By MCN Editor editor@moviecitynews.com

TROPFEST PARTNERS WITH TOP TIER SPONSORS, MEDIA AND INDUSTRY LEADERS TO BRING WORLD’S LARGEST SHORT FILM FESTIVAL TO NEW YORK

Citi, STARZ CINEMA, NBC 4 NEW YORK, WNYC, Thompson Hotels become Tropfest New York Partners and Film Society of Lincoln Center becomes Industry Partner

New York – March 28, 2012 – Tropfest, the world’s largest short film festival, today announced it will collaborate with prominent media outlets STARZ CINEMA, NBC 4, and WNYC Radio as well as Citi, luxury hotel brand Thompson Hotels and Film Society of Lincoln Center in launching Tropfest New York in June.  The announcement was made today by Tropfest Founder and Director, John Polson.

Polson commented: “We couldn’t be more delighted to be launching here with this astonishing group of partners. Each of the robust partnerships we’ve built with these A-list brands will add value for our attendees, expand our reach, and ensure that Tropfest New York is an event befitting this great city,” he concluded.

Ambassadors, who are supporting the launch of Tropfest into the USA, include Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Anthony Lapaglia, Charles Randolph, Geoffrey Rush and Liev Schreiber.

Russell Crowe said: “Tropfest has unearthed some spectacular talent in Australia, individuals that might have gone unheralded and unnoticed. It has proven to be an excellent training ground and stepping stone. At its core, it is people with an idea and a camera and the energy and love to bring that idea to the screen.”

STARZ CINEMA, WNYC and NBC 4 are committing substantial promotional efforts and creating innovative materials to introduce Tropfest New York.  Current promotions include Call for Entries and later phases will drive awareness of Tropfest New York’s Live Event. STARZ CINEMA will also promote Tropfest New York via its nationally distributed premium movie channel by exhibiting many of the ‘classic’ short films from Tropfest’s extensive library.  STARZ CINEMA production crews will cover Tropfest New York for programming content that will be broadcast later this year.

Citi is a major partner of the festival and will be offering Citi cardmembers opportunities to walk the red carpet and attend festival celebrations and screenings, as well as special access to the VIP area at Bryant Park through the Citi Private Pass program (http://www.citiprivatepass.com).

“We’re committed to opening doors for our cardmembers all over New York and beyond, by providing access to a range of exclusive experiences that meet their diverse interests,” said Jennifer Breithaupt, Senior Vice President of Entertainment Marketing, Citi. “Our partnership with Tropfest is just one example of the special benefits available to Citi cardmembers every day, and we’re pleased to provide unique opportunities where they can enjoy short films this summer.”

Thompson Hotels, whose New York City properties include Gild Hall – Financial District, Thompson LES – Lower East Side, Smyth –Tribeca, 60 Thompson – SoHo, and 6 Columbus – Midtown, will be accommodating all Tropfest guests across their array of properties and Gild Hall will host the Welcome Party and 20th Birthday as part of their support.

Film Society of Lincoln Center have come on board as an Industry Partner and will be hosting and co-producing Tropfest Roughcut, a filmmaker symposium for emerging filmmakers. Roughcut will be held on June 22 at the Film Society’s Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center with a keynote speaker to be announced soon.

Emerging American filmmakers and others have the opportunity to take part in this global phenomenon. If selected as a finalist, they will see their short film screened in front of a massive live and online audience, and judged by an industry and celebrity panel for a chance to win $20,000 cash. There are a few simple guidelines Tropfest entrants must follow: all short films must be produced specifically for the event and have their premiere at Tropfest New York; films cannot exceed seven minutes, including titles and credits; and each film must contain the Tropfest Signature Item (TSI), which changes each year.  For Tropfest New York, the chosen TSI is a staple of New York culinary culture: “Bagel”.  In Tropfest tradition, filmmakers are welcome to include “Bagel” in their films in any manner they choose.  There are no budget restrictions, and films can be shot on anything – even a mobile phone. The Tropfest premise advocates strength of idea over ‘slickness’ or technical merit.

Tropfest New York, which is open to the public and free of charge, will take place on Saturday June 23, 2012 at New York City’s Bryant Park, located in midtown on Sixth Avenue between West 40th and West 42nd Street.  An industry and celebrity panel will judge the selected short film finalists – each made specifically for the event – live and under the stars. During the final awards ceremony, the panel will announce the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners as well as awards for Best Actor and Best Actress. Tropfest judges traditionally aren’t announced until the night, but previous panels have included some of the biggest names in the international film community including Australians Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett, Russell Crowe and Geoffrey Rush, as well as Julianne Moore, Darren Aronofsky, Samuel L. Jackson and many more.

Filmmakers have until May 10 to submit their short film. For more information about entering Tropfest New York, please visit: www.tropfest.com/newyork.

About Tropfest

Tropfest began in a Sydney café almost 20 years ago with an audience of 200 people. In 2012, the Australian event was the most successful festival to date, with live audiences of over 150,000 and hundreds of thousands more watching via its national TV broadcast and other platforms across Australia.  On November 4 last year, the inaugural Tropfest Arabia took place in front of a capacity crowd of 12,000 people outdoors in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Submissions were received from 33 Middle Eastern and North African countries. Other Tropfests are in planning and launching stages throughout the world.

