New York, NY April 29, 2006 – The Tribeca Film Festival and John Polson, director (Swimfan, Hide & Seek) and founder of Tropfest, announced today the winner of the first ever Tropfest@Tribeca. The Daily Show’s Ed Helms hosted the evening and a jury of seven judges including Darren Aronofsky, Caroline Baron, Matt Dillon, Famke Janssen, Anthony Lapaglia, Charles Randolph, and Naomi Watts screened the films and chose the winner. The winner received a cash award of $2,500 and Final Cut Pro software from Apple.
Matt Dillon and Naomi Watts announced Matthew Bonifacio’s The Watering Hole, as the winner in front of 5000 people at the Tribeca Drive In at the World Financial Center. The Watering Hole tells the story of a young girl who makes the ultimate sacrifice to stop her father's downward spiral into depression and alcoholism in the aftermath of her mother's death.
“The turnout tonight at the first Tropfest@Tribeca exceeded my expectations,” said Polson. “I think everyone had a fantastic time watching the work of these eight filmmakers with the Hudson River in the background. It couldn’t have been any better.”
Tropfest@Tribeca is the exciting collaboration of the largest short film festival in the world and the fastest-growing film festival in North America, co-hosted by Aquafina. Tropfest@Tribeca was created in the spirit of the original Tropfest in Australia to recognize the critical role that short films play in the craft of filmmaking. The program encourages short film production by offering platforms for emerging filmmakers to create innovative works and showcase their films to diverse audiences.
Eight new short films were made exclusively for Tropfest@Tribeca, all in competition, and eight Tropfest classic shorts, which previously played at Tropfest in Australia, screened together. Each of the finalist’s films incorporated the Tropfest@Tribeca Signature Item, a manhole cover, which designates that it was made specifically for Tropfest@Tribeca. Following the guidelines of Polson’s Tropfest, each film must have been under seven minutes in length and was a world premiere.
Tropfest, founded by John Polson, is the world’s largest short film festival and Australia’s most beloved public cultural event. The central aim of Tropfest is to stimulate the production of short films and provide an audience for the work of Australia's emerging filmmakers.
The festival began in the early 1990s when John Polson approached a local cafe to screen his short film for cast, crew and friends. The film, entitled Surry Hills: 902 Spring Roll, drew an amazing crowd of 200 people. Inspired by the turn out, Polson decided that a short film festival was the next step. In 1993 the Tropicana Short Film Festival was born, named after the café venue, the Tropicana Caffe.
Now in it’s 14th year and known as Sony Tropfest, the festival is the premiere creative platform for aspiring filmmakers in Australia. The films screen live via satellite to unique outdoor settings in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth and Hobart to audiences in excess of 150,000 and is supported by many of Australia’s most established film identities.
About the Tribeca Film Festival
The Tribeca Film Festival was founded in 2002 by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff as a response to the attacks on the World Trade Center. Conceived to foster the economic and cultural revitalization of Lower Manhattan through an annual celebration of film, music, and culture, the Festival’s mission is to promote New York City as a major filmmaking center and help filmmakers reach the broadest possible audience.
The 2006 Festival, presented by American Express, will take place from April 25 – May 7, 2006. Reflecting the festival’s continued growth, it will expand this year to more neighborhoods throughout Manhattan and feature screenings, special events, concerts, a family street fair, and panel discussions. For more information, please visit www.tribecafilmfestival.org
As Founding Sponsor of the Tribeca Film Festival, American Express is committed to expanding the Festival and bringing it to new audiences in compelling ways. As part of a long-term partnership with the Festival, American Express celebrates filmmakers, facilitates storytelling and is dedicated to bringing energy and business to Lower Manhattan.
The Tribeca Film Festival is pleased to announce the return of their Signature Sponsors: Budweiser Select, WNBC, Nokia, Apple, Aquafina, Delta Air Lines, The New York Times, Bloomberg, Vanity Fair, Empire State Development Corporation/I Love New York, Brookfield Properties, the Tribeca Grand Hotel, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The Festival is also honored to welcome the following new sponsors to the Tribeca Film Festival: RR Donnelley, CA, AMC Loews Theatres, Jameson Irish Whiskey, Festa Internazionale di Roma.
For press inquiries regarding the Tribeca Film Festival, please contact Tammie Rosen at (212) 843-8008. For additional information on the festival please visit the press section at www.tribecafilmfestival.org.