15 February 2016

TROPFEST AUSTRALIA 2015/16: Highlights

February 14th and Valentine's Day saw the return of the world's largest short film festival: Tropfest. After a bit of disappointing news of Tropfest's temporary cancellation in 2015, John Polson worked tirelessly to get it back up and running for its (almost) 24th year. 

Hundreds of Tropfest entries were submitted, but only 16 finalists were given the opportunity to showcase their short film on the iconic big screens in front of an audience of thousands, as well as the rest of Australia who switched on to SBS2 for a delayed broadcast.

Although I couldn't be at Sydney's Centennial Park sitting on a picnic rug with a drink in hand, I tuned in to SBS2 and revisited my favourites on the Tropfest Youtube channel.

If for some crazy reason you missed out on the 2015/16 Tropfest short films, here were the highlights. And I've included my Top 3! What were your favourites?

Piñata Directed by Bill Northcott

Short and sweet. A really short film done in about a minute and 15 seconds. Piñata is an unexpected animation with a bit of slapstick comedy and a hint of morbidness. Watch Piñata here.

Postcards To Ulay Directed by Tristan Klein & Nick Baker

Let's start off by saying that this short is about dogs being ejected from Earth. Just from that, you already know that it's going to be all heartfelt. Although its story gets you right in the feels, there are comedic moments and it probably wins best narration this year. Watch Postcards To Ulay here.

Tay Man Directed by Angela McCormack

Shout out to the only female director among the 16 finalists of this year! Filmed in satirical documentary form with big comedy names like Colin Lane and David Collins, this short film was definiely a good laugh. The attention to detail with the T. Swizz props were fantastic, complete with a collage of Tay's squad, which I caught a glimpse of in the background! #squadgoals. Watch Tay Man here.

Angie Directed by Hugh Clark

It's a story that any art/design enthusiast can sympathise with. Angie is all about a woman who conveys her unspoken words through art. It's inspirational, informative and really warms the heart. Focusing on people who are deaf, the cameras really capture each characters' gestures and emotions and sound design is incredibly considered. Watch Angie here.

Wish You Here Directed by Benjamin O'Donnell

First of all, can I get the contact details of the SFX makeup artist who worked on this film, because this short has some of the best zombie makeup I've seen. Subtle, yet gorey enough. The special effects is noteworthy too - they turned Australia into a desolate and dystopian world! Watch Wish You Here here.

STELLA Directed by Kiah Roache-Turner

I'm a sucker for scenes that are a one shotter. Yep, this 6 minute and 50 second short film is all one take. Director Roache-Turner admitted that it took them seven tries to get the perfect take! Watch STELLA here.


Directed by Antonio Oreña-Barlin

Drawcard takes 3rd place for me. This short is incredibly witty and tells a story about an office worker whose day just keeps going downhill. It's written well with lines that just make you want to hug the main character. It's cock and balls turned into something sentimental! Watch Drawcard here.

Directed by Spencer Susser & Daniel 'Cloud' Campos

A well deserved 1st place winner this year at Tropfest! The production and attention to detail of this short film is absolutely crazy. You may have seen stop motion done before, but this is stop motion on steroids. Sound design was crucial too and nonetheless well effing done. There were laughs, a bit of gore, 'aww' moments and above all - had the entertaining factor. Watch SHINY here.

Directed by Rick Donald

At first glance, it's a serious, dark, criminal-fueled short film but don't be fooled. Really, it's just two super Aussie wannabe criminals whose sloppy plan backfires in hilarious fashion. I couldn't get enough of the Australian references: Scotch fingers, K-mart knives and the overuse of the word 'pussy'. Let's all thank actor, director AND writer Rick Donald because everything about this short is spot on. Watch The ATM here.

Want more Tropfest highlights? Click here for posts you'll love.

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