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MPA Supports Emerging Filmmakers At Tropfest Las Vegas

Sean Ascroft wins the MPA Top Prize for The Story of Bubble Boy

  • 5Jun 2012

Singapore/Las Vegas: On 3 June, the Motion Picture Association (MPA) partnered with Tropfest, the world’s largest short film festival to sponsor the top prize at the first Tropfest
Las Vegas All Stars Competition.

The winner was named as Sean Ascroft for his film The Story of Bubble Boy, a Tim Burtonesque film about being trapped by the past and redeemed by the future.

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Sean Ascroft won the MPA First Prize of US$5,000 following the screening of 16 of the best short films from Tropfest’s 20 year history. The prize was awarded by celebrity guest judge Toni Collette (United States of Tara, Little Miss Sunshine) who shared the judging responsibilities with Tobey McGuire, Rebel Wilson, James Woods, Anthony LaPaglia, Griffin Dunne, Charles Randolph and Trevor Groth.

“Winning First Prize is a tremendous honour,” said Sean Ascroft following the announcement. “Every one of these films is a terrific screen story created by highlytalented teams of filmmakers. They are each deserving of much recognition. I am thankful to the Motion Picture Association for their support of Tropfest and the work they do encouraging and assisting emerging filmmakers. I have no doubt that this First Prize and the acknowledgement that comes with it will be a huge boost to my early career in this incredible creative industry of ours.”

Tropfest John Polson said, “Our aim when we established Tropfest was to recognize promising new filmmakers and provide them with a launching pad to develop their careers. Over the years, we’ve been pleased to see many success stories as these talented individuals have gone on to forge remarkable careers in film industries around the world. Having the MPA as our partner is an aspirational association for our filmmakers and a natural fit for Tropfest. While we can help kick start their filmmaking career, the MPA is helping to ensure we have a strong and vibrant screen community that helps provide long-term sustainable livelihoods.”

Mike Ellis, President and Managing Director MPA Asia Pacific said, “We congratulate Sean on his exceptional film. The Story of Bubble Boy was an obvious favourite with both the judges and audience alike and I have no doubt Sean has a great future ahead of him. We are delighted to support the career paths of talented emerging filmmakers through our valued partnership with Tropfest. This successful event in the US and other Tropfest events around the world are proof that strong storytelling delivered by filmmakers with vision have the ability to connect with audiences everywhere. We wish every one of these gifted filmmakers all the best with their next film.”

Alistair Grierson (Sanctum, Kakoda), a competitor and guest speaker at the MPA CICE Film Workshop in Beijing in 2011, said: “I was really excited to hear about Tropfest coming to Las Vegas. Tropfest helped to launch my career in filmmaking and it was refreshing to hear that the Motion Picture Association has partnered with Tropfest to further support filmmakers build their careers in the industry. Ours is truly an international industry, so we share as filmmakers the same opportunities and the same challenges every time we write our stories, seek investment, produce the film and find ways of getting it to an audience.”

The weekend-long event held at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas celebrates the 20th Birthday of the Tropfest film festival. It featured live musical performances, film-themed birthday events and culminated with the Tropfest All Star competition featuring some of the best Tropfest films from the past twenty years.

To view the winning film, The Story of Bubble Boy, go to:

The Motion Picture Association will also be sponsoring the First Prize at Tropfest New York on 23 June 2012.

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Tropfest is Australia’s most prestigious short film festival and one of its most iconic cultural events. It is also the largest short film festival in the world. At home, Tropfest is recognised for its enormous contribution to the development of the Australian film industry by providing unique platforms for emerging filmmakers through its events and initiatives, and new and expanded audiences for their work.

Now twenty years old, Movie Extra Tropfest in Australia attracts a live national audience of more than 150,000 people on a single night. The event is hosted at Sydney’s Domain in the Royal Botanic Gardens, with live satellite links to outdoor locations in major cities including Melbourne, Canberra, Perth, Brisbane, Hobart, Adelaide and Surfers Paradise.

The annual short film competition is open to anyone who wishes to enter – regardless of their background or experience. 16 finalists are selected from an entry pool of an average 700 annual entries and compete for more than $100,000 in prizes. Tropfest films are unique in that they have all been made specifically for Tropfest, will premiere at Tropfest and include the Tropfest Signature Item (or TSI), which changes each year.

Tropfest has expanded internationally to now include new competitions and festivals in North America, (New York and Las Vegas) as well as Tropfest Arabia, which will be held in Abu Dhabi in November 2011 and be open to filmmakers across the Middle East and North Africa. Other discussions are underway in territories around the world including China, Singapore, Paris, London and more.


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For more information, please contact

Stephen Jenner
Australian Screen Association
(61-2) 9997 8011

About the MPA: Promoting & Protecting Screen Communities in Asia Pacific

The Motion Picture Association (MPA) and the Motion Picture Association International (MPA-I) represent the interests of the six international producers and distributors of filmed entertainment. To do so, they promote and protect the intellectual property rights of these companies and conduct public awareness programs to highlight to movie fans around the world the importance of content protection. These activities have helped to transform entire markets benefiting film and television industries in each country including foreign and local filmmakers alike.

The organizations act on behalf of the members of the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc (MPAA) which include; Paramount Pictures Corporation; Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.; Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation; Universal City Studios LLC; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures; and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. The MPA and the MPA-I have worldwide operations which are directed from their head offices in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. and overseen in the Asia Pacific by a team based in Singapore. For more information about the MPA, please visit