Nicholas Clifford has won the coveted ‘fruit trophy’ as the winner of Tropfest Australia 2013


Tropfest is excited to announce that Nicholas Clifford has won the coveted ‘fruit trophy’ as the winner of Tropfest Australia 2013. We’ve All Been There was chosen by a distinguished panel made up of actors Sam Worthington, Richard Roxburgh, Magda Szubanski, Rebecca Gibney and Gyton Grantley as well as Alethea Jones (Tropfest winner 2012), film critic Sandy George and Wayne Blair (director of The Sapphires).


We’ve All Been There explored the idea of shared kindness through goodwill and pay-it-forward style ethics. A young woman in need gets a dose of kindness from someone who experienced it herself. AFTRS-trained lead actress Laura Wheelright won Best Actress for her role as the struggling pregnant girl in We’ve All Been There, making it quite a big night for the film all up!


Tropfest has also released the Tropfest Signature Item for its 22nd competition: “Change.


As well as being the required item for all filmmakers to include in their entries, the new TSI in part reflects some ground-breaking festival announcements that were made by its Director, John Polson, live from the Tropfest stage.


Tropfest Australia has officially announced that its ever-expanding audiences in hometown Sydney mean the world’s largest short film festival is making a venue move. From the next event onwards, Sydney’s spectacular Centennial Park will become Tropfest Australia’s new home. 


Furthermore, Tropfest has made a significant festival date change for the first time in two decades: December 8, 2013 is the new date for Tropfest’s Australia’s 22nd competition – to take place live from Centennial Park.


Festival Director John Polson said he is excited about the changes, but will miss the Domain:


“We’ve been extremely privileged,” Polson said. “The Domain is now an important part of our history, having been our home since 1999.  However, with our steadily growing audience, Centennial Parklands is really the only Sydney venue that offers us the space we now need.  This will be an exciting new chapter for us.”


“The change to December also reflects the growth Tropfest is experiencing both locally, and internationally. Our significant increase in international guests – both regular audiences and VIP attendees - has meant we need to think more globally now. Our new date fits better with the international film calendar including events like the Oscars. It’s also a magical time of year in Australia. What better way to kick off our glorious summer than with Tropfest?” he said.


If filmmakers need more encouragement to get cracking on their entries for the December competition, they need look not further than at what Clifford took home tonight.

Clifford is the lucky recipient of an all-new 2012 Toyota Corolla Levin ZR, a $10,000 cash prize (courtesy of Kennedy Miller Mitchell) and a trip to Los Angeles for a week of meetings with film executives (organised by Motion Picture Association and the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft).


And to help him on his way as a filmmaker, he is now also the proud owner of the award-winning Nikon D800 and $2000 RRP worth of lenses and accessories.

Clifford says “I can’t wait to go to LA, go The Clippers! Thankyou to Tropfest and everyone that’s come out. It’s the best feeling in the world.”


The winner of the new Nikon DSLR category Matt Hardie’s film Let It Rain was a light-hearted gun-war - with water pistols instead of firearms. This category was awarded for the first time this year for films shot entirely on DSLR cameras, encouraging a creative approach to filmmaking with a new genre of equipment. He has bagged a sweet Nikon D600 and $3000 RRP worth of lenses and accessories.


The night’s warm fuzzy feeling really shone through some of the other films, including second prize winner Jefferson Grainger’s Better Than Sinatra, which followed the story of Raymond Borzelli, elderly pensioner who brightens the days of strangers by dancing to buskers around CBD Sydney.


Sam Worthington announced that the judges had collectively put up $3000 to go towards a new prize created especially for this year’s festival for Best Personality In a Documentary. The prize was awarded to Raymond Borzelli, who has learnt to see the bright side and dance his way through financial struggles.


The third prize-winning film Punctured by Nick Baker and Tristan Klein was a wonderful animation made with a combination hand-coloured collage and digital effects. A dystopian tale, the film followed the tale of a man whose only job was to puncture balloons.


Nick Baker helped out with the film while working on the Obama campaign, communicating with Tristan Klein over Skype to get it done.


Nick Hamilton, lead actor in Time, a film about time travel firmly rooted in reality, took out the best actor award.


Minister for Tourism, Major Events and the Arts, George Souris, said he was pleased to see so many talented NSW filmmakers in the running for first prize, with 12 of the 16 finalist produced by local talent.


“The NSW Government, through our tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, is proud to support Tropfest 2013, the world’s largest short film festival,” Mr Souris said. “NSW’s domination of Tropfest 2013 reinforces our position as the hub of film production in Australia and the home of the creative industries. NSW employs almost half of all those involved in the film industry in this country and is the headquarters for a vast majority of Australia’s film industry’s businesses.”


This year, Tropfest was broadcast live to a television audience all around Australia on SBS One, who got up close to the stars on a glittering red carpet, as well as capturing exclusively all the film and music action of Tropfest.