By Patrick Avenell

Sony has issued a statement announcing that its sponsorship of the TropFest short film competition has ended. The partnership had existed since November 2003, and spokespeople for both the electronics brand and the film festival have released positive quotations about the association.

“Since Sony began its sponsorship…the film festival has gone from strength to strength,” said Sony Australia head of strategy and brand development, Toby Barbour. “The association was a natural fit due to Sony’s expertise in film-making and showcasing technologies, such as our Handycam camcorders and Bravia LCD TVs.

“We hope that through our sponsorship, filmmakers have been inspired to get out there and share their stories through film”.

Speaking for TropFest was its founder and director John Polson.

“From our modest beginnings in the Tropicana cafe in 1993, to The Domain in Sydney and an audience of over 150,000 nationwide, our growth could not have been possible without Sony’s undying enthusiasm.

“We are enormously grateful for all of their support over the years,” said Polson.

This mutual effusiveness continues despite the end of this deal, with the TropFest website still promoting Sony heavily – this includes the event being referred to as “Sony TropFest”.

It was later announced that Movie Extra has singed on to be the TropFest major sponsor for the next seven years. This change of sponsors had no effect on the film festival’s official website, which still refers to the event as "Sony TropFest".