Tropfest, the short-film festival held at Sydney’s Centennial Park on December 6, will not go ahead for the first time in 23 years due to financial problems.
Tropfest founder John Polson released a statement on SBS2 last night confirming the cancellation due to “mismanagement of Tropfest funds”. Legal action has been taken against the management company, which has been not been publicly named.
“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 is unable to proceed,” Mr Polson said in a statement last night.
“My heart goes out to this years 16 filmmaking finalists, to our incredible list of sponsors and partners, and of course to our loyal and beloved audience.”
The festival is the world’s largest and most well known short-film festival, and its cancellation has outraged fans, who expressed their disappointment on social media.
But the NSW government has been urged to save the festival and Tourism and Major Events Minister Stuart Ayres said he would enquire about why the festival was cancelled so suddenly.
“I think there’s no doubt that from my perspective I’ll be asking some fairly serious questions,” Mr Ayres said.
The festival, which usually attracts more than 150,000 people each night in Sydney, was due to take place at other popular cities, including Melbourne, Canberra, Perth, Hobart and Surfers Paradise.
Ezmeralda Charm, a spokesperson for festival sponsors told The Newsroom the cancellation had disappointed contestants and viewers alike.
“The Tropfest cancellation caused a media outrage due to the fact that it’s been running for 23 years,” said Mrs Charm.
Tropfest fan Anna Miller, 20, who has been part of the festival since she was 18, said she was very eager to compete in the 2015 Tropfest.
“I still think that there’s time for Tropfest to proceed regardless of the financial status John Polson is going through,” she said.
“Perhaps people can help due to the fact that its been running for 23 years, and change the location of Tropfest to somewhere cheaper.” – Soheir Adas
Top photo of Tropfest from Eva Rinaldi’s Flickr photostream.