By Simon de Bruyn

Tropfest founder John Polson has announced the final 16 short films that will compete in the 2009 Movie Extra Tropfest to be held in the Domain in Sydney on February 22.

During an informal media call in the Domain yesterday, Polson mingled with the 16 nominees including director Dimitri Ellerington and producer Vashti Rosenburg, whose film Dream what You Want, has made the final cut.

“It’s great our film gets the chance to screen in front of an amazing number of people at Tropfest. It’s possibly the biggest exposure to an audience any filmmaker can have,” Ellerington told INSIDEFILM.

“I think Tropfest is changing too, in terms of the sorts of films it is selecting. Over the last few years it has changed its focus away from what I would call ‘punchline short films’, and ours is a good example, as a generally understated silent film.”

Another finalist, Shannon Wilson, who produced Duane Fogwell’s short NYE, agreed.

“I think Tropfest is trying to change its focus a bit. Our film isn’t a comedy, I would describe it as more of an arthouse thriller, which is a bit mysterious and viewers can take their own meaning from it,” she said.

Wilson, who has produced a number of music videos and TVCs with Fogwell, said the shoot was ambitious, as they decided to film the whole short on New Year’s Eve, using a small Sony XD camera amid all the crowds staking out spots to watch the fireworks.

“We shot it in Kirribilli in the craziest conditions, with a five year old actor, in the heat, with the crowds and drunken backpackers. We directed, produced, and edited the film in 10 days, on a budget of $20," she said.

The full list of 16 finalists is:

Director: Rachel Givney
State: NSW

Be My Brother
Director: Genevieve Clay
State: NSW

Being Carl Williams
Director: Abe Forsythe
State: NSW

Beyond Words
Director: Armand de Saint-Salvy
State: NSW

Director: Nathan Stone
State: WA

Dream What You Want
Director: Dimitri Ellerington
State: NSW

Director: Tim Dean
State: VIC

Jackie’s Spring Palace
Director: Matthew Phipps
State: SA

Left Unspoken
Director: Avi Lewin
State: QLD

Notes From A Scaresmith
Director: Scot Edwards
State: VIC

Director: Duane Fogwell
State: VIC

One in a Million
Director: Tom Vogel
State: VIC

Song for a Comb
Director: Sal Cooper
State: VIC

The Delivery
Director: Gerlee Scanlan & Rohan Jones
State: VIC

The Furry Cheque Book
Director: Bassett Dickson & Oliver Purser
State: VIC

Director: Luke Shanahan
State: NSW

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