New sponsor brings Tropfest back from the dead

The crowd settles in for Tropfest at Centennial Park last year. Photo: James AlcockLess than a month after a funding crisis forced it to be cancelled, Tropfest is back from the dead.
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On the day the iconic short film festival had been due to be held in Sydney’s Centennial Park, founder John Polson announced it would now take place in February with a new sponsor –CGU Insurance.

The company had come forward after the shock announcement last month that a debt “well into six figures” had led to the festival being scrapped.

“It’s been some pretty serious highs and lows over the past few weeks,” Polson said. “Probably more lows than highs but this is definitely a high.”

Polson said the company had signed up at a time he thought Tropfest was probably finished.

“I didn’t see a way to rebound from what had happened but there was a groundswell of support from all corners of Australia, from just people on the street to big businesses.”

Flanked by actor-director Simon Baker and the the finalists from both Tropfest and Trop jnr, Polson said the the festival would take place on February 14.

While he would not specify whether CGU was covering Tropfest’s debts as well as running costs, Polson said its backing was “certainly enough to say this event is happening”.

We’re back! #Tropfest returns on Feb 14 thanks to @CGUInsurancehttps://t.co/OntKLDF3dapic.twitter南京夜网/yPizgU81IH

— TROPFEST (@TROPFEST) December 5, 2015″People have had a bit of a wake-up call. Tropfest is an iconic event, a very important event in the cultural calender of Australia.”

Tropfest founder John Polson

The Premier’s enthusiasm was revealed in an Instagram post last week that said: “A great thing about having daughters: you can pretend THEY’RE the reason you are at the Taylor Swift concert.”

Also among the 16 finalists are documentaries on punk band Radio Birdman and former boxing world champion Jeff Harding and a slapstick animation about a pinata.

The irony of the new date is that Tropfest shifted from February to December to avoid the rain that had plagued the event at the end of summer.

“I’m not saying we’re going to land back in February after this,” Polson said. “But a lot of people seem very happy about February.

“We did move for a reason but then again, the weather is unpredictable. We got rained out in December last year.”