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Tropfest Founder John Polson Receives MPA Award For Copyright Education At CineAsia

  • 13Dec 2012

HONG KONG/SINGAPORE: Australian John Polson, award-winning director, actor and founder of the world’s largest short film festival Tropfest, was today awarded the Asia Pacific Copyright Educator (ACE) Award at CineAsia. The award acknowledges Polson’s work raising awareness about the value of screen content, and the need to provide a strong copyright framework for filmmakers, not least those at the beginning of their creative careers.
Announcing John Polson as the recipient of the award, Mike Ellis, President and Managing Director Asia Pacific, Motion Picture Association (MPA) said: “The creative industry is fortunate to have John Polson speaking out for us. Not only has he contributed much to the creative capital in terms of his work behind and in front of the camera, but his bold vision to create a short film festival launching pad for emerging filmmakers has won him plaudits around the world, and Tropfest has become a global phenomenon over twenty years of expansion and development.”

“John came to recognise the importance of raising awareness about the challenges emerging filmmakers face when trying to establish careers in the film industry, especially the need to promote the message that a creator’s work should be recognized, valued and protected. He has since shared this message in wide public forums, functioning as a true ambassador for the long term health of our screen community.”

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As well as being the driving force behind the development of Tropfest across the globe, John’s passion lies behind the camera as a film director. John has garnered worldwide attention with feature films such as Siam Sunset (starring Linus Roache), which won awards internationally at numerous film festivals, including Cannes Film Festival. More recently John has directed the U.S. feature films Swimfan (starring Jesse Bradford and Erica Christensen) and Hide and Seek (starring Robert De Niro and Dakota Fanning), both of which opened at number one at the U.S. box office. John’s film Tenderness starring Russell Crowe and Laura Dern was released in 2009. In addition to his work on feature films, John has enjoyed working for the small screen as a producer and director on hit network television shows such as Fringe, The Mentalist, The Good Wife, Flash Forward, Elementary and Blue Bloods.

John has won numerous awards for his achievements as an actor, director and festival director, including: The Byron Kennedy Award (for contribution to the Australian film industry); Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor Awards (Australian Film Institute); Grand Golden Rail (Cannes Film Festival); Silver Plaque (Chicago Film Festival); Best Feature Film (Hawaii Film Festival); Best Film (Puchon Film Festival); and the International Award (Australians In Film).
On receiving the award, John Polson said: “I’m extremely honoured to be recognised in this way. Our industry has rapidly become an international one, and the challenges we face are therefore common to us all. The protection of intellectual property, while not unique to our screen community, is a huge and important task that we must undertake together, and with all the effort we can muster. How we go about this is also critical. Audiences remain the most important focus for most filmmakers, and we have the opportunity to build an even stronger relationship with our audience by delivering great content on multiple platforms. In parallel, when audiences chose to access our content through legitimate channels, we create a business that works for everyone.”

The A.C.E. Award was presented during an awards luncheon at CineAsia, held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre and attended by over 350 people representing the exhibition and film community in the Asia Pacific region. CineAsia is the only international convention dedicated to Asian cinema exhibition and distribution and is now in its 18th year.

Past recipients of the A.C.E. Award include Malaysian film producer and recording artist Norman Halim (2011) Australian actor Roy Billing (2010), Hong Kong producer Raymond Wong (2009), Thai producer and director Jareuk Kaljareuk (2008), and New Zealand actor Temuera Morrison (2007).

In 2011, the MPA undertook to partner with Tropfest to support the career paths of promising emerging filmmakers around the globe by sponsoring trips to Los Angeles and an in-depth film immersion program introducing filmmakers to the business of film and television in Hollywood.


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, click here

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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