Tropfest Australia, which recently moved from its traditional February slot to December, has pulled the plug on this year’s event. It was due to hold its 2015 event on 6 December.
The announcement was made late yesterday with a statement from founder and director John Polson.
The plug has been pulled because the company contracted to raise the funding and administer the event “is unable to move forward for financial reasons”.
Polson called the announcement “the most difficult one I’ve made in Tropfest’s 23 year history”. He was direct ant his understanding of the situation, saying, “My heart goes out to this year’s 16 filmmaking finalists, to our incredible list of sponsors and partners, and of course to our loyal and beloved audience. It is too early to tell what has actually happened here, although it is hard to avoid concluding there has been a terrible and irresponsible mismanagement of Tropfest funds.”
Last month Tropfest Australia announced the return of Craft Awards in partnership with Nikon.
Some Australian media reports claim Polson has already begun legal action against the management company, although yesterday’s statement talks of “spending the coming weeks and months investigating what has transpired”.
In recent years Polson, who’s now based in the US, has successfully exported the Tropfest concept to create Tropfest events in South East Asia, the United States, the Middle East and New Zealand.
The Taranaki Arts Festival Trust (TAFT), which organises the NZ event, told SCREENZ today that the NZ event would not be affected by the problems in Australia, although the team here will offer support to Tropfest Australia.
Edit: later on Thursday Trpfest NZ put out a statement confirming the NZ situation.
The entry deadline for Tropfest NZ is 3 December. The event will run 27 February in New Plymouth.