Hugh Jackman launching short film festival

The X-Men star will launch New York’s inaugural Tropfest in Bryant Park on Saturday (23Jun12) in a bid to give aspiring filmmakers the chance to land their big break.

Jackman will screen the top contenders, which have already been narrowed down to a group of eight, and the film entries will then be judged by a celebrity panel, comprised of Rose Byrne, Judah Friedlander and Jennifer Westfeldt.

The Hollywood hunk tells the Associated Press, “When I first graduated from drama school I knew the statistics that 98 percent of actors were unemployed. I vowed to myself that every day I would do something for my career. I wasn’t going to sit back. I was going to actively get out there and participate. Here is a way that anyone can contribute. There’s no whining, ‘But I’m a filmmaker it’s so difficult, I can’t get an agent.'”

Tropfest was originally founded in Jackman’s native Australia 20 years ago by director John Polson and the event has been such an overwhelming success, the actor has decided to bring it stateside.

The winner for best film will receive a $20,000 (£12,500) pay cheque from The Motion Picture Association and guaranteed meetings with various agents and studio bosses.