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TAFT announces final curtain call for Tropfest NZ

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

TAFT announced this morning that it would not be presenting a sixth Tropfest New Zealand festival in 2018.

TAFT CEO Suzanne Porter said in lieu of securing a major sponsor, the charitable trust’s Board of Trustees had made the decision not to continue to present the festival.

"To date TAFT has invested a significant amount in Tropfest NZ and after a strategic review the decision has been made to focus our efforts on TAFT’s own festivals (the Taranaki Arts Festival and Powerco Taranaki Garden Spectacular)," Porter said.

"It has been a great honour to support and showcase the work of New Zealand filmmakers. We have enjoyed working with the film industry and have been humbled by the support Tropfest NZ has received over the past five years.

"We would like to thank our ambassadors, sponsors, festival attendees and all entrants who have made the last five presentations of Tropfest NZ possible."

Tropfest Founder and Director John Polson said he hoped NZ filmmakers would not be deterred by the news.

"I’d like to thank the TAFT team for all of their hard work over the past five years. The concentration of talent we’ve seen come out of New Zealand has been beyond impressive and I urge all filmmakers to continue making films and sharing them wherever possible." Polson said he remained optimistic about the New Zealand festival. "I have great faith that we will be back in New Zealand in the future," he said.

Tropfest Australia will be open to international entries, so New Zealand filmmakers planning on submitting a film to Tropfest NZ can submit their entries to Tropfest Australia. For more information on Tropfest Australia please see their website:

About Tropfest

Tropfest began in Sydney 25 years ago when director John Polson showed a six-minute film he made for under $100 at his local café (‘The Tropicana’) in Sydney for 200 friends and family.

Today the free Australian event is attended annually by a live audience of over 100,000 filmlovers and hundreds of thousands more watching via its live national TV broadcast and other platforms.

In the past two decades, Tropfest has become recognised as one of the world's most exciting launch pads for emerging filmmakers. Tropfest is also known for securing the support of some of the biggest names in the international film community including Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, Geoffrey Rush, Liev Schreiber and Tobey Maguire.

Tropfest NZ was held for the first time in 2013, with the annual New Zealand short film competition open to any NZ residents or citizens - regardless of their background or experience.

Sixteen finalist films are selected from an entry pool of more than 100 annual entries to make up the main screening event and go on to compete for more than $20,000 in prizes. Tropfest films are unique in that they have all been made specifically for Tropfest, premiere at Tropfest and include the Tropfest Signature Item (or TSI), which changes each year. The TSI for Tropfest NZ 2017 was "FLAME".

Tropfest NZ has been held annually in New Plymouth at the TSB Bowl of Brooklands for the past five years. Ambassadors include Taika Waititi, Sam Neill, Robyn Wadeson, Martin Henderson, Sara Wiseman, John Barnett and Vincent Ward. The festival is unique in that the films are judged live on the night by an industry panel of judges. Tropfest NZ judges have included industry heavyweights John Barnett, Katie Wolfe, Jennifer Ward Lealand, Michael Hurst, Stephen Hunter, Oscar Kightley, James Napier Robertson, Robert Sarkies, James Griffin, Geraldine Brophy, Angela Littlejohn and Gaylene Preston. The 2017 event was won by directors Mary Rinaldi and Sasha Nixon, for their film ‘The Anniversary’

Past Finalist films can be viewed at Tropfest’s YouTube channel: . The channel has 83,767 subscribers and over 43 million views. ENDS

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