Sharp, SA

The prizes and (the sponsors):

1st Prize

Tropfest 2000 1st Prize Trophy (Dinosaur Designs)

Trip for 2 to the Australian Movie Convention, Gold Coast

(inc. airfares, accommodation + delegate passes.

Valued at $2500 (Showtime)

$5000 Cash (Kennedy Miller)

10 x 16mm Film Stock Valued at $1860 (Kodak)

$1500 Credit for Film Processing (Atlab)

$7000 Credit for Sound Editing & Mix (Philmsound)

Free Registration for the Producer to SPAA 2000 (SPAA)

2nd Prize

Tropfest 2000 2nd Prize Trophy (Dinosaur Designs)

$10000 Visual Effects / Post Production Credit (Animal Logic)

$5000 Cash (Avid)

3rd Prize

Tropfest 2000 3rd Prize Trophy (Dinosaur Designs)

$2500 Cash (Channel Nine)

Best Male Actor

Tropfest 2000 Trophy for Best Male Actor (Dinosaur Designs)

$2000 Cash (Nicole Kidman)

Best Female Actor

Tropfest 2000 Trophy for Best Female Actor (Dinosaur Designs)

$2000 Cash (Nicole Kidman)

Best Comedy

Tropfest 2000 Trophy for Best Comedy (Dinosaur Designs)

$2500 Cash (thecomedychannel)

Best Cinematography

Tropfest 2000 Trophy for Best Cinematography (Dinosaur Designs)

$1500 Cash (Kodak)

Best Screenplay

Tropfest 2000 Trophy for Best Screenplay (Dinosaur Designs)

Eligible for Participation at Tropnest 2000 (Tropnest)

iMac (Apple Computer)

Best Original Score

Tropfest 2000 Trophy for Best Original Score (Dinosaur Designs)

$1000 Cash (Song Zu)

$2500 Credit for Studio Time at Alberts Production (APRA)

The Tropicana Award

Tropfest 2000 Tropicana Award Trophy (Dinosaur Designs)

$1500 Cash (Tropicana Café, Sydney)

Coffee for a year (Tropicana Café, Sydney)

Coffee Machine & Beans (La Casa Del Caffe)

The Popular Choice Award

WAP Phone - internet-enabled Motorola L + (digitalone)


The judges will be announced shortly.

Past Winners
1st Prize Uno Amore, Anton Perry
2nd Prize The Extra, Darren Ashton
3rd Prize Squeeze, Murray Fahey

1st Prize Intolerance, Laura Fienstein
2nd Prize I Want You, Gregory Quail
3rd Prize Tongue Tied, Jasmin Forbes-Watson

1st Prize Deadline, Nash Edgerton
2nd Prize Rust Bucket, Rowan Woods
3rd Prize Indulgence, Glenn Fraser

1st Prize This Film is a Dog, Jonathan Ogilvie
2nd Prize Happily Ever After, Daniel Kriege
3rd Prize Levi Fly, Anik Chooney

1st Prize Swinger, Gregor Jordan
2nd Prize Midnight Expresso, Michael Condran
3rd Prize Pizza Man, Paul Fenech

1st Prize The Table Kashell, Robertson-Swann
2nd Prize Pur, Margi Hoy
3rd Prize Saker in Love, Stephen Feneley / Michael Saker

1st Prize Art Ache, Stephen Feneley
2nd Prize The Red Dress, James Middleton
3rd Prize The Big Chew, Rob Mac

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Win a WAP phone, tickets to Magnolia & Radio Groove CDs in our

Live Chat with JOHN POLSON

Telstra in conjuction with digitalone present
TROPFEST LIVE ON THE NET with special guest presenters Urban Cinefile

Uno Amore
Clip - 28K
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Clip - 100K



The Tropfest Signature Item for 2000 is BUG! The films must be under 7 minutes - and must have their first public screening at this event.


Tropfest was born in Sydney and continues to be held there, but it is also beamed via satellite to capital cities throughout Australia. Hundreds and thousands of people gather in the streets, parks and cafes to watch the festival simultaneously. Before too long, other cities around the world in many different time zones will be linked up to Sydney and the other Tropfest venues.


For Tropfest 2000 (Sunday, February 27), the live venues are as follows:

The Domain (Royal Botanic Gardens)
Entertainment from 3pm
Films commence at 8pm.

Selected cafes along Victoria Street Darlinghurst
Films commence 8pm.

The Continental Café
Greville Street, Prahran
Films commence 8pm.

Ric's and Fat Boy's
The Valley Mall, Fortitude Valley
Films commence 8pm.


The Coffee Club
71-75 Cairns Esplanade
Films commence 8pm.

Al Fresco
Rundle Street Mall
Films commence 8pm.

La Tropicana Café
88 Marine Parade, Cottesloe
Films commence 8pm.

Machine Laundry Café
Salamanca Square
Films commence 8pm.


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