Thursday, December 19, 2013

Has Tropfest Peaked?

It seemed appropriate : a Mars Rover rolled around the grounds of Centennial Park, the new home for John Polson's Tropfest. At first the venue looked little different than The Domain where the event has been hosted for the past 12 years but after an hour in the unrelenting hot December sun without the pleasant and cooling harbour breezes many in the audience were soon dozing off.
Tropfest founder John Polson and Legally Blonde director Robert Luketic
Noticeably lacking were sponsors. They were few and far between food & drink concessions with their exorbitantly priced produce, a 20c bottle of Supermarket water going for $5. And the main sponsor nearly caused a riot.  
SBS TV raised the hackles of a dozen photographers who had arrived a good three hours early to score a precious media spot which meant waiting in that hot sun without promised refreshments. Just as the event began suddenly two SBS film crews of about 20 positioned themselves directly in front of the angry snappers. Talk about frayed nerves.
Spot The Star
And where were the stars ?. John Polson has performed miracles in getting every Hollywood actor in town to the event but this year there were none. The only LA name of note was film director Robert Luketic of Legally Blonde & Paranoia fame. At the very first Tropfest in the Tropicana Cafe in Kings Cross 22 years ago the Shuttle was amongst the 40 guests that included Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise. This year it seemed to be television stars, mainly from Foxtel.
The jury is out- should Tropfest, a great idea in it's time, be put to bed ?