Modelled on the world’s largest short film festival, Tropfest, Trop Jr is a short film making competition and a free, outdoor festival for kids aged 15 years and younger.

Now in its eighth year, Trop Jr follows the same format as all Tropfest competitions, in that all entries must be made specifically for the festival, be no longer than 7 minutes, and feature the Trop Jr Signature Item.

The TSI for Trop Jr 2015 is ‘BUTTON‘.

At it’s heart, Trop Jr is all about encouraging kids to explore their creativity through film. From where we stand, we can see a huge community of young kids with an enormous passion for filmmaking.

In the Festival’s short history, we’ve celebrated the work of some seriously talented young filmmakers. We have no doubt that many of the kids who enter Trop Jr will be part of the next generation of successful career filmmakers.



Why make a film?
Filmmaking inspires confidence, fosters creative thinking and encourages kids to explore different methods of collaboration and group work. And it’s seriously fun!

Here's what some of our past Trop Jr finalists have said about their filmmaking experience:

“Taking an idea, writing a script, filming and directing, working with my best friends, composing music, singing and last minute post-production, was all exciting, stressful and exhilarating. The whole process was magical and seeing the finished copy made me want to make more”
Emily O’Connell, The Cascades, Trop Jr 2012 Runner-Up

“The best part of making my film was knowing that I was finally taking a shot at something I have wanted to do for a long time now”
Lauren Crowther, Freshly Squeezed, 2012 Trop Jr Finalist

“The best part of making my Trop Jr film was working with other people, sharing ideas, trying new things and using the cameras and editing software”
Bodhi Stone and Co, Juice Lords, 2012 Trop Jr Finalist



John Polson

John Polson is an award-winning actor and director, as well as the founder and director of the World’s Largest Short Film Festival, Tropfest.

John is the creative force behind Tropfest’s success and global expansion, from its humble beginnings as a screening of one of his own short films at Sydney’s Tropicana Cafe in 1993. Tropfest in Australia attracts a live audience of over 100,000 people on a single night, as well as hundreds of thousands more via a simultaneous television broadcast. Tropfest has been held in countries all around the world with stand-alone festivals now in New Zealand, South East Asia, New York and Arabia.

First and foremost, though, John’s passion lies behind the camera as a film director. Creating his first short film AN EVENING WITH HERMAN in the early 1980s, John has since garnered worldwide attention with feature 

films such as SIAM SUNSET (starring Linus Roache), which won awards at numerous film festivals around the world (including the Cannes International Film Festival). He also directed the US feature films SWIMFAN (starring Jesse Bradford, Erica Christensen) and HIDE AND SEEK (starring Robert De Niro, Dakota Fanning), both of which opened at Number 1 at the US box office. John’s latest feature film TENDERNESS, in which he directed Russell Crowe and Laura Dern, was released in 2009.

Today, in addition to his feature film work, John flexes his creative muscle on the small screen as a producer and director on shows such as ELEMENTARY, FRINGE, THE MENTALIST, THE GOOD WIFE and FLASH FORWARD.

John is currently developing a number of feature projects as both director and producer in the US and Australia.

Tropfest Signature Item

The TSI for Trop Jr Australia 2015 is ‘BUTTON’. Below are some of the past TSIs.

Trop Jr is unique in that all films made for the festival must include the Tropfest Signature Item (TSI). The TSI changes each year and it proves to us that films have been made specifically for that year’s festival.

  • 2014
  • Dec 2013
  • Feb 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008

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We believe that everyone has a story to tell ... and that those stories deserve an audience.

John Polson, Founder of Tropfest