Arts and Culture: Tropfest Australia inspires filmmakers for free


Attention budding filmmakers and cinephiles: today Tropfest Australia has announced the return of Tropfest Roughcut for 2015, and for the first time in history the event will be free!

This year, the engaging and intimate film industry event will be held as two separate evening events, on the October 21 and November 5 at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS).

On October 21, industry heavyweight Damon Gameau, director of must-see documentary That Sugar Film, will take part in a conversation about creativity and confidence with award-winning filmmaker and Head of Documentary at AFTRS, Dr Rachel Landers. The two will be exploring the idea of resilience and the importance of continuing to create in the face of challenges and criticism.

The topic is particularly pertinent to Gameau, whose animated film Animal Beatbox won Tropfest 2011 and was the subject of lively debate. For the director and actor, best known for his work in Balibo, The Tracker and Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities, the experience was a formative one:

“Receiving criticism can be harrowing for a filmmaker, particularly those just starting out in their career” says Gameau. “But you can’t let the negativity paralyse you. The most important thing is to use it – let it become the fuel that inspires you to tackle an even bigger project. That’s what I have set out to do in my career from now on.”

Since its release in 2014 That Sugar Film, which documents the effects of a high sugar diet on a healthy body, has inspired people around the globe. The film is the highest grossing documentary across Australia and New Zealand of all time and has been empowering consumers to make healthier food choices for themselves and their families.

This journey has taken Gameau to address the UK and New Zealand parliaments and to meet with the LA Lakers. He has also held screenings for the Royal College of Medicine in London and appeared on international television programmes such as the BBC’s The Today Show and Dr. Oz in the US. Gameau will draw upon these experiences in a discussion on the power of film to move beyond the box office and impact social change.

There will also be a unique opportunity for Roughcut attendees to rub shoulders with like-minded creatives at a networking drinks session following each Q&A session, courtesy of Tropfest’s Official Camera and Lens Partner, Nikon. Delicious wine will be provided by Tropfest’s Wine Partner, Mud House Wines.

Tropfest will announce the special guests participating in the November 5 Q&A in the coming weeks. The event is free to attend but seats are strictly limited, so register your space at:



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