SBS today announced it has secured the exclusive Australian television rights to Tropfest in a five year deal.

After successfully broadcasting the event on SBS ONE in February 2013, Tropfest will be shown live on SBS 2 every year commencing with the next live event on 8 December 2013.

SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid: “Tropfest is an iconic Australian cultural event which each year showcases the hugely rich and diverse talents of our local film and production sector. It will now have a great home on our new SBS 2 which is delivering on our Charter to be a broadcaster for all Australians by broadening and deepening our reach with younger audiences.”

Tony Iffland said: “Both SBS 2 and Tropfest aim to push boundaries and surprise audiences, and share a passion for what’s now, what’s next and what’s different. We’re delighted to bring Tropfest free-to-air for all Australians for the next five years.”

Tropfest Founder and Director, John Polson said: “This is a big year of change for Tropfest. We’re embracing international growth at an exponential rate and it’s very rewarding to see this growth being reflected at home in Australia also. In my wildest dreams I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect broadcast partner for Tropfest Australia than SBS 2. With the network’s commitment and passion for our event, we can continue to lead the way in quality short content both in Australia and around the world. We’re ecstatic that SBS 2 shares Tropfest’s vision to provide local and international filmmakers with the undisputed largest, most exciting audience in the world to tell their stories.”

Michael Laverty, Tropfest Managing Director said: “This partnership with SBS 2 offers our filmmakers the opportunity to share their stories with a larger audience than ever before. The SBS 2 audience is a Tropfest audience; diverse, savvy, and culturally aware. It’s a natural fit for us and we’re really excited about what’s to come.”

SBS 2 will show 13 weeks of Tropfest content in prime time in the lead up to the live event in Australia including the best of previous Australian Tropfest films and films from other Tropfest events around the world including the US, Arabia, New Zealand and South East Asia. SBS 2 will provide presenters at the event and show exclusive footage of the red carpet and behind the scenes.

SBS will also use its online channels to create a multi-platform experience for viewers. Established in Sydney over 21 years ago, Tropfest has become the world’s largest short film festival. In Australia – and increasingly overseas – Tropfest is recognised for its enormous contribution to the development of the film industry by providing unique platforms for emerging and established filmmakers.

Judges in the past have included a who’s who of the international film community including Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett, Toni Collette, Russell Crowe, Geoffrey Rush, Keanu Reeves, Sam Worthington, Elijah Wood, Tobey Maguire, Rebel Wilson, Ewan McGregor and many more. The next live event will be later this year on 8 December 2013. The move of dates and venue – from The Domain to Centennial Park – reflects the increase in interest and live audiences that are being attracted to the event. Along with the long-term SBS partnership it signifies a substantial step in the long term development of the event.

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