The farewell edition of Tropfest in Taranaki, running shortly after organisers appealed for another centre to take it on, found its winners on Saturday night.
Fittingly, the final outing in New Plymouth saw a Taranaki filmmaker take the top prize. Hannah Taylor (pictured, top, with judges) won Best Film and the accompanying large cheque with Back o’ the Bus. Fiona Copland, Oscar Kightley, Jonathan King and Gabriel Reid did the on-the-night judging honours.
Yamin Tun (The Dream of the Driver) and serial finalist Allan George (Lon-done) took the other podium positions.
Tropfest has had a difficult year. The original Australian festival was cancelled two weeks out after an awful lot of money wasn’t where it was expected to be. Later, the edition returned thanks to an insurance company’s generosity (a surprising if welcome oxymoron). The Australian Tropfest’s crowdfunding campaign saw less than 20% of its $100,000 total pledged, and therefore none paid, to Tropfest. It seemed a miscalculation to attempt to raise such a large sum for ‘a review’ of the festival at a time when people’s faith in it had taken a massive hit.
Hours before the NZ edition got going yesterday, the Australian Tropfest announced a deal with Sydney-based management company EY to manage the event going forward.
Tropfest NZ’s challenges have been fleabites by comparison. Although Taranaki Arts Festival Trust decided not to renew its licence for the event after this edition, the only PR challenge for this year’s edition has been a minor one.
Two days after this year’s finalists were announced, one was shown the red card for the egregious (albeit unintentional) foul of having already appeared online. Peter Young’s Making it Better came off the bench to complete the 16-strong finalist line-up.
Tropfest ran 27 February in New Plymouth. The award winners were:
Back o’ the Bus, dir: Hannah Taylor
Runner Up (2nd):
The Dream of the Driver, dir: Yamin Tun
Runner runner up (3rd):
Lon-Done – or the patriotic homesick kiwi hater’s survival guide to London, dir: Allan George
Jaya Beach-Robertson, Lock & Key 2: Rise of the Demons, dir: Nick Garrett
Jordan Rivers, John Squared, dir’s: Emily French, Matthew Wilkey, Caitlyn Parslow, Chris Bird, Kate Lambert
Te Tohu Auahatanga Maori Award
Wings, dir: Jharaiz Kiriona
Avalon Film & TV Studios – Studio Award
Tomorrow’s Dream, dir: David Gould
Best Use of Visual Effects
Bathildra’s Cauldron, dir: Chayse Millar
Best Animated Film
Papa Taniwha, dir: Kennedy Faimanifo
Tropfest’s remaining finalists were:
Bites, dir: Florence Lam, Mia Maramara
The Dairy Diaries: Daniel’s Entry, dir: Ashton Ledger
Halfway to Timbuktu, dir: Luke Bremner & Kirk Bremner
Making it Better, dir: Peter Young
Meet Hamish, dir: Nicola Peeperkoorn & Andrew Cooper
Natalia Rising, dir: Floris Van Gaalen
Timothy (or Hunting for the Doppelmonster), dir: Christopher Chalmers