9 December 2013

TROPFEST AUSTRALIA 2013: Highlights



December 8th marked Australia's 22nd Tropfest film festival which is the world's largest short film festival. If you're unfamiliar with Tropfest, it was founded by Jon Polson (well-known Australian filmmaker) where he held the very first festival in 1993 at a small Darlinghurst cafe called Tropicana Caffe, hence the existing "Tropfest" name. This screening attracted 200 people and has since then attracted many, many short film makers, directors, producers, actors... the list goes on! The renowned festival is held every December in Sydney, Australia, where an audience of thousands set up a picnic blanket and watch 16 short film finalists. This year I watched the festival in the comfort of my own home, all thanks to SBS 2 and their broadcast of Tropfest 2013!

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Here are some of the films that stood out for me. Which films did you enjoy?


CHARADES
Directed by Julian Lucas
A clever, clever short film to watch. An unexpected story about 3 siblings that take part in a Charades competition, and take it a bit too seriously. What I liked most about this short film was its storyline. I'm not too sure if including three young adults who are deaf and who use sign language to communicate on a daily basis in a Charades contest is a little offensive or unusually brilliant.

ARIEL 
Directed by Claude Gonzales
The cinematography in Ariel surprised me throughout the entire six and a half minutes. Every shot looked like it could be part of a photographic series because it was framed that well. A well deserved winner of the Nikon DSLR Film category, congratulations Claude Gonzales and cinematographers Junior Lucano and Alessandro Mattiolo!

TRUTH IS... 
Directed by Ben Davis
This short film possessed an interesting format, which is what stood out for me. Bikie Gangs and their way of living has interested me for a while now, and this short film shines a whole different light on the whole rebellious concept of every Bikie. Sure, there is still a hint of violence involved in the film, but Director Ben Davis successfully captures a softer and satirical side of Bikie's through the intelligent writing and format.

BAMBOOZLED 
Directed by Matt Hardie
Bamboozled picked up the title of Winner of Tropfest Australia 2013 and Best Male Actor went to Matt Hardie himself, shared with Aaron Tsindos. It was a well deserved win by Matt Hardie as he's a tremendously talented and witty actor, not only exemplified in Bamboozled, but in his previous Tropfest short film titled "Let It Rain," one of my personal all time favourites. Congratulations!

COPING 
Directed by Kaiya Jones
Obviously a significant highlight of the night was seeing 17-year-old Kaiya Jones receive Best Female Actor for her main role in her short film, which she also directed. In her introduction played before her film, she said she "wanted to push herself" and the only outcome for her was success! Congratulations girl!

MY TOP 3

STEW 
Directed by Steven Woodburn
A little bit of a satirical short film, Stew is about a grown man who has a flashback to when his Grandma forced him to eat her home-made Stew when he was a young boy, after spotting someone in a cafe eating a bowl of Stew. Woodburn incorporates animations into this short film when Grandma's Stew comes to life and when the film conveys Grandma as an evil chef who uses human body parts to make her special slow-cooked meal, which I thought added more of a mockery of witches and traditional scary stories. In addition to the animations, non-diegetic sounds are used well in the film to emphasise the childish tone and to balance out the morbid and the satire. This short film is shot quite well, where for the most part, each frame focuses on what the audience is meant to focus on for example, close-ups on Grandma's mouth when she speaks or jars of obvious red body parts, or the extreme close-up shot of sweat beads rolling off the boys' head. 
Such a fun short film to watch with a plot you've never seen before. 8/10

HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE 
Directed by Tom Abood
I loved this short film. I thought it was extremely amusing to see that Director Tom Abood created his short film into a document of his time as a soldier and that he made this documentation as a letter format to his Mum. Honi Soi Qui Mal Y Pense creates a beautiful, heartbreaking, yet awe-inspiring tone through the use of the slow piano played over the footage ("Sighted" by Moby & "The Temperature Of The Air On The Bow Of The Kaleetan" by Chris Zabriskie) and Abood's magnificent words over the top of the slow ballads. 
Let's all be honest... we all shed more than a few tears in this one, the juxtaposition was perfectly captured. 9/10

REVIVE 
Directed by Ruben Pracas
Revive was my personal favourite this year. Director Ruben Pracas, along with Producer Chae Ryan intended for audiences gain a sense of goodwill through their filmmaking and by watching this short film, they have achieved this through its simple, yet valuable ideology. Although there's no dialogue in this short film, the two characters are captured well through excellent emotions and gestures, and the subtle props assist audiences to further understand the lives of the characters. The location could not have been any more spot on; a strip in a busy city surrounded by buildings, one of which contains a hospital and a patient. The outside is captured well, with dozens of business men and women walking speedily up and down the strip, and the inside of the hospital is conveyed as a big, dull, isolated room with only the happiness of a balloon keeping it lively. 
I enjoyed this a lot, and when you watch it, expect to be smiling and to shed a tear as well. 9.5/10 

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A monumental congratulations to the 16 finalists of the 22nd Tropfest Film Festival in Australia and to all the award winners. All 16 films oozed talent and Australians should be proud of the amount of creativity that surrounds us. 
To the hundreds of other filmmakers who entered to be part of the world's largest short film festival; keep making films and never put your creativity to waste! Good luck to all the entrants for next year!

- AlissAMR


4 comments:

  1. Wonderful post...I like your blog.^^
    Maybe follow each other on bloglovin?
    Let me know follow you then back.
    Lovely greets Nessa

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you so much Vanessa!
    Love your blog, i'm now following you :)

    - Alissa

    ReplyDelete

  3. Thank you so much for the follow.
    Follow you back on bloglovin.
    Btw,I'm also on Instagram,maybe you like my account?
    Lovely greets from germany ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure I'll check out your Instagram :) If you would like, click my social media buttons on my sidebar to follow me.

      - Alissa

      Delete