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News November 12, 2015

Tropfest 2015 cancelled over claimed “six figure financial” hole

UPDATE:

Video On Demand streaming service Presto has offered to save Tropfest. The AustralianNetflix rival has issued the following statement to Mumbrella:

“We’re certainly disappointed that such an iconic and popular event like Tropfest has been cancelled; however, we are currently exploring the possibility of showcasing the finalists’ films.

“We would be happy to make Presto available as a place for viewers to see these creative works and are exploring options with relevant parties.”

The “largest small festival in the world,” Tropfest, has been cancelled weeks off in what would have been its 24th year.

It was to have been held at Sydney’s Centennial Park on December 6. It has a viewing audience of hundreds of thousands, beaming to venues around the country, and viewed it on SBS’s TV and online platforms.

Although obviously a film event, Tropfest also had a music element in it. Tropscore, sponsored by APRA AMCOS, offered the chance to a music composer to produce a music score or synch to a provided film.

Founder and Director John Polsen posted on Facebook, “In the past week or so, I have been made aware that the company contracted to raise the funding and administer the Tropfest event is unable to move forward for financial reasons.

“Despite a challenging sponsorship climate, Tropfest has done reasonably well in attracting support this year; however, to my great surprise, the management company has informed us that it is unable to proceed.”

Polsen, who says the hole is “well into six figures,” will begin an inquiry as to what happened. He has started legal action against the company, He suggests “a terrible and irresponsible mismanagement” of the festival’s funds but adding, “I’m not suggesting there’s any impropriety here.”

APRA issued a statement this morning ensuring media Tropscore will go ahead this year. Read the statement below:

“APRA AMCOS is still to receive final confirmation from organisers, but we want to reassure those who have submitted for the Tropscore initiative, that the cash component of the competition is still available.

“We appreciate the hard work of those who’ve submitted works for Tropscore and we wish to acknowledge the talents of those in the field of screen composition.

“As previously advised, a winner will be announced on 3 December 2015, however, details of a presentation are yet to be confirmed and we will share more information as it comes to hand. A performance opportunity will no longer apply.

“We appreciate your patience as we work through what has been a challenging process this year but look forward to shining a light on the next emerging screen composer.”

This year’s event drew 450 applications, with 16 finalists to have been named next week. Hollywood actress Susan Sarandon was to have headed the festival jury.

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