NPS Media Releases – Tropfest Short Film Winners



The short film ‘The Pick Up’—featuring a sultry scenario where a man walks into a bar and meets a very attractive lady called Gonorrhoea—has taken out the top prize in the industry-first short film competition #SaveTheScript. The competition was a highly successful collaboration between Tropfest and NPS MedicineWise. Entrants were briefed to make a 45-second short film about the threat of antibiotic resistance. Winners were announced last night in Sydney.

“Antibiotics aren’t what they used to be,” the man at the bar is told seductively by his new friend Gonorrhoea. “People use them so often these days the world has created new strains of superbugs that spread old favourites like tuberculosis, syphilis and yours truly.”
Watch at the following link: 

The film is the work of OneWay Pictures. Producer Vincent Zimbardi says of their inspiration for the film, “as antibiotics continue to lose their power, such an important and serious message needed to get out there and reach people. Sometimes audiences deflect overly dramatic and serious communication. We know people embrace and engage in humour, so we wondered, what if gonorrhoea was a person?”. The film wins the first prize of $7000 and the honour of being screened at Tropfest 2015 this December.

The judges were also charmed by an animation featuring a young girl and her toy rabbit in Second Prize Winner ‘Fight Antibiotic Resistance‘. Created by animation director Stevie Watkins, the film will make every parent stop and think about the issue of antibiotic resistance as the whimsical world of the young girl ends up in a serious, devastating health situation. The film wins a $2000 prize.

Taking out Third Prize is a creative and striking animation featuring an army of zombies, volcanic explosions and fierce killer bees. The film ‘10 Million Deaths’ brings home the recent and dire prediction that 10 million people could die each year from antibiotic resistance by 2050. The animation was the work of Seek and Hide Productions and wins $1500.

Collaborating with a not-for-profit organisation on a health issue was a new step for Tropfest and Managing Director Michael Laverty says he is “absolutely thrilled by the incredible entries received and how filmmakers took this serious issue in so many creative, inspiring avenues to raise awareness. The campaign was industry-first and boundary pushing and we encourage people to watch and share these films.”

NPS MedicineWise Managing Director, Dr Lynn Weekes said that she is thrilled that so many filmmakers embraced the competition and its progressive approach to raising awareness about antibiotic resistance.

“Antibiotic resistance is a serious global health issue that is already affecting our community. Conversations must happen in lots of different places to ensure people understand this threat and our role in preventing it. Short films have enormous potential to reach a global audience and encourage people to think about how they can join the fight against antibiotic resistance,” said Dr Weekes.

Judge Lindsay ‘The Doctor’ McDougall, guitarist with Frenzal Rhomb, said about the competition overall, “I’m a little ashamed to say that before I was asked to judge this competition, I didn’t know much about the very real threat of antibiotic resistance. Now because of it I got to learn something really important, with a whole bunch of very talented writers, animators, directors and actors as my teacher.”

Films were submitted from around the world (including Africa, the Middle East, Europe and the United States) and were created by high school students, amateur and professional film makers, health professionals and people whose lives have been affected by antibiotic resistance.

Finalist films can be viewed on the NPS MedicineWise YouTube channel here.

The full judging panel can be found on the NPS MedicineWise website here.

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