It was one of those ideas born in a café, as most good ideas post-Hemingway usually are. Now, 20 years later, Australia’s Tropfest is the largest short-film festival in the world with the capacity to draw a crowd of 150,000 on a single night. Today, the Tropfest Roughcut Film Symposium—the festival’s auteur-minded spin-off—will make its New York debut with a program that gets right down to the grit of the filmmaking process. Industry talent of all sorts—from actors (Liev Schreiber) to directors (John Polson of Swimfan) to editors (Sarah Flack of Lost in Translation)—will reveal their trade secrets. Keynote speakers Malcolm Gladwell and screenwriter-producer Charles Randolph (Love & Other Drugs) will also sit down for a chat. Our critic Scott Foundas will be the host and moderator.

Fri., Dec. 7, 10:30 a.m., 2012