Designated by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as an award-qualifying Festival and accredited by the International Short Film Conference, the Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films and Short Film Market is the largest and most prominent short film showcase in North America. It has captured Hollywood’s attention as a scouting ground for new filmmaking talent and is well attended by those in the business of buying and selling short films.
Three Hundred Thirty-two films were selected from more than 2,500 entries worldwide, featuring award-winning films and star-studded cast from 35 countries. Selections are categorized into 50 themed programs covering many areas of interest for both specific and general audiences to enjoy — war stories, security issues, immigration, animation, crime, romance, sex, friendship, work, travel, horror, musicals, westerns, mothers, the Jewish experience, gay and lesbian lifestyles, and a special focus on films from the United Kingdom and some shorts from Kenya, Russia, Croatia, Greece, Iran, Hungary, and Poland, which submitted films for the first time. Eighty-three of the films in the Festival have won awards at major international film events and competitions.
Festival Director Darryl Macdonald is enthused about the Festival saying, “this year’s line-up exemplifies the exciting surge of new vitality and talent emerging in the field of short filmmaking worldwide. Both the Festival line-up and the Film Market are overflowing with smart, provocative and entertaining new work — a testament to the huge number of exceptional young talents flooding into the world of filmmaking.” Macdonald is a driving force in the success of both of the Palm Springs International Film Festivals.
The opening night screening on Thursday, August 23 at 6:30 p.m. will be highlighted by award-winning live-action and animated films from the Netherlands, USA, Germany/Morocco, Belgium, Sweden, and the UK.
Celebrities are making a contribution with films directed by Jennifer Aniston and Bryce Dallas Howard and featuring Margaret Cho, James Gandolfini, Louis Gossett, Jr., Kris Kristofferson, Joanna Lumley, Ron Livingston, Wendie Malick, Joe Mantegna, Alfred Molina, Patrick Stewart, Hugo Weaving, and Robin Wright Penn.
Five industry professionals will screen this year’s short films selected for competition in nine categories for a total of $14,000 in cash. The Panavision Grand Jury Award winner will receive a digital or film camera package valued at $60,000 and two days studio time courtesy of Casablanca Studios. An additional $7,500 in Kodak film stock will go to the student film award winners.