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Palm Springs International Short Film Festival Concludes

By Keiko Beatie

Partygoers party on at the Palm Springs International Short Film Festival
The opening night for the 10th Annual Palm Springs International Short Film Festival was a successful tribute to the art of short films.  Audiences enjoyed the cool theaters while outside the desert heat steamed up the competition in North Americas most prestigious short festival.  With more than 2000 entries, over 300 films were screened last week.  A number of cash and industry prizes will be awarded at the end of the festival with one winner headed to next year's Cannes Film Festival with this festival's recognition. 




PSISFF is now becoming even better known for the highly attended Short Market Place, seminars and panel series.  With all entries set to be part of the active market place, filmmakers from around the world will be on hand to meet and greet potential industry notables.  Helen Du Toit, director of short programming had a monumental task and worked with a wide and diverse support team to program this well respected short festival.

Executive Directed by Daryl McDonald, the true spirit of the festival is to support the creative artistry of the filmmaker. The anticipated competition will only propel the filmmakers to the next level if they are recognized at Palm Springs. In past years, many winners within two years found themselves with feature films at Sundance and top European Festivals as well. 
Award-winning live-action and animated films highlighted this years opening night screening. They include ?7:35 in the Morning, Youth Jury Prize, Clermont Ferrand Short Film Festival; ?Flatlife, Jury Grand Prize at Cannes International Film Festival; ?Passing Hearts, Audience Award at Berlin Film Festival, Cinematography at Aspen Shortsfest and Humanitarian Award at Cleveland Film Festival; ?The Man Without a Shadow, Best Short Film at Cannes International Film Festival and Croatia World Festival of Animation; ?Trust, Honorable Mention for Best Experimental Short at Toronto Worldwide Short Film Festival; ?Two Cars, One Night, Best Drama at Aspen ShortsFest and Panorama Best Short Film at 2004 Berlin Film Festival; ?Wasp, Best Live Action Short at Toronto Worldwide Short Film Festival; ?We Have Decided Not to Die, Audience Award for Best Short Film at 2004 Clermont Ferrand Short Film Festival.  The screenings was then followed by an opening night reception at Las Casuelas Terraza.

The 300 short films have been organized into 43 theme programs covering a variety of topics, including gay and lesbian lifestyles, celebrity shorts, crime and punishment, travel, families, comedy, games, current events, identity, love, marriage, aboriginal peoples, pets, and war and peace. The Festival will also feature early shorts from famous directors and the AFI Film School.  Festival attendees will be able to see a roster of films featuring familiar faces from the big screen and television. The program titled ?Famous Directors: Take One will feature the humble beginnings of some of the top directors of the last three decades including David Lynchs ?Amputee, Jane Campions ?A Girls Own Story, Spike Jonzes ?How They Get There, Francois Truffauts ?Les Mistons, Martin Scorseses ?The Big Shave, Luis Bunuels ?Un Chien Andalou and Tim Burtons ?Vincent. 

The ?Star Power program features short films made by or featuring well-known acting talents, including Academy Award winner Kathy Bates in ?The Ingrate.  Other recognizable faces will include Allison Janney in ?Chicken Party, Julie Delpy in ?Notting Hill Anxiety Festival and Darryl Hannah and Jeff Goldblum in ?Supermarket directed by Ileana Douglas.  Also in this program are shorts directed by Andrew McCarthy titled ?News For the Church, ?Nobodys Perfect directed by Hank Azaria and ?Betrunner directed by Vincent Spano.

A jury of five industry professionals will screen this years short films selected for competition in nine categories, including; Best Animation, Best Documentary and Best Live Action, Best of Festival and the Future Filmmaker Award.  A total of $14,000 in prizes and an additional $6,000 in Kodak film stock, $2,500 in studio time from Casablanca Studios and an additional $4,000 in filmmaking software programs will be awarded during the Festival. Jury members include David Birdsell; Dana Brunetti, President, Triggerstreet; George Eldred, Competition Manager, Aspen Filmfest; Valerie Watts Meraz, Showtime Networks, Inc.; Pat Saperstein, Variety.  First place winners will automatically become eligible for consideration by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for a possible Academy Award nomination. 
For additional information, visit the website at or call (760) 322-2930.

Festival sponsors include City of Palm Springs, Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, The Desert Sun, Spencer's at the Mountains, CBS2, Desert Post Weekly, Kodak, Las Casuelas Terraza, The BottomLine, The Palm Springs Mall, GES - Everything Exposition, Palm Springs Life, Time Warner Cable, Caliente Tropics, IFC's Ultimate Film Fanatic Tour, Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, R&R Radio Group, Ramada, Red Bull, Riviera Resort, Stockholm Kristall Vodka, Backstage West, FOX11, KESQ3, Myriad Internet, Olden Days Catering, Tulip Hill Winery & Vineyards, Casablanca Studios, Heimark Distributing Co., IFILM, Inland Empire Film Commission, Writers Guild of America - West.




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