Lemonade Stand wins Tropfest

A comedy about a young man and his grandfather’s fight to save their lemonade stand has won the Tropfest short film festival.

Lemonade Stand, directed by Alethea Jones, produced by Julian Costanzo and written and starring Tim Potter took out the top prize from a shortlist of 16 films.

Jones told Encore: “We made it for a few thousand dollars. I was doing an attachment on Neighbours and the producers were gracious to offer Neighbours’ props, the show’s art director’s assistant was our production designer and we had pre-production meetings on set.”

The shoot went for two and a half days in late December.

Ahead for Jones, she said: “When we won the IF Award we had nothing to back that up with so I made sure for Tropfest I had some more work. I have a short film, Dave’s Dead and I also have five feature film scripts I’m working on, and one might get up. Tim Potter has created an amazing TV series and we’ve got a pilot script… And I’m getting married in March.”

Jones also teaches at Swinburne and directed an episode of Matchbox Pictures’ Anatomy and goes on ABC in March – “that was my meal ticket for all of last year.”

Judges for the film festival included Australian actors Geoffrey Rush, Cate Blanchett, Toni Collette, Nicole Kidman, and Jason Gann and directors Alex Proyas and Kieran Darcy-Smith, as well as Tropfest Arabia winner Jassem Jabbouri and American filmmaker Charles Randolph.

This was the first year the festival stretched to three days with a filmmaker symposium and other events over the weekend finishing with the screening of the films.

The outdoor festival, held in Sydney’s The Domain, and broadcast to other live sites around Australia and New Zealand was marred by an electrical storm, with many people leaving throughout the night.

Jones also won Most Popular Film for When the Wind Changes at 2011’s Flickerfest. The film also won the IF Award for best short film and best comedy at last year’s St Kilda Film Festival.


  1. Hando Calrissian
    20 Feb 12
    10:31 am

  2. Bahaha SWIMBURN!!! You’re revealing a significant lack of knowledge there Encore!!! Hahahah seriously hilarious. The VCA course as we know it evolved from the original *Swinburne* course. Hell, the uni probably advertises in Encore. But sure, call it what the hell you want. To hell with research and subediting! And knowing your shit.

  3. Colin Delaney
    20 Feb 12
    10:44 am

  4. Hi Hando,

    It has been corrected. Yes, typos can happen sometimes.

    – Colin

  5. JHN
    20 Feb 12
    7:01 pm

  6. OK- is this for real? OMG this short is absolute rubbish…but a lot of people will say it’s ‘really innovative and deep…maaaan and that I dont get it. Well let me tell you-I dont get it as there is nothing to get!! Tropfest sucks.

  7. Marty
    21 Feb 12
    9:49 am

  8. Umm, was this supposed to be a comedy? I admit it’s nicely shot – cinematography is top notch. But was I supposed to laugh at this?

  9. Brian
    21 Feb 12
    12:48 pm

  10. I thought it was great, couldn’t stop watching. JHN, did you really hate this or are just bitter your short didn’t win?

    Anyway, this was much better than the film that won a few years back. Remember the ‘comedy’ about a guy crying all day because he had to work as a radio shock jock. That video made me want to give up on tropfest all together.

  11. richard moss
    28 Feb 12
    12:35 pm

  12. Lemonade Stand may be considered off beat, it may be considered frivolous or slightly less Australian and slightly more US in its culture, given that lemonade in Australia has always been a sweet, fizzy, clear soft drink in a bottle, and the notion of Lemonade stalls out in front of the house, is profoundly American. However, this is no good reason, in my mind, to attack and degrade it as unfunny or “Rubbish” or, in fact, to denigrate it in any way or for any good reason. This rather inoffensive piece, is not only well shot (as has been noted) but also shows genuine warmth, and a willingness to get outside the square to entertain an audience. The cast fits like a jigsaw, and is superior to some other Australian films, where characters have often been undermined by inappropriate casting. The story is well told, though I am personally averse to the use of the simple cartooning as employed in this piece, and the overall effect of the piece is satisfying and entertaining. I am appalled at those who have canned it here, it is not a great comedy classic, but it deserves much more support than the few here have given it.