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HERALD SUN

Victorian filmmaker Nicholas Clifford wins Tropfest

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Herald Sun
18 February 2013
By Vicky Roach



A DRAMA about a pregnant waitress who is down on her luck won best actress and best film at Tropfest last night.


“When I sat there and heard everyone laughing at the comedies, I was terrified,’’ said Nicholas Clifford, the Victorian director of We’ve All Been There.


“Because you are not going to laugh through mine.”


Clifford, who made the Tropfest finals in 2012 for the comedy Kitchen Sink Drama, said he had actually felt more confident the previous year.


“You don’t do dramas at this festival - it’s a big outdoor thing - but I really liked the story.”


Clifford and his leading lady, Animal Kingdom’s Laura Wheelwright, were chosen by a judging panel that included Sam Worthington, Richard Roxburgh, Rebecca Gibney, Magda Szubanski and The Sapphires director Wayne Blair.


And Worthington, who made a special trip from the US to take on the role of celebrity judge, decided to create a new award on the spot.


Before presenting best film, the Avatar star said he intended to stump up $3000 - the same amount Nicole Kidman donated for the best actor and actress prizes - for a new prize for best personality in a documentary.


And he awarded this to Sydney pensioner and Pitt Street identity Raymond Borzelli, star of Better Than Sinatra.


A clear favourite with the 90,000-strong audience in The Domain, Jefferson Grainger’s documentary was also runner-up for best film.


“It’s a true story and I love him,’’ said Grainger.


“I’m just sorry that he wasn’t here to enjoy all this.”


At the end of the evening, founder John Polson confirmed that Tropfest, which started out 21 years ago in a cafe in Kings Cross, was about to change dates and locations


Perhaps to avoid the sort of weather that washed out last year’s event, the annual event will move back two months to December 8, and screen in Sydney’s Centennial Park.


 


WINNERS AT THE 21ST TROPFEST


1st place - We've All Been There by Nicholas Clifford


2nd place - Better Than Sinatra by Jefferson Grainger


3rd place - Punctured by Nick Baker and Tristan Klein


Best Male Actor - Nick Hamilton from Time


Best Female Actor - Laura Wheelwright in We've All Been There


Nikon DSLR Award - Matt Hardie for Let It Rain


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