Mel Gibson Joins Tropfest Judging Panel - Yes, Really

11 February 2016 | 11:30 am | Staff Writer

Is this the best call?

The organisers behind long-running short film festival Tropfest have had a trying last few months to say the least and with the event to take place this Sunday in Sydney, they have made the truly surprising announcement today that Mel Gibson will join the 2016 judging panel. 

Because the festival almost didn't even go ahead this year due to an alleged funding management "disaster", it's surprising that Gibson has been brought on board, given that the Academy Award-winning actor has had his own fair share of controversies in the past. 

It seems Gibson, who is currently back in the country filming World War II movie Hacksaw Ridge, may be attempting to rehabilitate his image, given his recent track record which has included arrests, DUI's, as well as accusations of being anti-Semitic. 

Let's not forget his most recent and painfully awkward interchange with UK comedian Ricky Gervais at last month's Golden Globes, where Gibson didn't seem to take too kindly to some jokes that Gervais made about him.

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

The NIDA graduate said of his Tropfest appointment, "I'm really thrilled to be in Sydney, and to have been invited to judge Tropfest.

"I know what it’s like to be starting out in this industry, in Australia, and what a big difference a break can make to a career.  Tropfest has been doing an incredible job over the last 23 years as a platform for young filmmakers, and I'm absolutely delighted to support the great work Tropfest is doing."

Gibson joins a panel that already includes fellow actors and industry figures including Simon Baker, Rebecca Gibney, Don McAlpine and Jocelyn Moorhouse.

Tropfest 2016 will take place at Sydney's Centennial Park on Sunday, 14 February, where the winner will receive $10,000, a trip to LA for a week to meet with industry executives and extra prizes.

Head to the festival website for more details.