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Academy Award Winner Susan Sarandon Leads the Way for Troptalks

Tropfest Australia, supported by foundation partner CGU Insurance, has announced Academy Award winner and head of the 2018 Jury Susan Sarandon will lead a stellar lineup of the industry’s leading innovators and creators at TropTalks presented by Western Sydney University from 13 - 16 February.

Joining Susan Sarandon at the talks across the University’s Parramatta City and Sydney City campuses will be Saroo Brierley, whose life story inspired Golden Globe-nominated film Lion, and Tropfest alumni Abe Forsythe (Tropfest 2010), whose upcoming film Little Monsters stars Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o.

Other highlights speakers include Yolanda Ramke and Ben Howling. The duo’s Tropfest 2013 finalist film Cargo is currently being developed into Australia’s first Netflix Original feature, starring Martin Freeman (The Hobbit), having enjoyed viral success on YouTube.

“We are thrilled to be hosting Susan Sarandon for our second year of TropTalks, not only because of her stature as an award-winning actress but also because of her commitment to social and political good,” said Western Sydney University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Barney Glover.

“I have no doubt Ms Sarandon will be an inspiring participant on the TropTalks panel for our students and the industry widely, and look forward to welcoming her to Western Sydney University.”

Susan Sarandon and Saroo Brierley will be joined by Lion producer Angie Fielder, Robert Connolly (Paper Planes), and Western Sydney University PhD Graduate Marty Murphy at Adaptation: Bringing Stories to Life (16 Feb.), showcasing the most talented names in film adaptation. The talk will be hosted by Chris Taylor (ABC TV’s Screen Time).

Genre Busters (14 Feb.), hosted by Jason di Rosso (ABC Radio National’s The Screen Hub), will explore the recent surge of genre-defying films. Tropfest alumni Abe ForsytheYolanda Ramke and Ben Howling will speak alongside Western Sydney University’s Media Arts Production lecturerMaryella Hatfield to dissect different ways to change genre perceptions.

New Technologies in Filmmaking (13 Feb.), hosted by author and pop culture commentator Maria Lewis, will discuss the greatest minds in emerging film technologies. Oscar-winning effects company ODD STUDIO’s Adam Johansen (Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith) andColin Ware (Alien: Covenant) will be joined by Emmy Award- winning VR artist Lynette Wallworth (Coral), and VR studio Mod co-founder,Michela Ledwidge.

Award-winning Indigenous talent will exchange ideas at Indigenous Storytelling (15 Feb.), hosted by Daniel Browning (ABC Radio National’s Awaye!). Rising star Tysan Towney (Romper Stomper), veteran casting director Anousha Zarkesh (Sweet Country) and Berlinale Jury Special Mention winner Catriona McKenzie (Satellite Boy) will shed Indigenous insight on filmmaking.

The University is committed to the creative industries, offering students a range of related degrees including a Bachelor of Screen Media, and brand new state of the art facilities at our Parramatta South campus.

TropTalks presented by Western Sydney University are part of a week-long extravaganza of events, including the Craft Awards, Launch Party, and Trop Jr; with the week coming to a spectacular finale with the Tropfest main event on Saturday 17 February at Parramatta Park.

Tropfest is supported by Foundation Partner CGU Insurance, Presenting Partner Melrose Park by PAYCE, Exclusive Automotive Partner Holden and Strategic Partners Western Sydney University, Parramatta Park Trust, and the City of Parramatta. The ABC is the Exclusive Broadcast Partner and YouTube the Live Streaming Partner. Tropfest is also supported by Major Government Partner, Screen Australia.

TropTalks presented by Western Sydney University 2018 Schedule:


Event starts
Tuesday 13 February, 2018
Event Ends
Friday 16 February, 2018
Various venues
Venue Address
Various venues

New South Wales, Sydney

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