Posted in Blog, Media releases on Sunday 06/23/13

June 22, 2013 (New York, NY) –In front of a tremendous crowd of more than 22,000 people, Tropfest – the world’s largest short film festival – concluded in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park with Tristan Klein and Nick Baker of Australia claiming the top prize for a film called “The Unlikely Maestro”.  The aspiring filmmaking duo beat out 15 other hopefuls in the Tropfest NY competition, and earned $20,000 and a ‘week of meetings’ with notable executives and producers in Los Angeles, courtesy of the Motion Picture Association.

Carmine Famiglietti came in second and Max Damashek rounded out the top three for their films “Rooftop King” and “University Glimpse”, while Yuri Pleskun and Eve Danzeisen earned best actor and best actress honors for their starring turns in “The Snatcher” and “The Hardest Part” respectively.  An all-star panel of judges including include Academy Award-winning producer Fisher Stevens (The Cove), actress, writer and director Lake Bell (Childrens Hospital, upcoming In A World), screenwriter and producer Charles Randolph (Love & Other Drugs), journalist and author Malcolm Gladwell (The New YorkerThe Tipping PointBlink), and WNYC host Leonard Lopate engaged in a protracted and animated deliberation before rendering their verdict, which event host Liev Schreiber announced that evening. 

Tristan Klein and Nick Baker’s film “The Unlikely Maestro” captivated the audience and jury with an animated story of a humble rat that dreams of becoming a world-famous conductor.

“Winning Tropfest New York is a strange mix of jet lag, a hangover, and humility. It’s a very humbling experience to place first amongst all of these strong films,” said co-director Nick Baker.

The finalist films were each made specifically for Tropfest NY and followed the format guidelines, including incorporating the ‘Tropfest Signature Item’ (TSI). This year’s TSI was ‘Bridge’ which could be interpreted in any way the filmmaker chose.

“It was very exciting to have Tropfest in Brooklyn this year.  Not only am I happy to call it home, but in many ways Brooklyn is the heartbeat of New York’s creative culture, which was very much reflected in the energy of our audience tonight,” said festival founder John Polson. “This was one of the strongest years ever in terms of the number and quality of the films that were submitted, and we look forward to making Tropfest an annual tradition in one of the great film capitals of the world.”

The event featured live musical performances by Chairlift, Neon Indian (DJ set), Bear in Heaven, Ghost Beach, and People Get Ready.

To view the winning film, “The Unlikely Maestro”, please click here:







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