Tropfest 2016 is creeping up on us, and we honestly couldn’t be more stoked – for a while there, it looked like it wasn’t gonna happen at all due to a dodgy mishandling of funds.
Our movie-lovin’ country was truly devo to lose an Aussie institution that’s acted as a springboard for a bunch of our most famous and talented filmmakers.
But luckily, thanks to CGU Insurance, Tropfest got back on its feet, and is going ahead as planned on February 14 at Sydney‘s Centennial Parklands.
NOW they’ve gone and announced that Aussie acting legend Mel Gibson is onboard as a judge.
! ~HUGE~ !
In a statement, Mel said:
“I’m really thrilled to be in Sydney, and to have been invited to judge Tropfest. I know what it’s like to be starting out in this industry, in Australia, and what a big difference a break can make to a career.
Tropfest has been doing an incredible job over the last 23 years as a platform for young filmmakers, and I’m absolutely delighted to support the great work Tropfest is doing.”
He’ll join Simon Baker, Rebecca Gibney, Moulin Rouge! cinematographer Don McAlpine and Jocelyn Moorhouse, director of 2015’s top Aussie film The Dressmaker, to decide who of the 16 fabbo finalists will take home the coveted fruity trophy, $10,000 cash, a trip to LA for a week of meetings with industry execs, a Hyundai Tucson for a year, and a Nikon D810 DSLR plus $2,000 of lenses and accessories.
Considering that one of Mel’s biggest notorieties is starring in the original films in the Aussie-made Mad Max franchise – the most recent film up for eight different gold statues at the Oscars this year – we’d say this is a pretty significant win for young ‘Strayans in film.
Just don’t let the man give a speech.
Tropfest is on February 14 at Sydney’s Centennial Parklands. For more info, visit the website.
Photo: Axelle Bauer Griffin / Getty.