above: trop pants for trop fest; lazy afternoon gathering

Last night I attended my first ever Tropfest (the world's largest short film festival); we went to the screening at Wollongong Botanic Gardens. Aside from the cool change that we weren't prepared for (but which made us really appreciate our warm beds!) it was a great night, and something I would love to do again. The atmosphere was nice and laid back... picnic blankets spread out across the lawn in front of the big screen. A few musical acts entertained the crowd until the sun set around 8pm and the screening started. The Tropest Signature Item for 2013 was a balloon (each film entry has to contain the signature item for that year) and they'd brought a hot air balloon into the Gardens for the occasion. I've been dying to go hot air ballooning for a few years now and seeing one up close fuelled the flame... it's on the To Do list for this year.

16 finalists were screened last night: some funny, some serious, most of them thought-provoking and powerful. My favourite film gave me goosebumps, and ended up being the winner. Here it is. Enjoy!

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