by Michael Varrati.
This very weekend in the Springsteen-lauded town of Asbury Park, New Jersey, a convergence of freaks, geeks, and celebrities will occur to celebrate all things cinema.
The unifying event is known as Tromadance, and even amongst the film making community, it is relatively unique. Unlike large institutions such as Sundance or Cannes, Tromadance requires no submission fees from artists looking to have their work screened. Furthermore, there’s no admission cost for attendees, and no velvet ropes. It is a festival where celebrities and film-goers are equal, and encouraged to mingle openly.
Sponsored by the world’s longest running independent film studio, Troma Entertainment, the perks of Tromadance certainly must seem like a sweet deal to the casual onlooker. However, for those of us who are well aware of Troma’s history, it’s just another in a long line of contributions the studio has made to the championing of independent art.
The man most directly responsible for Troma’s long history is Lloyd Kaufman. A filmmaker and cinematic impresario, Kaufman has been on the front lines of the battle for artistic rights for nearly four decades.
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