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MPA Supports Emerging Filmmakers At Tropfest New York

Josh Leake wins the MPA Top Prize for ‘Emptys’

  • 24Jun 2012

Singapore/New York: On 23 June, the Motion Picture Association (MPA) supported emerging filmmakers in competition at Tropfest New York, the world’s largest short film festival.

Josh Leake was presented with the MPA First Prize of US$20,000 by members of a high profile judging panel including Rose Byrne (X Men, 28 Weeks Later), Judah Friedlander (30 Rock), Jennifer Westfeldt (Friends with Kids, Kissing Jessica Stein), producer Ted Hope (Dark Horse, 21 Grams, Adventureland), and renowned film critic and Associate Director of Programming at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, Scott Foundas.

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“I still can’t believe I was given this opportunity by Tropfest and the MPA,” said Josh Leake, following the announcement. “With all these great films to compete with it’s hard to accept I won. I feel like I’m dreaming. I was excited to tell the story of these people and I thought it was genuine. Good stories will conquer all no matter what it’s filmed on and what it looks like. If people take anything from the film I just hope they start recycling.”

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.”

Michael O’Leary, Senior Executive Vice President, Global Policy and External Affairs Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) said, “Tropfest plays a very important role in the film community both here and on the international stage, stimulating short form filmmaking and providing an exciting launch pad for gifted writers, directors, producers and actors. It is wonderful to personally be here in the midst of all this talent and creativity. We thank Tropfest once again for this opportunity to recognize these filmmakers, not only in New York, but across the world at their events in Sydney and earlier this month in Las Vegas. Congratulations to Josh Leake on winning over the appreciation of the live audience and the judges tonight, and I look forward to seeing more of Josh’s work on our screens.”

Tropfest New York, hosted by Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables, Real Steel, X-Men), screened eight finalist films alongside eight ‘Best Of Tropfest’ films to an audience of thousands of festival-goers at Bryant Park in New York. Each of the films screened at the competition was produced specifically for the event, and like other short films screened around the world, was limited to a duration of seven minutes. The films each included the Tropfest Signature Item (TSI),‘Bagel,’ a fitting tribute to NYC culture. The festival also featured musical performances by internationally renowned Alexi Murdoch, Doveman, and local Brooklyn indie-rockers Milagres.

The MPA recently supported the winners of Tropfest Las Vegas (Sean Ashcroft) and Tropfest Australia (Alethea Jones) with cash prizes and trips to Los Angeles for meetings with film and television representatives.

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About Tropfest
Tropfest is the world’s largest short film festival. It began in a Sydney café (‘The Tropicana’) 20 years ago with a single $100 short film and an audience of 200 people. Today the Australian free event is attended annually by a live audience of over 150,000 film-lovers and hundreds of thousands more watching via its national, live TV broadcast and other platforms. Tropfest has recently launched in New Zealand, Arabia, and other territories, with China, South East Asia and more in planning stages.

In 2012, launched the USA with Tropfest Las Vegas and Tropfest New York.

In the past two decades, Tropfest has become known as one of the world’s most exciting launch-pads for emerging filmmakers. Tropfest is also known for securing the support of some of the biggest names in the international film community. Tropfest USA’s Official Ambassadors include Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman, Geoffrey Rush, Charles Randolph and Anthony Lapaglia. The Tropfest YouTube Channel has had over 11 million video views, with around 40% of those coming from the United States. The Channel provides film enthusiasts the chance to watch the top films from past festivals at:

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For more information, please contact

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