9 December 2014


Tropfest is easily one of the world's biggest event of the year and on Sunday I was lucky enough to be given the chance to get up close to the action! Last year, I brought you my Tropfest Highlights all thanks to the SBS2 coverage, but this year, I'm bringing my fellow Words By Femme readers on a Tropfest 2014 Experience. Keep reading on, and let me get you up to date on all the Tropfest news from the night with pictures and click here for an exclusive vlog* made my yours truly! 
* Sorry for the crap quality

Tropfest 2014 saw clear and sunny skies to start the day, giving Tropfest Jr. celebrants a fine day at Centennial Park. Later in the afternoon, the rained poured and officials were forced to temporarily cut the event short due to dangerous storms in the area. Instead of the notorious Tropfest screens displaying the televised Tropfest program, it instead displayed a safety warning telling festival goers that they should not shelter under tarps, trees or tents, they should stay away from metal objects and that they should take cover at the Entertainment Quarter. Most people decided to pack up they're picnic blankets and chairs and head home, while others decided to wait for the storm to pass. 
It's safe to say that I was getting soaked but I didn't want to think that Tropfest was cancelled completely - luckily after waiting half an hour for the rain to pass, Tropfest 2014 was back on!
Apologies for the lack of Red Carpet photos. I unfortunately missed most of it due to the rain and my indecisiveness. I also wasn't permitted to take photographs in the section where I was sitting, so that explains my lack of photos towards the end of the night. Sorry!

Here are some of my thoughts on my personal standouts. What were your favourites?


You Wanna Order Pizza?
Directed by Laura Hughes

This short had such a simple storyline about two people trying to order pizza while high on "Jay Weeeeds". It felt very genuine, which I think is done through the witty writing and the outstanding acting where you can sense a real friendship between the two actresses. I found it quite difficult to spot the TSI, so the reference must have been really subtle so the director could focus mainly on the storyline of ordering Pizza. Nicely done!

Granny Smith
Directed by Julian Lucas

Granny Smith was the Tropfest 2014 winner, but to be brutally honest, it wasn't one of my favourites this year at all. The story touches on a subject that is always tricky to convey with a comedic twist, but I think Lucas has done an excellent job in doing so, receiving many laughs and the title of Tropfest Winner.

Red Nuts
Directed by Jackson Mullane

What I loved most about this short film was its creative shots and framing. The use of rule of thirds and symmetrical shots made this short extremely aesthetically pleasing and added emphasis to its message. I also enjoyed one particular scene set in a club, where the lighting is used to the best of its ability, really showing off the importance of the characters and highlighting their characteristics. I found that this one club scene captured the essence of the short film, where the tagline is "What would change about your life if you found out that you only had days left to live?"

The Home Video
Directed by Nhu Hoang Dang 

The Home Video reminded me a lot of Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense, a Tropfest finalist from 2013. The shots are quite similar as well as the audio, where the director has layered his voice and a sombre track over the film. Dang has used a mixture of clips to make up his short film and they unexpectedly work well when put together. He has used found video (where he has captured some touching candid footage), video captured on a mobile device, and even drone footage that overlooks a magnificent shot of a beach. The time lapse of the sunset really tugs at the heartstrings and beautifully shows the sentimental value of this short film to his family.

Directed by David Karacic & Michael Karacic
Congratulations tot he Karacic brothers who won the Nikon DSLR Film Category and Qantas Film Cadetship for their short film. Their film Untitled, was three and a half minutes of a guy who is sat looking in the mirror - simple yet intimate. The film has a voice-over of his thoughts that match perfectly with his emotions and facial expressions and this is what makes this short film incredible. 


#3 A Bit Rich
Directed by Gregory Erdstein
A Bit Rich touches on materialistic issues that are a popular debate in today's world. The argument that 'Money can't buy you happiness' is communicated well through the progression of this short film, proving that the storyline is consistent, somewhat relatable and most importantly - witty! The props were imperative in this film because they help to communicate that profile of being filthy rich; there's appearances of fancy over-the-top dresses and even a pony?! The locations make this short feel like an indie film, which is always great for aesthetics, but it also contrasts between rich and poor, where they've just won the Lottery and they walk around in expensive clothing, but they converse about ending up poor while walking barefoot in dirt or swimming in someone else's pool.

#2 Inverse
Directed by Liam Connor
I fell in love with this short film. Everything about it was mind blowing from its concept to the posters on the wall - it was an incredible film entirely. First off, the production quality was amazing and every time I re-watch this short film I'm blown away by how high the quality is of the special effects used. The director wanted Inverse to be based around the TSI of Mirror, and as a result, in the film there are multiple worlds that are separated by mirrors. Where the tragedy happens, the whole world is mirrored, yes even the street signs. Basically, it consists of a spectacularly complex concept that even I don't understand yet, even though I've watched it at least five times.

#1 Twisted
Directed by Stuart Bowen
My favourite Tropfest short film for 2014 had to be Twisted. If you're going to watch one Tropfest film today, make it this one. Twisted is very, very clever; its' storyline is simple yet original and it'll get plenty of laughs out of you. This is the only short in this years Tropfest to have no dialogue, which means that body language, facial expressions and emotions had to portray the story - which the actors did extremely well in doing so. Seeing as there was no dialogue in this short, music and sound effects were a massive part of this film, utilising relative music to suit the mood of each scene and subtle sound effects that emphasise the actions of the actors. I have to mention how incredible the props were in this short, specifically the amazingly creative use of balloons - there was even an appearance of a balloon tumbleweed. Awesome job on this short film!


Congratulations once again to all Tropfest finalists on their wonderful short films. I'm sure that I'm not alone in saying that I was delighted to see so much creative talent in Australian film-making. I can't wait to witness even more talent at Tropfest 2015, where short film makers are expected to work around the TSI: 'Card'.
Thank you to The Trop Team for this amazing opportunity and their humble hospitality. It was a pleasure to be watching some of the best Aussie short films under cloudy night skies, with Matt Hardie to my left, Fuzzy sat in front of me, Ash London to my right and talented directors chatting away behind me. 

If you guys haven't experienced Tropfest for yourself, clear your schedule for this time next year and join me under the stars to watch some of the best entertainment from Australia!

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