Tropfest shines Down Under

Saucy Aussies strut their stuff at Sydney's fest

SYDNEY — The skies threatened rain all day, but that didn’t deter 80,000 people attending the Tropfest open-air short film festival in Sydney’s Domain on Feb. 27.

Addressing the crowd, fest founder John Polson lamented both his absence the previous year, due to the shoot for “Hide and Seek,” and his presence this year due to the lack of Oscar interest in that film.

“Babe” producer George Miller brought the whole family. Magda Szubanski worked the red carpet, as did helmer Neil Armfield, Geoffrey Rush, Jane Menelaus and Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe.

Industryites Brian Rosen and Hugh Marx worked the VIP pen. Bryan Singer, who is prepping “Superman” at Oz’s Fox Studios, proved a popular guest, while Heath Ledger played superstar and used a rear entrance to join the VIPs.

Luke Eve‘s “Australian Summer” collected the judge’s Prize and Alister Grierson‘s “Bomb” was the people’s choice winner. The biggest applause went to a latenight streaker before he was escorted away by police.

— Michaela Boland

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