Tropfest, which should have happened last Saturday, will return instead on February 14 next year.
After a the disappointing announcement of the cancellation of Tropfest Film Festival in early November due to “mismanagement of funds”, the career-making event has made a miraculous return thanks to a generous donation from CGU Insurance.
The iconic festival’s cancellation ensued a national outcry, and it was only a matter of time before a helping hand emerged. More than 1.6 people have visited a Tropfest event in its 23 years, which draws roughly 150 000 people annually to Centennial Park in Sydney, as well as hundreds of thousands more that tune in via the live television broadcast.
On the decision to support Tropfest for its 2015/2016 event, Ben Bessell, Commercial Insurance Chief Executive for IAG, parent company of CGU Insurance, said
“Tropfest is a great festival, providing unique platforms for talented filmmakers through its events and initiatives, and we are excited to be able to help them get back on their feet… It’s also about supporting the wider community who are avid fans of film and entertainment and give them an opportunity to come along and enjoy a free cultural event.”
Tropfest has always maintained its desire to remain a free, outdoor festival, which gives amateur and experienced film makers alike the opportunity to gain huge publicity for their work, and the opportunity for viewers to experience a unique cultural event. As well as the Tropfest finalist film showcase, the main event of the night, Tropfest Jr showcases the work of filmmakers aged 15 and younger, screening their short films earlier in the day.
Filmmakers of the 16 Tropfest Finalist Films for 2015 are undoubtedly the most relieved, knowing that their work will now be showcased. On the festival’s cancellation, finalist Bill Northcott said, “I was firstly just disappointed. It made me feel sort of naive, sort of childish for getting all excited about it in the first place, and then to have it all yanked away.”
In the midst of celebration, the question remains as to how the world’s largest film festival could be in such a severe financial state. According to Tropfest, an internal investigation into the management company responsible for the financial side of the festival is underway, with details still to come.