Media Release


Following on from the recent news that Academy Award winner Susan Sarandon is heading the Jury this year, Tropfest today announced the 16 finalist films for Tropfest 2018, supported by foundation partner CGU Insurance. Diverse cultural perspectives, poignant dramas and hilarious comedies take center stage in the kaleidoscope of films set to premiere on Saturday 17 February 2018 at Parramatta Park, on a live national broadcast on ABC COMEDY, and livestreamed online on YouTube globally.

“This year marks the most culturally diverse line-up of films Tropfest has ever seen!” said Founder and Executive Chair John Polson. “Having also achieved substantial gender diversity, these finalist films truly represent a great mix of Australian narratives — from the experiences of immigrants, to reflections on racial perceptions in society, incredible true stories, rich emotional journeys and raucous comedies.”

Tropfest Australia 2018 will feature captivating true stories sharing multicultural perspectives. In the tender drama The Last Time I Saw You, we follow a young Afghani asylum seeker standing up to some bigoted school bullies; and in the heartbreaking Regime, a woman is driven to literal madness during the Syrian civil war.

Other fascinating true stories include: Last Man Standing, a compelling documentary on Australia’s last remaining motion picture processor, Werner Winkelmann; Rash Decision, about a hilarious sexual health mix-up, featuring Hacksaw Ridge’s Laurence Brewer; and The Life I’ve Seen, an uplifting reflection of a Perth grandmother’s life well lived.

To juxtapose the traditional Tropfest comedies, there is no shortage of poignant dramas this year. Trop Jr 2017 winner Nick Ward makes his debut in the main competition with Boys Don’t Cry, a call for awareness on male mental health; touching animation I’m Still Here documents a lover’s farewell message at world’s end; and Mi País, Tu País which hails from California, explores prejudices against the Latin American community, and stars Gloria Laino (American Horror Story).
On the lighter side, New Zealander comedian Urzila Carlson plays an overzealous conspiracy nut in Combination Fried Rice; loudmouthed bugs take shots at Australian yuppies in Rock Bottom; and Don’t Rain On My Parade is a light-hearted day in the life of everyone’s worst enemy…

Genre-stretching comedies also feature. Paper Cut, is a suspenseful comedy-thriller about a rogue printer from Aussie TV star Virginia Gay (Winners and Losers); and Sydney’s answer to La La Land, SMOOTH is a hilarious musical, posing the ever-important first date question: what would Ryan Gosling do?

All 16 finalists have referenced this year’s Tropfest Signature Item (TSI), ‘ROSE.’ Finalists will walk the black carpet at the main event, where they will have their films judged by a panel of industry leaders, this year headed up by Academy Award winner Susan Sarandon.

Their films will be enjoyed by thousands of Trop fans in Parramatta Park, and across the live national broadcast on ABC COMEDY, as well as on ABC iview, and livestreamed online on YouTube globally.

Prizes up for grabs include: a shiny new Equinox LTZ valued at over $45,000 courtesy of Exclusive Automotive Partner Holden; $10,000 cash courtesy of Kennedy Miller Mitchell; and a film immersion course and ‘week of meetings’ in Los Angeles, with agents, studio executives and other industry professionals courtesy of the Motion Picture Association.

Tropfest is supported by Foundation Partner CGU Insurance, Presenting Partner Melrose Park by PAYCE, Exclusive Automotive Partner Holden and Strategic Partners Western Sydney University, Parramatta Park Trust, and the City of Parramatta. The ABC is the Exclusive Broadcast Partner and YouTube the Live Streaming Partner. Tropfest is also supported by Major Government Partner, Screen Australia.

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