Tropfest, which organisers claim to be the world’s largest short film festival after launching in a café in Sydney, Australia, almost 20 years ago, is expanding to the US and will touch down in New York next June.

Tropfest New York will comprise a weekend of short films, musical performances, film screenings and a filmmaker symposium. Tropfest has helped launch successful careers for notable Australian alumni such as Avatar’s Sam Worthington and Warrior’s Joel Edgerton.

Among those supporting the launch will be Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman, Geoffrey Rush, Liev Schreiber, Anthony LaPaglia and Charles Randolph.

“We could not ask for bigger film industry stars and better inaugural partners to help us bring the world’s largest short film festival to the most exciting city in the world,” Tropfest founder and director John Polson said.

“With the passionate support of our Ambassadors and WNYC Radio on board, combined with increasing North American interest from filmmakers and audiences via our online platforms, it’s obvious to us that the time is right.”

Tropfest New York will be open to the public and is free of charge. Each year the films must contain a Tropfest Signature Item, which this year is the humble bagel.

The inaugural Tropfest Arabia took place recently in Abu Dhabi.