The first annual Beverly Hills Shorts Festival, which will take place from Friday, February 24, to Sunday, February 26, 2006, has announced its inaugural short film program. From a total of more than 550 submissions from around the world, the festival selected 33 engaging films, an eclectic collection of short comedies, mockumentaries, dramas, animated stories, documentaries, and musical comedies.

“During the submission and review process,” says Co-Director Daniel Martone, “the programming staff saw some truly amazing short films – films that tested the limits of human imagination, ingenuity, and insight. While it wasn’t easy to make our final selections, the films that comprise this year’s schedule represent the finest in short-film technology and storytelling.”

Honoring 37 independent filmmakers and a host of acclaimed actors, from Tony Shalhoub to Tom Hanks, this diverse showcase of creativity, passion, and humor will be presented at two Beverly Hills venues, the elegant Fine Arts Theatre and the prestigious Wilshire Screening Room & Gallery, both located on Wilshire Boulevard. Following the opening night party on Friday, February 24, at 7pm, film aficionados will be treated to six distinct shorts programs each play twice over the course of the weekend.

The three-day event will culminate in an awards ceremony on Sunday night, during which our distinguished panel of judges will honor the best short narratives and documentaries. The panel consists of such intriguing filmmakers as director John Gulager (recently featured in the third installment of Project Greenlight), producer Darin Scott (who was behind such films as To Sleep with Anger, Menace II Society, and The Brothers), actor Clu Gulager (known for his work in such classics as the 1964 film noir The Killers and the 1971 drama The Last Picture Show), and Kenneth J. Hall (writer of Puppet Master, director of The Halfway House, and owner of Total Fabrication Effects Shop). Several films will also be highlighted by our generous sponsors, including Adobe Systems, Jungle Software, Writer’s Boot Camp, and Disc Makers.

For more info, visit the Beverly Hills Shorts Festival website.

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