Tropfest takes on New York

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What happens when you give Wilfred a New York bagel? The world is about to find out. Born in a small café in Sydney and raised to become the biggest short film festival in the world, the much-loved Aussie Tropfest is leaving the nest and taking on the Big Apple. June 2012 will herald the very first Tropfest event in New York, supported by a host of ambassadors including Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman and Geoffrey Rush.

If you’re not already on board the SS Tropfest, it’s a pretty simple concept: filmmakers get no more than seven minutes to create a unique cinematic work that abides by just one rule: it must contain the nominated Tropfest Signature Item (TSI). Over its 17-year life in Australia, Tropfest has seen bubbles, dice, umbrellas, sneezes, and the number 8 incorporated into some of the most innovative and entertaining short films in the world. Appropriately, the inaugural New York event will require competitors to include the state’s most iconic, doughy symbol: the bagel.

As an official Tropfest ambassador, homegrown hero Hugh Jackman proudly announced the festival’s US expansion: “There is no other springboard in the world that showcases short films in front of such a massive audience, and I look forward to seeing the shorts for Tropfest New York.”

And he’s not kidding: Tropfest alumni include actors Sam Worthington (Avatar, Last Night) and Joel Edgerton (Warrior, Animal Kingdom). And, of course, Tropfest 2002 saw the debut of the world’s most lovable man-in-a-dog-suit, Wilfred, directed by Tony Rogers. Wilfred has since been adapted into two television series – one here in Australia, and another in the US featuring everyone’s favourite hobbit, Elijah Wood. Can the New Yorkers come up with this kind of quirky genius?


Stay tuned to for upcoming festival details, screening venues and regular updates on all things Trop.