Tropfest New Zealand has announced the 16 talented filmmakers whose films will screen to a live audience and judging panel on February 27 at the TSB Bowl of Brooklands in New Plymouth, Taranaki.

Tropfest NZ 2013. Photo Credit Mark Bellringer

Tropfest NZ 2013. Photo Credit Mark Bellringer

The final 16 short films include a diverse range of genres from drama and comedy to horror, mockumentary and animation. “Every year the pre-selection judges job gets tougher as we see an increase in the number of entries and the amount of outstanding films,” says Tropfest NZ Festival Manager Cleo Wood.

Festival Founder and Director John Polson describes Tropfest as the perfect playground “with the right amount of motivation, a clear deadline, and a new Tropfest Signature Item to play with each year. But personally, I believe Tropfest’s greatest benefit to filmmakers is that it’s their opportunity to find their creative collaborators.”

The judging panel for Tropfest NZ will comprise of industry professionals from around New Zealand whose identities will be revealed in the following weeks. “We’ve again secured some film industry heavy weights as judges” Wood says. “The role of Judge is undertaken in a volunteer capacity and it’s a real testament to the festival that industry greats are happy to volunteer their time and energy.”

Last year’s judging panel included James Napier Robertson (Dark Horse), Gaylene Preston (Home by Christmas) and Robert Sarkies (Scarfies, Out of the Blue, Two Little Boys).

First prize includes a five-day film immersion trip to LA, sponsored by the New Zealand Screen Association and Motion Picture Association as well as a festival sponsored cash prize of $10,000.

Cash prizes of $2500 will also be awarded to category winners for Best Actress, Best Actor, Te Tohu Auahatanga Maori Award, recognising outstanding Maori creativity in film (Sponsored by Nga Aho Whakaari and Te Puni Kokiri) as well Best Use of Visual Effects and Best Animated Film (sponsored by Yoobee School of Design).

Tropfest is free to attend but a gold coin donation can be made on the night.

All the films entered into Tropfest NZ are seven minutes or less and must contain the Tropfest Signature Item (TSI), which for 2016 is ‘DREAM’.

The films and their directors and producers are:

Film: Meet Hamish
Directors & Producers: Nicola Peeperkorn (Auckland) & Andrew Cooper (Auckland)
Logline: Country boy Hamish’s obsession with chilli makes for an awkward job interview in the big smoke.


Film: Natalia Rising
Director & Producer: Floris Van Gaalen (Hastings)
Logline: A young lady attempts to win the affection of a local shopkeeper by plotting a ‘fake’ heist.


Film: John Squared
Director & Producer: Emily French (Christchurch/Wellington)
Co-Directors: Matthew Wilkey, Caitlyn Parslow, Chris Bird, Kate Lambert
Logline: A young scientist who is on the verge of achieving his lifelong dream of genetic replication encounters a problem when his clone believes he is the original.

Film: Bathilda’s Cauldron
Director: Chayse Millar (Auckland)
Producer: Ben Hobbs
Logline: Dreams aren’t free.

Film: The Dairy Diaries: Daniel’s Entry (Rotorua/Hamilton)
Director & Producer: Ashton Ledger
Logline: A teenage boy hopes to succeed his late father’s title as New Zealand’s champion gumboot thrower and save his family owned and operated dairy from permanent closure.


Film: Lon-Done – or the patriotic homesick kiwi hater’s survival guide to London
Director & Producer: Allan George (Rotorua/Auckland)
Logline: With the popularity of the Kiwi O.E on the rise, this film documents a young Kiwi man’s journey in London as he struggles to come to terms with what homesickness really means.

Film: Bites
Director & Producer: Florence Lam
Co-Director: Mia Maramara (Auckland)
Logline: A woman on a mission to find her husband proves that there can be life after the apocalypse.


Film: Tomorrow’s Dream
Director: David Gould (Wellington)
Producer: Anne Jaeger-Annear
Logline: A young man develops a machine to travel back in time to save his girlfriend and unborn child.

