SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 15: George Miller AO speaks during a Tropfest press conference at Parramatta Park on August 15, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

Tropfest Has Found It’s NEW Home In Parramatta

Announced at a media call attended by filmmaker and Tropfest Board member George Miller AO (Mad Max, Happy Feet, Babe), actor and previous Tropfest Judge Sam Neill (Jurassic Park, The Piano, Hunt for the Wilderpeople), Tropfest supporter Producer Marian Macgowan (Two Hands, upcoming Utzon: The Man Behind The Opera House) and actors Brenton Thwaites (Gods of Egypt, Maleficent, upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) and Tess Haubrich (Wolverine, upcoming Alien: Covenant and Bleeding Steel) Tropfest will now be held at Parramatta Park with the inaugural event to take place on Saturday, February 11, 2017. Also in attendance was Environment and Heritage Minister Mark Speakman, City of Parramatta Council Administrator Amanda Chadwick, Elizabeth Ann Macgregor, the Premier’s Cultural Ambassador for Western Sydney and Lucy Turnbull AO as Chair of the Greater Sydney Commission.

John Polson, founder of Tropfest, speaking from set of Elementary, said: “After extensive research and soul-searching, as well as looking to international festivals such as Sundance and Cannes for inspiration, we’ve recognised our desire to have a destination we could fully embrace and call our own. Tropfest needed a fresh base where it can be nurtured, expand, and eventually become a multi event festival. Moving Tropfest to Parramatta also puts us firmly in the geographical heart of Sydney, which is the perfect place for the world’s most exciting and accessible film event.”

“The City of Parramatta and Parramatta Park Trust have already demonstrated they are 100% behind helping us ensure Tropfest at Parramatta is a success. Having such vested partners on board enables us to continue our core mission – to provide a platform for Australia’s incredible filmmaking talent, and to celebrate that talent loudly and for all the world to see.

I can’t wait to introduce the loyal Tropfest audience to our beautiful new venue at Parramatta Park (just a short train ride away!) as well as connect with ever wider audiences at our new home.”

The location boasts a quick 25 minute train ride from Sydney’s Central Station plus is easily accessible by bus and ferry, making Parramatta a central location that opens up the event to people from all over the greater Sydney region. With a thriving and continually developing arts and cultural scene, a growing and diverse population and supportive local bodies, Parramatta and Tropfest are the perfect match.

Tropfest has for the first time moved to a Saturday night, recognising the opportunities that the night brings.

“Western Sydney has produced some of the leading lights in the Australian film industry and Parramatta has a very strong arts community. City of Parramatta is immensely proud to support this wonderful event and I’m sure it will find a happy home here in Parramatta,” Council’s Administrator Amanda Chadwick said.

“Bringing Tropfest to Parramatta Park will give the event room to grow and prosper and will enable a whole new audience to discover the future stars of Australian film. We look forward to welcoming filmmakers and film fans from across Sydney and beyond to our city next February,”

Tropfest Board member and supporter George Miller adds: “This opportunity to bring the dynamic world of filmmaking to a wider audience is extremely positive. Tropfest offers anyone aspiring to make movies the chance to show their work to 100,000 plus people, to go on to international film festivals and open doors to a career, here and around the globe. This festival is now in its 25th year. The first of its kind in the world, it remains a well-spring of talent and, thanks to the inspirational John Polson, has never lost its unique, grassroots, ‘give it a go’ attitude. A big shout out to Parramatta for recognising this and providing Tropfest a warm new home.”

Suellen Fitzgerald, Executive Director, Western Sydney Parklands and Parramatta Park Trusts welcomed the announcement saying, “We are thrilled to become a Strategic Partner for Tropfest. Parramatta Park is a stunning world-class destination and a key part of the cultural life of Parramatta that will deliver a memorable experience for festival-goers.”

Budding filmmakers across Australia should now be busily working on their shorts for Tropfest 2017 as entries open in September.  This year’s Tropfest Signature Item (TSI) is ‘Pineapple’ and the popular spiky fruit must be included in all 2017 entries and be no longer than seven minutes.  It is entirely up to entrants as to how they interpret and include the TSI in their film; filmmakers are encouraged to be as creative or as literal as they like and to grab a camera, a group of friends and get filming, for a chance to win at Tropfest’s milestone 25th year.

Since its conception in 1993, Tropfest has played a pivotal role in fostering the careers of some the biggest and brightest names in the film and TV industry, including Sam Worthington (Avatar), Joel Edgerton (The Great Gatsby), Rebel Wilson (Pitch Perfect), Nash Edgerton (Square), Gregor Jordan (Two Hands), Emma Freeman (Glitch), Justin Kurzel (Snowtown, Macbeth) and Rob Connolly (Paper Planes). Tropfest now operates on a not-for-profit business model and in 2017, will offer many new and exciting opportunities forfilmmakers and the Tropfest fans who enjoy the annual event so much.

The chair of the Greater Sydney Commission, Lucy Turnbull, said: “Tropfest will not only bring the crowds from all around Sydney, but on the back of such a successful cultural event, we will see an influx of associated investments and jobs. Parramatta is growing fast, and while there are challenges with growth, more cultural institutions and events show some of the many opportunities that come with growth. Move over Sydney, Parramatta really is the next big thing.”

The 25th annual Tropfest will be held on Saturday, February 11, 2017.