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:: Spotlight :: Sony Tropfest gets into shape for 2005

By: Carmine Pascuzzi

Records have been smashed with the 2005 Sony Tropfest attracting 792 entries, the highest ever in the festival's 13-year history.

57% of the total entries came from New South Wales. There were international entries from Italy, The Netherlands, South Korea, Norway, Singapore, South Africa, and the USA.

Sony Tropfest attributes the increase to the first year acceptance of entries on DVD, making it easier and more accessible for filmmakers to enter. Approximately 705 of entries were received in DVD format.

Sony Tropfest Founder and Creative Director, John Polson says “Each year I am astounded by the number of filmmakers who enter Sony Tropfest and the diversity of Australian storytelling. This year‘s record number of entries is a real testament to Sony Tropfest's 'have a go’ appeal and I can't wait to see the calibre of this year's entrants.”

The festival continues to attract short films from hobby filmmakers of all ages. The youngest director of this year's entrants is aged six (youngest ever in Tropfest history), and the oldest is seventy-eight.

This year, Sony Tropfest acknowledges the growing number of filmmakers under twenty-one who are all in the running for the Sony Foundation Young Talent Award.

Sony Tropfest is a full day of summer entertainment featuring live acts, a panel of celebrity judges, and an awards ceremony, with simultaneous satellite screenings in Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart, Canberra, Brisbane and Perth.

Visit the official website for festival details, screening venues, and regular updates.

SONY TROPFEST - Sunday, February 27 2005
Free event!
Sydney Domain, Royal Botanic Gardens

Simultaneous sites outside of Sydney

Melbourne:
Alexandra Gardens
presented by Sony Tropfest and City Of Melbourne

Hobart: Machine Laundry Café - Salamanca Square, Hobart
presented by Machine Laundry Café

Canberra: Stage 88 Commonwealth Park, Canberra
presented by the National Capital Authority

Brisbane: Suncorp Piazza, Brisbane
presented by QPIX

Perth: Princess May Park, Fremantle
presented by the Film and Television Institute

Sony Tropfest 2005 – facts to note from 2005 entries

 The youngest entrant thus far is Jazzi Pybus who, at only six years old, directed, produced, acted in, and helped edit her entry “No More Dick Togs!”. Jazzi has been making films since she was four years old, but this is the first film she has entered into a competition.

 The second youngest entrant is Sam Herzog who is eight years old. He was inspired to make and enter his film “Birth of an Idea” after Funniest Home Videos TV show rejected his tapes he submitted.

 The oldest entrant, Joy Hruby, who directed and produced her entry “The Doctor’s Day” is 78 years old!

 The Jacket, a short film directed by Louis Pratt and produced by Hilton Hedley and Angie Fielder, tells the story of a man eerily obsessed with former Prime Minister Bob Hawke's career, focusing on the infamous jacket he donned on the morning of Australia's America's Cup win in 1983.
The film was shot in December 2004 on Mr Hawke's 75th Birthday. Cast and crew marked the occasion with a birthday cake and a chorus of Happy Birthday at wrap time.
Says Mr Hawke of his latest foray into the limelight: “The capture of the America's Cup lifted Australia's spirits remarkably. Anyone who misses this film is a bum!”

 Max Cullen, well known Australian actor who is currently in the Foxtel production “Love My Way”, co-produced an entry with his wife and also starred in the film titled “Look Right”.

 Steve Bastoni, (‘The Matrix’) has directed a film for this year.

 Kate Bradley has entered a film titled “Rest in Peace” featuring Ray Meagher (aka ‘Alf’ from Home and Away)

 Bruce Spence (Stork, Mad Max 2, Finding Nemo, Star Wars Episode 3, Lord of the Rings Return of the King, Matrix Revolutions) is starring in a film called “Australian Summer”.

 Cameron Daddo and Alan Dale (Grandfather in ‘The O.C’) star in “Trying the Not”, entered by Mathew Pearce all the way from LA.

