314 shorts films in one week? If you attend the 2010 Palm Springs International ShortFest, running June 22-28, 2010, then that is precisely what you’ll get. From the official press release:
The 2010 Palm Springs International ShortFest announced its roster of 314 films, selected from more than 3,000 worldwide entries. Now in its 16th year, ShortFest will showcase 58 World Premieres, 55 North American Premieres and 24 U.S. Premieres. The selection of films for screening and competition features star-studded casts and award-winning films from 43 countries around the world. All selections are structured into 52 themed programs, which will screen June 22-28, at the Camelot Theatres in Palm Springs, CA. See attached or visit www.psfilmfest.org for a complete list of this year’s film programs.
Commenting on the Festival, Darryl Macdonald, programming and executive director, said, “While it’s remarkable how many established actors are now actively working in the short film field, ShortFest’s primary purpose – apart from providing great entertainment for moviegoers – is to showcase and support exceptional new talent emerging in the creative field, and this year’s event features a huge number of innovative new directors, writers, actors and animators emerging in America and worldwide. The animated shorts are particularly strong this year, and the live action work is much more polished.”
ShortFest film curator Kathleen McInnis added, “ShortFest has become a one-stop festival for short filmmakers making the transition to features, and we are excited to build on the success of our ShortFest Forums for the filmmakers panels. The participation at the highest level of film industry talent who are eager to share their knowledge with our filmmakers is extraordinary.”
In addition to familiar faces in front of the camera, three actors direct shorts at the Festival. Glenn Close co-directs and narrates the World Premiere documentary Pax (USA) with Sarah Harvey. Kirsten Dunst directs Bastard (USA) starring Brian Geraghty, Juno Temple, Lukas Haas and Joel David Moore. James Franco directs three shorts including The Clerk’s Tale (USA), The Feast of Stephen (USA) and Herbert White (USA) starring Michael Shannon. Franco will attend the screening of his three shorts and participate in an on-stage conversation with Variety’s Peter Bart on Saturday, June 26 at 3:00 p.m.
Other shorts include AnnaLynne McCord in Amexica (Mexico/USA); Annie Leibovitz in the documentary Annie Leibovitz ‘So, There You Go’ (USA); Julian Sands in The Good Life (USA); Vincent D’Onofrio and Kevin Corrigan in The New Tenants (Denmark/USA); Brendan Gleeson in Noreen (Ireland); Alicia Witt and David Morse in The Pond (USA); Jesse Eisenberg in Some Boys Don’t Leave (USA); Matthew Rhys in Think Tank (USA); and John Mahoney and Lili Taylor in Tired of Being Funny (USA). Lending their voices to shorts, Isabella Rossellini narrates the live action Flat Love (Spain/USA); Helena Bonham-Carter, Robbie Coltrane, John Hurt and Tom Wilkinson in the animated The Gruffalo (UK); Meryl Streep, Forest Whitaker and Spike Jonze in the animated Higglety Pigglety Pop! Or There Must Be More To Life (Canada/USA), and Ian McKellan and Joseph Fiennes in the animated A Lost and Found Box of Human Sensation (Germany).
The Opening Night screening, on Tuesday, June 22 at 6:30 p.m., will be highlighted by award-winning live-action and animated comedies in a program titled “Opening Night: For Laughing Out Loud.” Throughout the Festival the selected short films are organized into 52 programs covering a variety of genres – including thrillers, horror, romance, fantasy animation, documentaries and comedies – and themes such as family, war, art, sex, love, memories, dreams, couples, travel, sports, crime, philosophy, animals, motherhood, the Jewish experience, GLBT shorts and French Language shorts. There will also be a special focus on Australia, “On Top Down Under”, encompassing screenings and a reception.
A jury of three industry professionals will screen this year’s slate of short films selected for competition across 17 categories, including Best Animation, Best Documentary, Best Live Action, Best of Festival, and the Future Filmmaker Award. A total of $90,000 in money and production prizes, including $14,000 in cash awards, will be given out. The Panavision Grand Jury Award winner will receive a digital or film camera package valued at $60,000. An additional $7,500 in Kodak film stock will be presented to the film winners in the student award categories. First place winners in four categories will automatically become eligible for consideration by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) for a possible Academy Award nomination. Over the course of its first 15 years, the Festival has presented 68 films that have gone on to receive Academy Award nominations. Winners will be announced on Sunday, June 27 at a Closing Night screening and reception.
Prominent industry figures will lead three days of panels, discussing trends and providing advice on short filmmaking. Friday, June 25 is “Business of Film Day” with a buyers and distributors panel and a film marketing panel. Saturday, June 26 is “Take It to the Next Level Day” with panels that will offer filmmakers tangible advice on making a feature production, with participants ranging from independent producers to agents and mangers to music rights experts. Sunday, June 27 is a “Networking Day” where filmmakers can meet programmers from a number of key festivals and top film critics and tastemakers.
Designated by AMPAS as an award-qualifying festival, and accredited by the International Short Film Conference, the Palm Springs International ShortFest and its Short Film Market are the largest and most prominent short film showcase in North America. The Festival and its concurrent 3,000-film Market continue to serve as a scouting ground for new filmmaking talent and are well attended by those in the business of buying and selling short films.