Press release from Tropfest

The road from Tropfest has proved to be fruitful for Movie Extra Tropfest 2011 winner Damon Gamaeu and runner up Jason Van Genderen. This week the two Tropfest finalists were honoured at the Oscar-qualifying international competition, Aspen Shortsfest, in Colorado USA for their Tropfest entries.

Van Genderen took out the Youth Jury Prize for his moving film, ‘The Unspoken’, a touching tribute to his father who is suffering from lung cancer. Gameau picked up Special Jury Recognition for his ubeat stop motion animation, ‘Animal Beatbox’ – a huge hit with the audiences and judges in Australia.

Aspen Shortsfest is known as one of the world's top 50 film festivals. The festival offers a selection of short films from around the world to an international audience of filmmaking industry heavyweights.

Tropfest Founder and Director, John Polson, who participated this year as a special guest and member of one of the juries, says he’s elated by the international recognition Aspen Shortsfest has awarded Tropfest’s first and second place directors.

“I’m incredibly excited for Jason and Damon. This is a huge nod to their talent, and will only strengthen their very promising careers. I’m proud that Tropfest was the launch pad for these incredible new short films.”

Van Genderen says he is still coming to terms with how his film has travelled across the globe. “It’s surreal to think that this little film has travelled from my dad’s lounge room, to the living rooms and huge Tropfest events across Australia, and now to Aspen Colorado. Winning the Youth Jury Prize is wonderful affirmation that this very personal story has a universal voice and can be appreciated worldwide,” he says.

Out of the 2,500 submissions from 80 countries, 83 short films were ultimately selected for the ten International Competition programs.

Tropfest has year on year demonstrated itself to be an unparalleled launch pad for young and emerging filmmakers, with many past finalists going on to receive local and international acclaim.

Filmmakers will once again get their chance to show off their filmmaking skills when Tropfest returns in 2012, with entries opening in October 2011.

In 2012, Tropfest promises to be an even bigger and better event. The film festival will be celebrating the 20th anniversary since its birth a small cafe in Darlinghurst, Sydney. The Tropfest Signature Item (TSI) for 2012 is “LIGHT BULB”

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