An estimated 90,000 people turned out to Sydney’s Centennial Park to watch animated short Shiny take out the Tropfest 2016 crown, but the competition’s future still appears far from secure.
In his opening address to the crowd, founder John Polson described CGU, which stepped in to provide funding in November after the festival had been cancelled, as the “real winners” of the night.
However Polson’s Pozible crowdfunding efforts to raise $100,000 to fund a business review looks to be falling well short – with less than $16,000 pledged by 124 supporters with four days to go for the campaign.
However, it is expected that Polson will announce a new partner for the festival this week, as he seeks to find a new way to make the world’s largest short film festival pay its way.
The show failed to break into the top 100 on Sunday for its broadcast on SBS2 from 9pm.
Hollywood stars Mel Gibson and Simon Baker were amongst the celebrity judges for last night’s show.
Stop motion film ‘Shiny’ was created by LA-based filmmakers Spencer Susser and Daniel ‘Cloud’ Campos and is a commentary on consumerism and materialism.
Sponsors exhibiting at the event included McDonald’s, with an extension of its ‘Fryflix’ campaign, Qantas which was looking to break the record for the world’s biggest pyjama party, and streaming service Presto.
CGU Insurance, whose agency Cummins & Partners urged them to save the festival, ran a small business competition giving company Change Chai the opportunity to have a stand at the event, as well as a dedicated picnic area.
However, the festival came in for some criticism on social media for a lack of female representation in the final films, with just one female director amongst the nominees.
It was a fact acknowledged by The Mentalist star and judge, Baker, when he announced former Neighbours star and X Factor judge Natalie Bassingthwaite as best female actor winner for her role in the film ‘Why Would I Lie?’
She was one of just a handful of women with speaking parts among the 16 finalists.
Alex Hayes is the editor of Mumbrella