Nicole Kidman (wearing Gucci & Manolo’s), Cate Blanchett, Toni Collette, Asher Keddie, Gia Carides, Rachael Ward were joined by Geoffrey Rush, Baz Luhrmann, Tobey Maguire, Josh Lawson, Michael Caton, Rob Carlton and Joel Edgerton at the Topfest Short Film Festival held at The Royal Botanic Gardens last night (February 20th) with Alethea Jones from Melbourne winning Tropfest\’s 20th Birthday competition.
Jones\’s film “Lemonade Stand” was awarded first prize by a stellar judging panel of Oscar Winners – Geoffrey Rush, Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett and acclaimed actresses Toni Collette and Asher Keddie. Tropfest Founder and Director, John Polson said about the film:
“Lemonade Stand is an incredibly well made film and a favourite amongst the judges. There was intense discussion in the judging room, and some really interesting debates. Alethia should be very proud to have been selected by some of the industry\’s greatest talent.”
Fans braved the weather to sit out all 16 finalist films, which went ahead despite the rain.
Second prize went to actor Rupert Reid from Sydney for “Boo!” â€“ the story of an elderly couple who take a joke one step too far with deadly consequences. “Boo!” also took out Best Male Actor with Don Reid\’s great performance, as well as the Telstra Crowd Pleaser Award.
Third prize went to “Photo Booth” by Queenslander Michael Noonan. The story tells of three soldiers who find a photo booth in a war torn landscape that reveals their shocking fate.
Best Female Actor went to Kate McNamara for her unrehearsed one-day performance in “Kitchen Sink Drama” about a proposal gone wrong.
Two time finalist Marie Patane won the Women in Film Award for “How Many More Doctors Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb”, starring past finalist and actor Rob Carlton, and Trop alumni Jason van Genderen as cameraman.
Early in the evening APRA Tropscore winner Ben Allen, picked from over 900 entries, played his winning score â€˜Again\’ live to more than 90,000 film fans, he walked away with 5K cash.
Tropfest 2011 runner up, Jason Van Genderen took out Tropfest\’s mobile category, Telstra Mobile Masterpieces. Van Genderen also won Tropfest New York in 2008 with a mobile film made on just $50. He\’ll also take home $5K.
Tropfest\’s overall winner takes home a prize booty of $10,000 from Kennedy Miller Mitchell, a money-can\’t-buy trip to LA to meet with film industry executives, agents, and managers and a brand new Nikon D800 and lens prize pack.
Watch the Winning Short Film “Lemonade Stand”:
If you missed out on seeing all the live action on the night, films are available for download on Bigpond Mobile or tune in to MOVIE EXTRA on Saturday 25 February for a MOVIE EXTRA Tropfest special from 1.30pm (AEDT). Hosted by Adam Spencer and Julia Zemiro, you\’ll have a chance to view the finalist films including the winning film of Movie Extra Tropfest 2012, and all the red carpet action.
Don\’t forget to pick up a copy the Sydney Morning Herald on Saturday 25 February for the 20th anniversary DVD of the Tropfest finalist\’s films.
Photography by Dave Petranker
Your Pop Culture Gossip Girl