Tropfest 2013

It’s nice to have a year sat in the Domain on your Penfeild picnic blanket, nursing the day’s sunburn instead of getting drenched in rain… and ruining your designer rug.

With screening sites held all over Australia, a live broadcast via SBS and a total of 16 films from both local and international filmmakers, Tropfest 2013 was set to be the biggest yet. Long gone are the humble days of it being held in a small café in Bondi.

This year’s “TSI”, or Tropfest Signature Item, was “Balloon” and all 16 finalists managed to work this into their 7-minute films… some more obviously than others. It’s always interesting to see the different approaches the directors have when interpreting this “TSI”, and the variety of film techniques being used.

The standout of the program for me was a film entitled “Time”, directed by Liam Connor. It was one of those films that instantly established a sense of suspense, and as the film drew to a close it resolved with a twist that quite literally brought people to tears. It was a 7-minute short film that felt like it went for 2, and it was shot so beautifully that I could have watched it for hours. The acting was not overly dramatic but it was subtle and emotional. The lead role, played by the young Nick Hamilton, deservingly won The Best Male Actor category.

The animation flawlessly displayed by the self-taught creators of “Punctured” showed that you don’t need dialogue to take out 3rd prize. “Better Than Sinatra” placed 2nd, and honorable mentions went to Raymond Borzelli, the character that Jefferson Granger documented. Nick Clifford from Victoria won the evening with his film called “We’ve All Been There”.

All 16 finalists however, all showed what they were capable of, which was making great independent films. As the festival keeps growing, the filmmakers get more opportunities to show off this amazing talent to people all over the world.

If you missed the festival yesterday you can still catch all the films online at either SBS on demand or

SBS on demand link –

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