Victorian filmmaker Nicholas Clifford has been crowned victor at the 21st Tropfest, making him the last person to win before the festival moves dates and location.
Tropfest is waving goodbye to the end of an era as it readies to move from February to December 8 this year and from The Domain to Centennial Park in Sydney.
Unlike last year, when a severe downpour caused the crowd to all but flee, this year brought with it clear skies and a live audience reportedly 90,000 strong.
Clifford was awarded first place for his short We've All Been There by Avatar actor Sam Worthington, who made up the judging panel alongside Magda Szubanski, Rebecca Gibney and The Sapphires director Wayne Blair.
Worthington earlier spoke to AAP about judging, saying: "It's not about budget, it's not about box office, it's about pure entertainment and that to me is what film should be about. Not all that other junk."
Clifford, whose film also won best female actor for Laura Wheelwright, accepted the Tropfest fruit bowl trophy from Worthington.
"I get grief that I look like him sometimes, so this is going to give everyone a bit more ammunition to throw at me. But what a guy," he said.
"He's got this really cool attitude about how it's the journey, not the destination."
On that journey, Clifford will be taking with him prizes including $10,000 cash, a Toyota and a trip to LA, as well as a Nikon D800 and $2000 worth of Nikon lenses and accessories.
Worthington also created an impromptu award, announcing he and the other judges would award dancing busker Raymond Borzelli, an audience favourite from documentary Better Than Sonatra, $3000 for best personality.Another surprise during the night was Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson, who appeared on the big screen with a recorded message from the set of David Michod's new film The Rover in South Australia.
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