 Aussie actress made famous by her role in UK drama “Cold Feet”, Kimberly Joseph, stars in an entry titled “Fight Night”.

**FINALISTS ANNOUNCED**

Sony Tropfest is proud to reveal the 16 finalists for the 2005 festival. Finalist biographies attached.

Title - A Family Legacy
Director: Rory Williamson
State: NSW
Producers: Janneke Fussell/ George Pank/ Adam Anthony
Synopsis: It's the biggest day of Joe's life…Will he make his family proud? Will the legacy live on, or won't it?

Title - Australian Summer
Director: Luke Eve
State: NSW
Producer: Luke Eve
Synopsis: Two men. One alleyway. An entire world to explore.

Title - Benny Unseen Hero
Directors: Darren Arbib/ Steven Hirst
State: NSW
Producers: Steven Hirst/ Darren Arbib
Synopsis: Benny the loser performs one amazing feat after another but no-one sees a thing, to his enormous frustration.

Title - Bomb
Director: Alister Grierson
State: NSW
Producers: Leesa Kahn/ Les Parrott
Synopsis: When a man thinks his day can't get any worse, he discovers he is driving a bomb.

Title - Chiuso
Director: Hugh Rutherford
State: NSW
Producers: Hugh Rutherford/ Sonia Esposito
Synopsis: A barber's day takes an unexpected turn when he is interrupted by a troubled man on the run and a salesman just wanting to sell his toy dogs.

Title - Coma
Director: Stuart Charles
State: VIC
Producers: Stuart Charles/ Christian White
Synopsis: A man tries to break some news to his comatose fiancé.

Title - Fingerprints
Director: Cathrine McVeigh
State: NSW
Producers: Claire Tonkin/ Jonathon Kisch
Synopsis: A cop's hunt for clues becomes much more than routine as his search reveals a devastating truth…

Title - Garbage Man
Director: Henry Naylor
State: London, UK
Producer: James Edwards (NSW)
Synopsis: A comic horror where a lone female is stalked by a violent and deadly cardboard cut-out… of George Dubya Bush.

Title - In Your Dreams
Director: Greg Williams
State: VIC
Producer: Bridget Lloyd-Jones
Synopsis: Did you really think your dreams where your own? Welcome to Dreamworx. When you go to sleep, they go to work.

Title - Lucky
Director: Nash Edgerton
State: NSW
Producer: Brooke Wilson
Synopsis: Lucky finds himself in a bind.

Title - Money
Director: James Wilson
State: NSW
Producer: James Wilson
Synopsis: How giving can change one's life.

Title - Rattus Pistofficus
Directors: Josh Reed/ Sam Reed
State: NSW
Producers: Nigel Christensen/ Josh Reed/ Sam Reed
Synopsis: A man and a rat struggle for their right to shelter.

Title - The Razor's Edge
Director: Gabriel Dowrick
State: NSW
Producers: Marc Windon/ David Ratner/ Gabriel Dowrick
Synopsis: Who is this homeless man? What is his past? Who is this baby? What is its future? Destiny collides Kung Fu!

Title - This Film is Yet To Be Classified
Director: Jayce White
State: NSW
Producer: Jayce White
Synopsis: An animated study of the Australian film industry; it's quirks; shortcomings and potential future.

Title - Too Far
Director: Matthew Peek
State: VIC
Producers: Matthew Peek/ Cameron Ford
Synopsis: Story of a paranoid father who over reacts to the Y2K bug, the threat of terrorism and water restrictions.

Title - Too Sunny, Too Cold
Director: Tania Yuki
State: NSW
Producer: Tania Yuki
Synopsis: A cultural clash of salami, sushi and that special someone.

Pictured:
1. Kimberley Joseph in a scene from ‘Fight Night’.
2. A scene from ‘Frankie Gets Burnt’
3. Alan Dale from ‘Trying The Not’.

For more information, visit

www.tropfest.com