Originally hailing from Australia, the festival secured a stateside launch with support from Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe among others.
"Over the past 20 years, Tropfest has been an incredible platform for rising Australian filmmakers to get their start in the industry," commented official Tropfest ambassador, Hugh Jackman in a statement. "I'm excited to support this competition as it comes to the US. There is no other springboard in the world that showcases short films in front of such a massive audience and I look forward to seeing the shorts for Tropfest New York."
Tropfest New York will launch in June 2012.
Full Tropfest release follows:
Tropfest, the world's largest short film festival which spans a 20 year history in Australia, arrives in the USA with Tropfest New York. The stateside launch has secured support from film industry heavyweight "Ambassadors" including Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman, Geoffrey Rush, Liev Schreiber, Anthony LaPaglia and Charles Randolph. Tropfest will bow in New York City in June 2012 enabling American filmmakers and audiences to take part in this global phenomenon and watch talents of tomorrow compete to win top prizes and gain broad recognition. Inaugural media partners include WNYC Radio with others to be revealed shortly. The announcement was made today by Tropfest Founder and Director, John Polson.
Official Tropfest Ambassador, Hugh Jackman, commented "Over the past 20 years, Tropfest has been an incredible platform for rising Australian filmmakers to get their start in the industry. I'm excited to support this competition as it comes to the US. There is no other springboard in the world that showcases short films in front of such a massive audience and I look forward to seeing the shorts for Tropfest New York."
Emulating the successful Tropfest format created in Australia, Tropfest New York will present a short film competition as the centerpiece for the weekend long event. The festivities will also be comprised of musical performances, film screenings and a filmmaker symposium ('Roughcut') before culminating in an event under the stars where finalists will be screened and judged live by the celebrity and industry panel.
Polson commented "We could not ask for bigger film industry stars and better inaugural partners to help us bring the world's largest short film festival to the most exciting city in the world. With the passionate support of our Ambassadors and WNYC on board, combined with increasing North American interest from filmmakers and audiences via our online platforms, it's obvious to us that the time is right."
Tropfest New York will be open to the public, free of charge. All short films must be produced specifically for the event and cannot exceed the seven minute maximum. Each film must also contain the Tropfest Signature Item (TSI), which changes each year and can be represented in any way the filmmaker chooses. Previous TSIs have included: "Pickle", "Spring", "Sneeze" and "Bubble". The TSI chosen for the inaugural event is the iconic New York: "Bagel".
Tropfest began in a Sydney café almost 20 years ago with an audience of 200 people. This year's Australian event was the most successful festival to date, with live audiences of over 150,000 and hundreds of thousands more watching via its national TV broadcast and other platforms. On November 4th this year, the inaugural Tropfest Arabia took place in front of a capacity crowd of 12,000 people outdoors in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Submissions were received from 33 Middle Eastern and North African countries.
Tropfest has helped launch successful careers for dozens of directors, writers, actors and others. Tropfest alumni include: Sam Worthington (Avatar, Last Night); Joel Edgerton (Warrior, Animal Kingdom); Alister Grierson, the director of the James Cameron-produced Sanctum; and Tony Rogers whose Tropfest short, Wilfred was the origin of the U.S. TV series of the same name starring Elijah Wood. Wilfred is currently achieving record ratings for the FX Network.
The Tropfest YouTube Channel has had over 10 million video views with around 40% of views coming from the United States and provides film enthusiasts from around the world the chance to watch the top films from past festivals at: http://www.youtube.com/tropfest.