Tropfest NZ, New Plymouth, 21 June 2016: Tropfest New Zealand announced this morning that they would not be presenting a fifth festival in 2017.
Tropfest NZ CEO Suzanne Porter said the charitable trust’s Board of Trustees had given the decision a lot of thought and “given the current economic climate 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.”
“It has been a great privilege to provide a platform for New Zealand filmmakers to showcase their work. We’ve seen an outstanding amount of talent and have been humbled by the support from the film industry.
“We would like to thank our ambassadors and sponsors who have contributed to making four presentations of the festival. We’d also like to sincerely thank our filmmakers, our finalists, as well as everyone who has submitted a film to Tropfest NZ over the past 4 years.”
Tropfest Founder and Director John Polson said he was optimistic about the future of the festival in New Zealand, “I want to thank Suzanne and the team at TAFT for all of their incredible support and passion over the past few years.
“It’s been amazing to watch Tropfest NZ grow under their leadership and despite the current challenges, I have no doubt we will be back in New Zealand before long.”
Tropfest Australia will be open to international entries, so New Zealand filmmakers planning on submitting a film to Tropfest NZ can submit their entries to Tropfest Australia. For more information on Tropfest Australia please see their website: www.tropfest.com
Tropfest began in Sydney 24 years ago when director John Polson showed a six-minute film he made for under $100 at his local café (‘The Tropicana’) in Sydney for 200 friends and family.
Today the free Australian event is attended annually by a live audience of around 150,000 film-lovers and hundreds of thousands more watching via its live national TV broadcast and other platforms.
In the past two decades, Tropfest has become recognised as one of the world’s most exciting launch pads for emerging filmmakers. Tropfest is also known for securing the support of some of the biggest names in the international film community including Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, Geoffrey Rush, Liev Schreiber and Tobey Maguire.
Tropfest NZ was held for the first time in 2013, with the annual New Zealand short film competition open to any NZ residents or citizens – regardless of their background or experience.
16 finalist films are selected from an entry pool of over 100 annual entries to make up the main screening event and go on to compete for more than $20,000 in prizes.
Tropfest films are unique in that they have all been made specifically for Tropfest, premiere at Tropfest and include the Tropfest Signature Item (or TSI), which changes each year. The TSI for Tropfest NZ 2016 was “DREAM”.
Tropfest NZ has been held annually in New Plymouth at the TSB Bowl of Brooklands for the past four years. Ambassadors include Taika Waititi, Sam Neill, Robyn Wadeson, Martin Henderson, Sara Wiseman, John Barnett and Vincent Ward.
The festival is unique in that the films are judged lived on the night by an industry panel of judges. Tropfest NZ judges have included industry heavyweights John Barnett, Katie Wolfe, Jennifer Ward Lealand, Michael Hurst, Stephen Hunter, Oscar Kightley, James Napier Robertson, Robert Sarkies and Gaylene Preston.
The 2016 event was won by director Hannah Taylor for her film ‘Back o’ the Bus’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iwpgR1p-6g .
Past Finalist films can be viewed at Tropfest’s YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/tropfest. The channel has 76,303 subscribers and over 39 million views.