Hugh Jackman to Host Free NYC Film Fest

Hugh Jackman has launched Tropfest, deemed the world's largest short film festival, where he will serve as host in New York City Saturday.

It is New York's first installment of the event, which is free and open to the public. Each film featured during the festival must be under seven minutes long. According to Jackman, today's filmmaking simply requires a cell phone.

"Forget it, [if] you've got a mobile phone you can make a film, you can enter," said the actor, reported the Associated Press. "It's a great way for me to support the arts and anybody who wants to can get involved."

Tropfest will see celebrity judges that include Rose Byrne who appeared in "Bridemaids," "30 Rock" actor Judah Friedlander, and Jennifer Westfeldt of the '90s sitcom "Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place." They will pick best film, actor and actress.

The event will take place in Bryant Park. To learn more about Tropfest, visit

Continuing his quest to help aspiring filmmakers, Jackman revealed his difficult start in show business.

"When I first graduated from drama school I knew the statistics that 98 percent of actors were unemployed," said the 43-year-old, according to the Associated Press.

"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 I can contribute. There's no whining."

Tropfest originated in Jackman's native Australia 20 years ago. The event takes place in several locations all over the world.

In addition to Jackman, ambassadors of Tropfest include Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman, and Charles Randolph.

Tropfest is not the first event Jackman has hosted. The actor and producer is a three-time host of the Tony Awards, for which he once earned an Emmy Award. Also, the "X-Men" star hosted the 81st Academy Awards.