Despite raging storms wreaking havoc on-site a night before the 16 finalist’s short film debut, Tropfest Australia rose like a phoenix to deliver a stand-out event, crowning Brendan Pinches (Templestowe, VIC) winner of Tropfest 2019 for his film Be You T. Fool.
The short film was unanimously selected by a panel of industry leaders including: AFI Award-winning Australian film legend Eric Bana, leading Australian actress Marta Dusseldorp (A Place to Call Home), AACTA-nominated Indigenous actor Aaron Pedersen (Mystery Road), screen starlet Jessica McNamee (Packed to the Rafters), award-winning filmmaker David Michôd (Animal Kingdom), and Australian producer Michele Bennett (Chopper).
Pinches’ film is a fascinating short documentary on Be You T. Fool – the iconic, but anonymous, Melbourne street artist inspiring commuters on the bustling Chandler Bridge with her distinct pasted portraits.
“The winning films for Tropfest 2019 were incredibly inspiring. Above all, the films explored crucial life lessons. It was a tough decision, and the variety of films made determining a winner very difficult,” said the jury. “Congratulations to all of the finalists for their amazing efforts!”
Rory Kelly (Melbourne, VIC) took home Second Prize with Comican’t – whose lead actors Ryan New and Andrew Tresidder together also took out the Best Male Actor prize. Third Prize went to Cassie de Colling (Ascot Vale, VIC) for Allie.
Best Female Actress came to a thrilling tie between Evelyn Krape (Can You Hear Me) for her role as a grandmother who discovers some things are better left unheard, and Shabana Azeez, the lovestruck lead courting a cute candle shop girl in Crush. The $3,000 prize for each short film star was generously donated by Nicole Kidman.
Brendan is the lucky recipient of a shiny new Equinox LS+ valued at $32,000 thanks to Holden, returning to Tropfest as Exclusive Automotive Partner; a $10,000 cash prize courtesy of Kennedy Miller Mitchell; a $500 Camera Hire voucher, a 12 month Gold Pass courtesy of Event Cinemas; and a Professional Subscription to Digital Pigeon.
Brendan has also earnt a film immersion course and ‘week of meetings’ in Los Angeles with agents, studio executives and other industry professionals courtesy of the Motion Picture Association, a year’s membership to the Australian Director’s Guild, and a trophy exclusively designed by Dinosaur Designs.
The winners of the 2019 Tropfest‘s Craft Awards have also been announced, recognising excellence in eight vital fields. The winners are: David Franjic (Allie) for cinematography; Pip Hart (Crush) for editing; Claire Worsman (Suck It) and her crew for production design; Michael Noonan (Notes to Salma) for sound; Benjamin Goldman (Safe Space) for original score; Jayce White (The Validation of Violet Worth) for VFX; Leela Varghese (Crush) for screenplay; and Edward Copestick (The Last Fight) for documentary screenplay.
For the first time in 27 years, Tropfest will live-stream a ground-breaking, interactive show in partnership with Facebook Australia and CGU Insurance, called Tropfest All Access on Sunday 10 February at 4:00PM AEDT. Audiences around Australia and the world will be able to watch all 16 finalist films from Tropfest 2019 at home – exclusively on Facebook Watch.
The show will feature the winner’s announcement, exclusive footage from throughout the night including the juror’s deliberations, and interviews with A-list stars. Visit the Tropfest Facebook page for details.
Image: Brendan Pinches (right) wins Tropfest 2019 – photo by Enzo Amato