John Polson

About John Polson

John was born in Sydney, Australia. In his early years, his ambition was to become a saxophone player but he was seduced by acting at age 17. He performed in the theater for the next few years but soon moved into television and film.

By his mid-20s, John was directing his own short films and started a short film festival in Sydney called Tropfest (named after its premiere venue, the Tropicana Cafe), which has since gone on to become the world's largest short film festival.

Simultaneous to Tropfest's explosive success, John directed his first feature film, Siam Sunset (1999), which was officially selected by the Cannes Film Festival (Critics' Week) and launched his directing career. John has since directed a number of feature films in the US (where he is now based) including Swimfan and Hide and Seek (Robert De Niro, Dakota Fanning) both of which opened at number 1 at the US box office.

In addition to his work in features, John has produced and directed numerous US television shows include Without A Trace, Fringe, The Good Wife, Blue Bloods, The Mentalist and others.

John continues to play a major role in the running of Tropfest, specifically its global expansion, but his primary focus is his directing career. He is based in the US but visits Australia several times a year.


In addition to his own career as a director and producer, John Polson is the founder and director of Tropfest, the world’s largest short film festival.

Since it began 20 years ago, Tropfest has been recognised for its enormous contribution to the development of the Australian film industry by providing unique platforms for emerging filmmakers and new and expanded audiences for their work. More recently, Tropfest has begun a global expansion with fully-fledged festivals in the US and Arabia, with more in planning in numerous territories around the world.

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