Susan Sarandon to grace Australian shores for Tropfest

The last time she was in Australia, left-wing activist Susan Sarandon was defending her controversial view against Hillary Clinton.

But next month, the Academy Award-winning actor will be back for very different reasons: as a head juror for short film festival Tropfest.

"There is an enormous amount of film talent Down Under," said the Thelma and Louise star. "I'm looking forward to watching all of these amazing short films showcasing Australia's vibrant diversity."

She joins a lineage of famous jury members that includes Nicole Kidman and Cate Blanchett, and succeeds Bridesmaids actress Rose Byrne, who was 2017's head juror.

Sarandon has historically been outspoken on left-wing issues, in line with Tropfest's progressive outlook this year.

"Tropfest will strive to further increase inclusivity ... [and] encourage culturally diverse filmmakers to submit their stories," said festival founder John Polson.

This year marks only the second time in its 26-year history that Tropfest will be held in Parramatta Park.

The event, the largest short film festival in the world, was moved from its inner city location to western Sydney last year after it was plagued by financial issues that resulted in its 2015 iteration being cancelled.

For non-Sydneysiders, the festival's black carpet and 16 finalists will be aired live on February 17 by the ABC, and available online afterwards on iView.

This story Susan Sarandon to grace Australian shores for Tropfest first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.