Edgerton Makes Tropfest Finals

Sourced from abc.net.au

He may be Australian film royalty and a rising Hollywood star but Joel Edgerton says his Tropfest entry is just as small scale as everyone else’s.

Edgerton’s short film, Monkey’s – about a guy whose best mate gets the same haircut as him – is one of the 16 finalists in this year’s festival.

But other Tropfest contestants who think Edgerton has an advantage should think twice, says the Animal Kingdom star.

“I didn’t want to go, ‘I’m an actor, I should call on all the 50 people I know that could crew this thing for me and throw lots of money at it’,” he said.

“From full inception of the idea to being on set, it was literally 48 hours.

“We had a crew of three people and then the actors on top of that. It was the tiniest crew I’d ever worked with.”

The “irreverent, goofy” film, which also stars Damian Walshe-Howling and Damon Herriman, signals his intention to work more often behind the lens.

“I don’t necessarily see myself as an experienced filmmaker just because I’ve been in a few movies,” a humble Edgerton said, adding he is trying to “muscle up” to direct a feature film project he has been working on for years.

“I have directing in my sights … but I’d hate to assume that suddenly (my acting) would make me qualified to be a director.

“I so want to take that part of my life seriously, but I want to take it slowly as well.”

Fellow Tropfest finalist David “Umbilical Brother” Collins was jokingly scathing when he heard about Edgerton’s inclusion in the final 16.

“I just hope they picked his film because it’s Joel Edgerton, not because it’s any good. I hope it sucks,” Collins said, tongue firmly in cheek.

Collins has made good use of his well-established miming abilities in his silent film entry – appropriately entitled Silencer – directed by friend and colleague Doug Bayne.

Underbelly‘s Damon Gamaeu’s film, Animal Beatbox, also made the top 16.

In fact, the competition was so strong this year that organisers are letting the public choose the final entry by voting from 10 options at www.youtube.com/tropfest.

“I’m excited to give people a chance to play pre-selector and give nine films a huge audience that they might not have got,” Tropfest founder and director John Polson said.

The top 16 will then battle it out for the prize pool – $100,000 worth of cash and prizes – on February 20 to an anticipated live audience of 150,000 at free outdoor events across Australia.