700 people were waiting on this Tropfest Finalists Announcement but 684 of them were disappointed!

Actor / director John Polson started Tropfest in 1993 in what was then a small café in Darlinghurst Sydney call the “Tropicana” (it’s much bigger now!).


They claim that Tropfest is the largest short film festival in the world and I am happy that’s probably true.

My first Tropfest experience was back in the days it was held in Rushcutters Bay park, conveniently located in front of my house but it soon outgrew that venue as 150,000 people flocked to it each year.

In 2015 mystery surrounded it’s last minute cancellation only to be revived and it was held again in Centennial Park on Valentine’s Day, 2016.

It was a fun night but was hit with bad weather.

Controversially they announced late in 2016 that future events would be held in Parramatta in western Sydney.  That seems a long way from their support base.

The Tropfest Signature Item

Tropfest is somewhat unique in that it requires filmmakers to generate new and original content for each festival and it does this by including a Tropfest Signature Item which changes from year to year.

This year (2017) it is a Pineapple, but in the past it has been objects including a card, lightbulbs, dice, gherkin, muffin and my favourite a kiss.

It gets extraordinary support from Australian and International Celebrity judges which have included Nicole KidmanCate BlanchettNaomi WattsToni ColletteRose ByrneGeoffrey RushRussell CroweJohn WooSamuel L. JacksonBaz LuhrmannKeanu ReevesSam NeillEwan McGregorJane CampionSalma HayekGeorge Miller and Gabriel Byrne.

Apparently, the event reached its peak in 2011 with over 1,000,000 people attending or tuning in on streamed events or online.

It has the largest prize pool of any short film festival but it is the placements and work opportunities that are most sort after and the prestige of winning has launched the careers of many an Australian film maker.

Here are the finalists for 2017:

‘Accomplice’ by Michael Noonan

‘Another Olga’ by Cecilia Rumore

‘The Beekeepers’ by James Dewhirst-Prineas

‘The Birth’ by Sarah Hatherley

‘Can’t I Sh#t In Peace?’ by Julia Morris

‘Diary of a Youtuber’ by Holly Hargreaves

‘Everyting Criss’ by Olly Sindle

‘Going Vego’ by Christopher Burke, Mikey Owen, Hannah Bath

‘Love, Steve’ by Alex Roberts

‘Meat and Potatoes’ by Arielle Thomas, Ellenor Argyropoulos

‘The Mother Situation’ by Matt Day

‘Mutonia Burnout’ by Eugene E Nrg

‘Passenger’ by Catherine Mack

‘Talc’ by Jefferson Grainger

‘The Wall’ by Tristan Klein

‘Wibble Wobble’ by Daphne Do

Good luck to all the film makers!


Written by Peter Spann

Peter Spann is a business coach, writer, presenter and investor.

© Copyright: 2017 Peter Spann – All rights reserved