Have you heard of Tropfest? For thousands of Australians, the name conjures up images of picnics, green grass and long, warm days that turn into night, bringing out stars like Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush.

It’s the biggest short-film festival in the world, born in a small café in Sydney in 1993 and growing every year, travelling to places like New York, Abu Dhabi and Cape York. This year the outdoor film festival is making its debut in Japan, bringing with it Aussie food stalls and a great selection of film shorts.

Tropfest started out in 1993 as a screening for 200 people in a cafe called Tropicana, which is where the festival gets its name. It became so popular that six years later, the event was moved to a large, central city park and attracted an audience of 150,000 people. Now it’s one of Australia’s premier cultural events, held every summer in February.


In Sydney, 16 films are chosen from hundreds of entries to be judged by a celebrity panel at the annual screening. Each year a special “signature item” is announced, which filmmakers must use in a scene of their film. The special item for 2014 is “mirror”.


This year, for its Japanese debut, eight films from various years will be played on a loop, complete with subtitles. For a taste of what’s on offer, check out one of the films, Suburban Samurai, below. Can you guess what the signature item for this film is?

Tropfest will be held at Yokohama Minato Mirai Grand Mall Park from 11:30am – 7:00pm tomorrow (May 31). Stalls on site will be serving up Australian goodies like bush wildflowers, lamingtons and even kangaroo meat skewers!

So pack a picnic rug and a cold beverage, gather your friends and family, and head to Yokohama to experience a bit of Aussie lifestyle in Japan. Oh, and the signature item for the movie above? Lightbulb.

Date           Saturday 31 May, 2014
Time           11:30am – 7:00pm
*Opening Ceremony held at 2:00pm*
Location     Yokohama Minato Mirai Grand Mall Park
(in between the Yokohama Museum and shopping facility Mark Is)

Sources: Tropfest in Japan Facebook, Tropfest