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Canberrans show age no barrier to going troppo

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Actors Barnaby Florance, Sophie DeCosta and Emma Spencer from the short film <i>I Know I'm a Sensation</i>, directed and produced by ACT finalist Oliver Levi-Malous.

Actors Barnaby Florance, Sophie DeCosta and Emma Spencer from the short film I Know I'm a Sensation, directed and produced by ACT finalist Oliver Levi-Malous. Photo: Katherine Griffiths

The kids are all right, especially when they've got a video camera in their hands.

Of the 16 finalists in Tropfest Jr - a section of the annual short film competition for filmmakers aged 15 years and under - two were made by Canberrans, including the aptly titled I Know I'm a Sensation.

While director and producer Oliver Levi-Malouf was watching the big screen in Sydney, two of his short-film colleagues were in the crowd at Stage 88 in Commonwealth Park.

Actor Sam Worthington and festival founder John Polson arrive during at Tropfest Short Film Festival. Click for more photos

Tropfest 2013

All the action from the black carpet as stars arrive for the Tropfest Short Film Festival 2013. Photo: Getty Images

Fifteen-year-old Daramalan College students Emma Spencer and Sophie De Costa acted in the film about a pair of siblings who find a machine that can turn people into an instant sensation.

Helping out in the filming over a series of Sundays, Sophie said initially she didn't realise the annual event was a competition.

''We were just excited to be shortlisted,'' she said.

''And when we got to the finals, it was really awesome.''

Mockumentary Aussie Kids at Christmas was another local entry listed as a finalist in Tropfest Jr, which requires all films to be less than seven minutes.

Directed by Kurt Montana-Borg and produced by Paul Burns, it compared how children from two very different - and fictional - Australian families viewed Christmas.

Tropfest Jr was won by NSW finalist Bumper, directed and produced by Ben McCarthy.

No ACT entrants made it into the finals for Tropfest, which this year carried the theme ''balloon''.

The winner last night was Nick Clifford's We've All Been There, with Jefferson Grainger's Better Than Sinatra second, and Punctured by Nick Baker and Tristan Klein third.

After 21 years, Tropfest will move to a new time of year and a new home. Founder John Polson says the 22nd Tropfest will be held on December 8 this year and will move from The Domain to Centennial Park in Sydney. ''February is always a tricky month,'' he said, particularly for people in the film industry wanting to visit. Aside from the Berlin Film Festival, ''it's the BAFTAs, the Oscars, it's this, it's that. We think we're pretty big but I don't want to take on the Oscars.'' However, likely better weather in December has also played a part in the decision.

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