Filmmakers Fire Up For Tropfest’s 20th Birthday!

Movie Extra Tropfest Australia has announced the 15 lucky filmmakers who will light up screens across the nation for Tropfest’s 20th competition. Finalists include second generation filmmaker Matilda Brown, Damian McLindon, director of the self-help documentary The Secret, and Tropfest’s youngest ever finalist, 16 year old star of the Foxtel hit series ‘Tangled’, Eva Lazzaro.

For the second year, Tropfest fans have the opportunity to choose the 16th Finalist that will premiere at the festival on Sunday 19 February. Ten films, including work by comedian Peter Helliar, Looking for Alibrandi’s Kick Gurry and The Jesters’ Ben Geurens, will be shown on Tropfest’s YouTube channel from Monday 6 February. Visit to have your say.

Tropfest’s Founder and Director, John Polson, says he’s thrilled to be celebrating Tropfest’s 20th Birthday:

“Increasingly each year, I’m stunned by the quality of films entered into Tropfest from people all over Australia and the world, many with budgets of just a few dollars. Last year the quality was so strong, we let our audience decide on the 16th film for the first time, so we’re incredibly excited to be bringing our YouTube competition back this year. I want to congratulate all our filmmakers, and I want to thank our supporters for once again enabling Tropfest to take place FREE for the Australian – and now New Zealand - public - in particular our biggest partner, Movie Extra.”

NSW Minister for Tourism, Major Events and the Arts, George Souris said the NSW Government through Destination NSW is proud to support Movie Extra Tropfest in its 20th anniversary year. 

“Turning 20 is a significant milestone for an event that had its start at the Tropicana Café in Darlinghurst and has now grown into the world’s largest short film festival. Tropfest reinforces Sydney’s position as the film capital of Australia.  The event is screened at live sites around the country with spin-off events now staged in cities including New York, Las Vegas, Berlin, London, Mexico, Toronto, Bangkok as well as Tropfest Arabia.”

Tropfest is one of the world’s premiere launch pads for young and emerging filmmakers, and there are some great prizes up for grabs, along with the kudos of winning the undisputed world’s largest short film festival. Finalists compete for a massive prize pool of cash, equipment and international travel valued at approximately $100,000, along with an unprecedented level of industry interest and attention.

Finalists walk the star-studded red carpet and have their work judged by industry heavyweights, with past judges including Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor and Geoffrey Rush. Tropfest judges are often kept tightly under wraps until event night.

Movie Extra Tropfest will be screened live on Sunday 19 February to an anticipated audience of 150,000 at free outdoor public events across Australia and New Zealand, where it takes place for the first time this year in New Plymouth. It is also televised live to hundreds of thousands more on Subscription TV channel Movie Extra.

Organisers have three days of filmmaking celebrations planned, taking the festival from the traditional one-day event to a full Tropfest weekend. There will be parties, screenings of Tropfest gems from the past and special film industry events.

More information about the Adeladie event is available from Tropfest’s website at