Film: Papa Taniwha
Director: Kennedy Faimanifo (Auckland)
Producer: Gray Davis
Logline: A city boy experiences the spirits within his grandfather’s Marae carvings.

Film: Halfway to Timbuktu
Director & Producer: Kirk Bremner (Dunedin)
Co-Director: Luke Bremner
Logline: In the middle of nowhere, two slackers must hitch a ride by any means if they are to get anywhere but halfway to Timbuktu…

Film: Back o’ the Bus
Director & Producer: Hannah Taylor (New Plymouth)
Logline: A story about the resilience and fortitude that comes from being black.

Film: Be Home Soon
Director & Producer: Emma Schranz (Dunedin)
Logline: Bill must find the courage to make the phone call he’s been dreading…

Film: Timothy (or Hunting for the Doppelmonster)
Director & Producer: Christopher Chalmers (Wellington)
Logline: As reports emerge of a mysterious yeti-man living in the woods and stealing people’s lunch, champion bird-watcher and cat fancier Timothy decides to go searching for the peckish creature of the woods, only to discover something rather unexpected.

Film: Lock & Key 2: Rise of the Demons
Director: Nick Garrett (Auckland)
Producer: Nick Garrett, Laura Putnam & Ben Lange
Logline: Always judge a book by its cover.

Film: The Dream of the Driver
Director & Producer: Yamin Tun (Auckland)
Logline: A man who thinks he’s living the dream finds his dream unravel when he falls unexpectedly for a woman he shouldn’t.

Film: Wings
Director: Jharaiz Kiriona (Whanganui / Auckland)
Producer: Olivia Preston
Logline: A teenage skater with a vicious father, befriends a girl who dreams of flying.



Tropfest attendance guide – everything you need to know!

WHEN: Saturday February 27, 2016.

WHERE: TSB Bowl of Brooklands – entrances are via Brooklands Park Drive, The Racecourse (via Saddle Row), Pukekura Park Dell and Kaimata St.

• Tropfest is free! However a voluntary koha/donation at the entrance would be appreciated
• The Seaside markets will be at Tropfest!
• Entertainment & market stalls from 4pm
• The Seaside Market stalls open at 4pm!
• Films screen from 6.30pm
• Awards ceremony at 9.30pm

• Sunblock
• Picnic blanket
• Food and drink
• A jacket for when the sun goes down
• Cash for the food and retail stalls

• Festival goers are welcome to bring picnics into the festival site. Alcohol will not be sold on-site but the event is BYO with a limit of four standard drinks per person. Security will demonstrate zero tolerance for drunken and disorderly behaviour.

• Brooklands Park Drive will be closed to vehicles
• The Sadlle Row entrance via the Racecourse and Coronation St has parking, however this is limited.
• Disabled parking will be available on the Gables Lawn, you’ll need to show your mobility parking permit to gain access up Brooklands Park Drive.

Please note all Tropfest NZ films are rated M and are suitable for mature audiences.

About Tropfest
John Polson started the ‘Tropicana Short Film Festival’ (as it was originally known) as an informal short film screening for cast, crew and friends at the Tropicana Cafe in Sydney, Australia. More than 200 people showed up for that first screening and, inspired by the turn out, John decided that a full-fledged short film festival was the next step.

24 years on, the free event is attended by a live audience of around 150,000 film-lovers in Australia and the Festival has staged standalone competitions in New Zealand, South East Asia, the Middle East and the United States.

In the past two decades, Tropfest has become recognised as one of the world’s most exciting launchpads for talented filmmakers. Tropfest is also known for securing the support of some of the biggest names in the international film community including Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, Geoffrey Rush, Liev Schreiber and Tobey Maguire.

The Tropfest YouTube Channel
Past Finalist films can be viewed at Tropfest’s YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/tropfest.The channel has 73,728 and the films have been viewed more than 38,120,495times.

Did you Enjoy this article?

To receive our free newsletter and quarterly digital magazine and for the latest indie web TV interviews, reviews and new shows, subscribe here »»
Visit the Article Archive »
Visit the Magazine Archive »

Leave a Reply


Pin It on Pinterest