The Tropfest YouTube Channel has had over 11 million video views, with around 40% of those coming from the United States. The Channel provides film enthusiasts the chance to watch the top films from past festivals at: http://www.youtube.com/tropfest.

About Citi

Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.

About STARZ CINEMA

Starz Entertainment, LLC, is a premium movie and original programming entertainment service provider operating in the United States. The company offers 17 premium channels including the flagship STARZ and ENCORE brands with approximately 19.6 million and 33.2 million subscribers respectively.  Starz Entertainment airs in total more than 1,000 movies and original series every month across its pay TV channels. Starz Entertainment is recognized as a pay TV leader in providing HD, On Demand, HD On Demand and online advanced services for its STARZ, ENCORE and MOVIEPLEX brands.  Starz Entertainment (www.starz.com) is an operating unit of Starz, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation.

About Thompson Hotels

Thompson Hotels is a hospitality company with a portfolio of luxury lifestyle hotels, including the famed Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel and Thompson Beverly Hills in Los Angeles; 60 Thompson, Gild Hall, Six Columbus, Thompson LES and Smyth Tribeca in New York City; Thompson Toronto in Toronto and Belgraves in London. Sutton Place in Chicago and Hotel Victor in Miami are also part of the portfolio and will be rebranded Thompson Chicago and Thompson Ocean Drive later this year following multi-million dollar renovations. www.thompsonhotels.com

About WNYC

WNYC 93.9 FM and 820 AM are the greater New York area’s flagship public radio stations, broadcasting a vibrant range of original programs for local and national audiences, as well as the best offerings from national producers NPR, American Public Media, Public Radio International, and the British Broadcasting Company (BBC). WNYC produces many of public radio’s most popular programs, including Radiolab, On the Media, Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen, Freakonomics Radio, and the podcast Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin. For its local New York audience, WNYC produces award-winning local programs including the innovative public affairs show The Brian Lehrer Show, the arts and culture interview program The Leonard Lopate Show, and the music and conversation show Soundcheck. For further information, on-demand listening, and a free mobile app, please visit www.wnyc.org.

About NBC 4 New York

NBC 4 New York is a part of NBC-Owned Television Stations. In addition to NBC 4’s main channel, there are a variety of multi-platform programming outlets including New York Nonstop, the station’s 24/7 cable news and information station and out-of-home platforms including TV screens in taxi cabs and N.J. PATH trains. NBC 4 New York’s award-winning broadcasts feature news, entertainment, lifestyle and sports programming. For more information, visit www.nbcnewyork.com.

About Film Society Lincoln Center

Under the leadership of Rose Kuo, Executive Director, and Richard Peña, Program Director, the Film Society of Lincoln Center offers the best in international, classic and cutting-edge independent cinema. The Film Society presents two film festivals that attract global attention: the New York Film Festival, currently planning its 50th edition, and New Directors/New Films which, since its founding in 1972, has been produced in collaboration with MoMA. The Film Society also publishes the award-winning Film Comment Magazine, and for over three decades has given an annual award-now named “The Chaplin Award”-to a major figure in world cinema. Past recipients of this award include Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese, Meryl Streep, and Tom Hanks. The Film Society presents a year-round calendar of programming, panels, lectures, educational programs and specialty film releases at its Walter Reade Theater and the new state-of-the-art Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center. The Film Society receives generous, year-round support from Royal Bank of Canada, American Airlines, The New York Times, Stella Artois, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts. For more information, visit www.filmlinc.com and follow #filmlinc on Twitter.

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“To make work out of your own imagination is an invitation to a lot of unforgiving hard slog, failure, satisfaction which doesn’t last long, more failure, discontent, maybe a prize, a bit more satisfaction, self doubt, dissatisfaction, lots more hard work and so on and so on. But anyone who’s persisted and written something and got to the end and even better had it published or performed learns quickly that the hard slog, the frustrations, the blind alleys and dead ends and scenes that don’t work and great ideas that turn to dust are in fact a big part of the work. The reward for the agony is not the ecstasy of Chuck Heston finishing the Sistine Chapel but still more agony that might also include some kind of not pleasure exactly, maybe a brief, terrible joy.”
~ Australian playwright Michael Gow

“People react primarily to direct experience and not to abstractions; it is very rare to find anyone who can become emotionally involved with an abstraction. The longer the bomb is around without anything happening, the better the job that people do in psychologically denying its existence. It has become as abstract as the fact that we are all going to die someday, which we usually do an excellent job of denying. For this reason, most people have very little interest in nuclear war. It has become even less interesting as a problem than, say, city government, and the longer a nuclear event is postponed, the greater becomes the illusion that we are constantly building up security, like interest at the bank. As time goes on, the danger increases, I believe, because the thing becomes more and more remote in people’s minds. No one can predict the panic that suddenly arises when all the lights go out — that indefinable something that can make a leader abandon his carefully laid plans. A lot of effort has gone into trying to imagine possible nuclear accidents and to protect against them. But whether the human imagination is really capable of encompassing all the subtle permutations and psychological variants of these possibilities, I doubt. The nuclear strategists who make up all those war scenarios are never as inventive as reality, and political and military leaders are never as sophisticated as they think they are.”
~ Stanley Kubrick

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