Tropfest 2017 Announces Judges + ‘TropTalks’ Events That Kick Off Tomorrow!

TROPFEST is hitting Sydney town this week and they’ve got one helluva of a judging panel in cinema stalwarts Sam Neill, George Miller and Rachel Perkins! Joining the festival itself are some ripper talks happening that you can get yourself along to – Troptalks!

With hot industry topics innovation and diversity top of the agenda, you can join a panel of experts as they navigate the waters of making movies today! Troptalks kick off tomorrow night!

Check out the press release below!

TROPFEST, the world’s largest short film festival, is delighted to announce a stellar line-up of judges for this year’s festival, taking place in Parramatta Park in Sydney, Australia next Saturday, February 11.

Actor Sam Neill, directors George Miller and Rachel Perkins and producer Bruna Papandrea will join Rose Byrne (Head of Jury) for TROPFEST to mark its 25-year anniversary, presented by CGU Insurance.

Sam Neill is an internationally acclaimed and award winning actor with more than 75 films and over 45 television programs to his credit. Most recent features include Simon Stone’s The Daughter, starring opposite Geoffrey Rush and Miranda Otto and writer/director Taika Waititi’s Hunt for the Wilderpeople, which became the highest grossing local film of all time in New Zealand. Upcoming films include Tommy’s Honor and the sci-fi thriller DxM.

George Miller directed, wrote and produced Mad Max: Fury Road, which brought his iconic post- apocalyptic title character back to the big screen. In 2016, it was nominated for 10 Academy Awards and received six wins. Miller also directed the Oscar-winning animated film Happy Feet and Oscar- nominated films Babe and Lorenzo’s Oil. At the most recent Cannes Film Festival, he served as President of the Jury for the Palme d’or.

Rachel Perkins filmmaking spans, movies, documentary and television drama. Her upcoming film Jasper Jones releases in cinemas later this month. Her other movies include Bran New Dae, One Night the Moon and Radiance. Her television includes award winning series Redfern Now and the documentary series First Australians. She founded the production company Blackfella Films in 1992 which recently released the television series First Contact and Deep Water.

Bruna Papandrea runs her own production banner in the US and Australia called MADE UP STORIES, which is currently in production on writer/director Jennifer Kent’s movie The Nightingale. Prior to that she launched and operated the production banner PACIFIC STANDARD with Reese Witherspoon, whose films included David Fincher’s Gone Girl, Oscar-nominated hit Wild and Hot Pursuit. Papandrea recently executive produced the TV series Big Little Lies starring Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley and Laura Dern for HBO, which will air on Foxtel Showcase later this month.

“It is an enormous honour to add these esteemed filmmakers to the TROPFEST Jury in our 25th year,” said TROPFEST Founder and Chair, John Polson. “We’re excited for our judges and audiences alike to experience the finalist films, produced by these young and brilliant minds. At a time when gender inequality is a major concern in the film industry at home and abroad, I’m also extremely proud that half of our finalists are women this year.”

More than 1.6 million people have attended a TROPFEST event since it was established in 1993 by Founder and Festival Director, John Polson and the event today attracts a live national audience of around 70,000.



Tuesday 7th February 2017, 7.00pm
Riverside Theatre, Corner Market and Church St, Parramatta

In such a fast paced world it is often challenging to know which emerging trends to follow, consider and trial. Join us as we bring together knowledgeable industry experts to discuss what the future holds for Australia’s film industry, including:

  • MC: Dave Brown (ex-editor, Empire Magazine)
  • CEO and Founder of Animal Logic, Zareh Nalbandian
  • Head of Production Technology at Animal Logic, Aidan Sarsfield
  • CEO and Founder of Proxi VR, Guy Norris
  • Director of Proxi VR, Harrison Norris
  • Freelance Cinematographer, Velinda Wardell


    Thursday 9th February 2017, 5.00pm 1PSQ, 169 Macquarie St, Parramatta

    Join Tropfest founder John Polson for an intimate chat with a selection of Tropfest Alumni including:

  • Filmmaker and Co-founder of Bus Stop Films, Genevieve Clay-Smith
  • Actor, Writer and Director, Clayton Jacobson
  • Actor, Writer and Director, Rob Carlton
  • Actress and Director, Matilda Brown

    Discover where they went after Tropfest, what they are up to today and what’s next on their agenda.


    Friday 10th February 2017, 12.00pm
    1PSQ, 169 Macquarie St, Corner Market and Church St, Parramatta
    At Tropfest, we believe diversity fosters greater innovation, stronger connections and more creative outcomes. At this panel session we discuss practical strategies to encouragee diversity in and amongst the Australian film industry. Join our panellists;

    MC: Lisa Annese, CEO, Diversity Council Australia

    Award-Winning Director of “Gayby Baby” Maya Newell

    CEO of AusFilm, Debra Richards

    Award-winning Producer, Writer and Director, Marian MacGowan

    Director and University Lecturer, University of Western Sydney, Dr

    Amin Palangi

    International Film Director, Writer, Visual Artist and President of ADG,

    Samantha Lang

    Screen Australia Senior Development Executive and leader in Gender

    Matters, Nerida Moore

The 25th annual TROPFEST will be held on Saturday, February 11, 2017

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