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Tropfest heads back to the Bowl

Tropfest NZ will return for its 2017 edition after Venture Taranaki and South Pacific Pictures stepped in to support the filmmaking competition that looked like disappearing from the calendar.

It’s been a torrid few months for the organisation on both sides of the ditch. The Australian edition of Tropfest was cancelled following allegations of financial mismanagement. It went ahead at a later date with the support of a new sponsor, although a crowdfunding campaign to support the event fell a long way shy of its target.

Here Suzanne Porter, CEO of Tropfest organiser the Taranaki Arts Festival Trust (TAFT) released a statement in February, advising that the 2017 edition of Tropfest NZ would not be supported by TAFT, and that the event might have to relocate to continue.

Last week Tropfest put out a statement that the event would not go ahead for 2017. Porter said in the statement, “Porter said the charitable trust’s Board of Trustees had given the decision a lot of thought and “We cannot present Tropfest without a core funder. We have tried many avenues but have not been able to get to a position of break even for the 2017 presentation.”

The deal announced today doesn’t bring the event to break-even, but Porter said that by holding a 2017 edition organisers would be “able to continue making lasting partnerships and ensuring the long-term survival of the festival”.

The deal with Venture Taranaki and South Pacific Pictures is for the 2017 edition of Tropfest NZ only. Relocating the event from 2018 is still an option.

SPP CEO Kelly Martin said the company was “very pleased to support Tropfest – and as a result, to support new and up and coming film makers in New Zealand.”

Former CEO and Chair John Barnett supported Tropfest during his time at SPP, presenting at the Roughvut event in 2013.

The announcement today confirmed the date for the 2017 edition of Tropfest. It will run 18 February at New Plymouth’s Bowl of Brooklands. Submission info will be announced within the next few weeks.

Tropfest is the second short film competition to confirm its next edition in the last week after the 48Hours competition also announced its shoot weekend dates.

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