Hughes' 'Lighter' wins 1st prize

SYDNEY — Nearly 100,000 people watched Tropfest, the ninth annual edition of Australia’s most popular short films competition, at Sydney’s Domain Sunday night.

A further 20,000 people saw the event live in venues in Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Hobart, and it was streamed on the Internet by Telstra.com.

First prize was awarded to “The Lighter” by Patrick Hughes. Sam Worthington was named best male actor for “A Matter of Life,” Julia Zemiro nabbed female actor for “Muffled Love” and Bernard Derriman’s “Chopper” got the comedy laurel.

Judges were Toni Collette, Greta Scacchi, Rachel Blake, David Wenham, Robin Feiner and Jesse Gibson.

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