Tropfest 2013, the world's largest short film festival taking place in Prospect Park, concluded this past Saturday with Australian filmmakers Tristan Klein and Nick Baker taking the top prize for their film "The Unlikely Maestro." The short film beat out 15 others for a $20,000 prize and a "week of meetings" with notable executives and producers in L.A. All films were created specifically for Tropfest, following guidelines including the use of the "Tropfest Signature Item" (TSI), which this year was "Bridge."
An all-star panel of judges presided, including Academy Award-winning producer Fisher Stevens ("The Cove"), actress, writer and director Lake Bell ("Childrens Hospital," upcoming "In A World"), screenwriter and producer Charles Randolph ("Love & Other Drugs"), journalist and author Malcolm Gladwell ("The New Yorker," "The Tipping Point," "Blink"), and WNYC host Leonard Lopate, along with festival host Liev Schreiber.
"It was very exciting to have Tropfest in Brooklyn this year. Not only am I happy to call it home, but in many ways Brooklyn is the heartbeat of New York’s creative culture, which was very much reflected in the energy of our audience tonight,” said festival founder John Polson. “This was one of the strongest years ever in terms of the number and quality of the films that were submitted, and we look forward to making Tropfest an annual tradition in one of the great film capitals of the world." The event featured live musical performances by Chairlift, Neon Indian (DJ set), Bear in Heaven, Ghost Beach, and People Get Ready.
"Winning Tropfest New York is a strange mix of jet lag, a hangover, and humility. It’s a very humbling experience to place first amongst all of these strong films," said co-director Nick Baker.
You can view the winning film, about a humble rat who dreams of being a world-famous conductor, below.