An Aussie pensioner with a passion for dancing in public has missed out on the top prize at Tropfest but won the heart of actor Sam Worthington, who has offered to help the battler financially.
Sydney resident Raymond Borzelli, 86, was the subject of the six-minute documentary Better Than Sinatra, which aired last night at Sydney's annual short film festival in the Domain.
The film about a lonely retiree who regularly dances alongside buskers in Sydney's CBD was awarded second prize but Avatar star, and Tropfest judge, Worthington was so impressed with the film's star that he went off script and offered the twinkle-toed octogenarian a $3000 "best personality" prize.
A number of memorable scenes from the doco show the unabashed senior drawing crowds in popular Sydney locations with his unique style of dance.
However, Mr Borzelli collecting the money is far from a sure thing. The 86-year-old did not attend Tropfest so Worthington asked the crowd to try and track the pensioner down.
Worthington made the impromptu offer shortly before presenting the Tropfest fruit bowl trophy for best film to Victorian filmmaker Nicholas Clifford for his short We've All Been There.
Clifford will take home $10,00 in cash, a new Toyota as well as a trip to Los Angeles.
Third prize was awarded to the festival's only animated film Punctured.
Tropfest, which began in 1993, was first held at the Tropicana Café in Kings Cross before moving to the more spacious Domain.
This year's edition of Tropfest was the final to be held in at the Domain, with a planned relocation to Centennial Park next year.
Author: Martin Zavan, Approving editor: Mark Worley