[Press Release by Treehouse Creative]

What can you do with $57, a mobile phone and a spare weekend? Make a Tropfest finalist film of course!

Three local film makers have today been announced as finalists for next week’s Tropfest NY. Jason van Genderen (Director), Shane Emmett (Co-Producer) and John Roy (Composer) joined forces to create a moving short film titled Mankind is no Island.

Filmed entirely on a mobile phone, the three and a half minute experimental film explores the themes of homelessness on the streets of Sydney and New York, using only filmed words from signage and music.

The film was this week announced as one of only 8 films worldwide to premiere at Tropfest NY, the USA offshoot of the world’s largest short film festival. John Polson, Tropfest’s founder, called Jason early in the morning to tell him the good news.

"Hearing his voice on the other end of the line was gold for me… I’ve been trying to get into Tropfest for years!" Jason commented "John was genuinely moved by the film and I was just thrilled that came across, despite it being filmed on a mobile phone… it’s hopefully a win for story first, production methods second."

The news came to Jason whilst he was in Canada attending the Toronto International Film Festival, a prize he had previously won for a short film on Gosford’s CBD – which scooped a major prize at this year’s Sydney Film Festival. Ironically, Jason used part of that prize (a new mobile phone) to film his Tropfest entry, and completed the film in New York whilst en route to Canada.

"I only finished editing the film in my hotel room on the last day and had 3 hours to spare when handing it in" said Jason “then, to top things off… I flew back home and left my editing laptop sitting back at the airport on a luggage trolley, but a very kind hearted samaritan handed it back in!”

Mankind is no Island will screen to a live audience of thousands next Friday 26th September at the World Financial Centre Plaza, New York, with winners announced the same evening.

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