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Tropfest ups the ante

Tropfest has raised the stakes for short filmmakers, increasing the winner’s cash prize to $10,000 and will be sharing the love at the New Plymouth event on Valentine’s Day next year.

The cash component is now worth as much as the lower tier of the NZFC’s Fresh Shorts funding and guarantees more cash to a single title than either the NZIFF’s shorts competition or Show Me Shorts.

The overall prize package doesn’t have a fixed dollar value attached, but the Motion Picture Association and the NZ Screen Association (formerly NZFACT) continue to support a flight to LA – plus a return ticket if you’re not Kim Dotcom – along with five nights’ accommodation and $500 to spend. The winner gets to meet with industry figures in the US.

Inaugural winner Dave Smith (Capuccino Tango) took his US trip to coincide with November’s AFM, ensuring he got to meet with an awful lot of industry types.

This year’s second edition of Tropfest was won by Andrew Cooper with Help.


The Tropfest rules are pretty straightforward. While the submission deadline is a distant 1 December, now that this year’s 48Hours is all over bar the shouting, there’s no reason not to be out there readying the next sub-7 minute masterpiece.

Tropfest has settled well into Taranaki, but hasn’t quite nailed yet its calendar slot yet. The first edition ran late January – conveniently for Aucklanders on the Sunday of Anniversary Weekend. This year’s edition ran in mid-February, but also on a Sunday.

Moving the 2015 event to a Saturday evening should make it easier for out of towners to attend. The Valentine’s Day date might help or hinder. It’s possible to imagine a more romantic evening than one shared with 8,000 other people, but a shot at a $10,000+ prize is a powerful motivator.

Visit Tropfest to gather all the submission info or just enjoy some of the previous entries.

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