Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of attending Tropfest New York 2012, “the world’s largest short film festival” (which originated in Australia) hosted by Hugh Jackman at Bryant Park. Alas, Hugh didn’t appear until later in the day but we still had fun spending the afternoon in the park.
Serendipitously, there was a street fair going on right near Bryant Park so we passed some of the time checking out the jewelry, clothes, accessories, bath & body, cosmetics and food/drinks. We then headed back to Bryant Park and sat & relaxed in the shade, sharing some great conversation and yummy snacks, all while enjoying live music.
Later in the day, Hugh Jackman finally made an appearance, looking very handsome and being very charming with that Australian accent of his. He talked a little about Tropfest and then we were shown “Best of Tropfest Films.” Most of these short films were extremely strange and we weren’t sure what to make of them.
We were then introduced to the panel of celebrity judges, who had the task of judging this year’s finalists- of which there were 8 total. The judges included Rose Bryne, Judah Friedlander and several well known industry folks.
After the intermission, was Part 2: Tropfest New York 2012 Finalist Films. All the films had to incorporate “bagel” somehow. These short films were also strange, but at least more readily understood. There were maybe 2 of them that I just couldn’t get into, as they were just too simple and didn’t tell a story very well.
But I quite enjoyed several of the short films (in order of appearance): “Elvis: The Lonely Hunter of Circle Beach” was adorable, about a too-adorable sweet dog who hunted bagels on the beach. “Elevator” which was a suspense/drama between the elevator and the young mother’s son. “The Break-Up Tour” took place in Greenwich Village, following a couple on a tour. This one has a wicked twist to a it. And “Thanks Dad,” a very moving, emotional, powerful piece about a horrific event that would change a family forever & the grown-up son finally confronts his abusive father about it.
Hugh Jackman had the filmmakers come up to speak about their respective films, while the judges, judged. I agreed with most of their awards: 3rd Place went to “Elvis: The Lonely Hunter of Circle Beach;” 2nd Place went to “The Break-Up Tour” but 1st Place was stolen from “Thanks Dad” and was instead, given to “Emptys” a documentary-like film about recycling. Now, don’t get me wrong- I love recycling and it’s something that I strive to do always but that film was certainly not better than “Thanks Dad,” which had it all — Plot, dialogue, emotion, story, good acting, message… “Thanks Dad” just really resonated, and had a beautiful hopeful ending. So I was quite sad that “Thanks Dad” (the one film that deserved it the most) didn’t win anything…