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Tropfest NY, the world’s largest short film festival

Establishing itself as a New York film tradition on par with its Down Under namesake, Tropfest NY, the world’s largest short film festival, today announced it will return to downtown Manhattan for its third year on Friday, September 26, 2008.

Previously presented at Trofest@Tribeca in association with the Tribeca Film Festival, Tropfest NY 2008 marks the first time the free public outdoor festival will be presented independently by Tropfest and its founder John Polson.

Tropfest NY will bring an expected 15,000 film lovers to the World Financial Center Plaza, alongside the Hudson River, to view 16 short films created by up-and-coming filmmakers. The films will be judged on-site by a jury of well-known filmmakers and actors, with the top filmmaker receiving a $20,000 cash prize and two round-trip tickets to Australia. The audience will also choose its favorite film in the People’s Choice Award.

Unlike most film festivals, Tropfest NY boasts a rock concert-like atmosphere with audience members packing picnic meals and enjoying live DJs and musical acts prior to the mini-marathon of short films.

Tropfest originated at the well-known Tropicana Café in Sydney in 1993 when director Polson (Hide and Seek, Swimfan) needed a venue to screen one of his short films. Over the past fifteen years, it has evolved into an Australian cultural phenomenon with the festival screening live via satellite to over 150,000 people in eight cities across the continent from Sydney to Perth.

Past judges at Tropfest NY include Naomi Watts, Matt Dillon, Josh Lucas, Griffin Dunne, Rose Byrne, Anthony LaPaglia, Tom McCarthy and Darren Aronofsky. This year’s judges will be announced later this summer.

“Tropfest NY is not your mother’s film festival with some wine and cheese and a bunch of strangers sitting in the dark,” said Polson. “It’s a wildly fun celebration of short film, as well as an amazing opportunity for emerging filmmakers to screen their work in front of a massive audience that includes some of the top filmmakers and actors in the world.”

2007’s jury winner, Matthew Bonifacio, went on to have his film, “Amexico”, selected for the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival. 2008 audience winner Stephen Franciosa Jr. is currently in production on the feature film, “Blood Night.”

Tropfest NY is accepting submissions until September 5, 2008.

In keeping with Tropfest tradition, filmmakers are required to incorporate a signature item, which changes annually, into their film. This year's item is “sunflower.” In addition, films must be must no longer than seven minutes (including title and credits), and they must premiere at the festival.

Official entry forms, and further rules and instructions for submissions are available at

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