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Winners Announced for 2005 Palm Springs ShortFest

Festival sets record-breaking year with film submissions By Gregg Schwenk

Going Postal
PALM SPRINGS, CA (September 26, 2005) The best things in life are short, especially those screened at the 2005 Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films & Short Film Market (ShortFest), the largest short film festival and market in North America, now in its 11th year.  Setting new records all around, more than 500 filmmakers and industry representatives from around the world participated in this years Festival which screened 324 short films in competition and included more than 2,400 of the filmmaker submissions, from over 45 countries, in the film market.  Held from September 20-26, 2005, Festival attendance was up 15% from last years 15,000 attendees.

A total of 22 festival awards in 13 categories and six audience favorites were announced Sunday evening at the Awards Presentation held at the Camelot Theatre in Palm Springs, CA.  A total of $14,000 in cash prizes, $7,500 in Kodak film stock, $6,000 in software prizes and a $30,000 Panavision camera package were awarded.  Award winners receiving a first place prize are automatically eligible to submit their films to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for Academy Award consideration:  the Festival presented six of last years short film Academy Award nominees, including two winners.  Over the past ten years, the Festival has presented 46 films that have gone on to receive Academy Award nominations.

Just Pray
Commenting on the success of this years Festival and Market, Festival Director Darryl Macdonald said, ?Its been a watershed year for this Festival.  The huge filmmaker and industry attendance has now certified this event as the most important Short Film Festival in North America, and the audience response along with the filmmakers attending screenings have validated our programming work with a major stamp of approval, voicing their appreciation of the short film choices and packages with constant verbal praise and loud applause at virtually every screening.

Commenting on the talent and films screened at this years Festival, ShortFest Director of Programming Kathleen McInnis said, ?Its been an extraordinary privilege and honor to screen these films this year.  The talent weve come to expect at the ShortFest has been eclipsed this year by filmmakers who have reached far beyond any festival circuit standard and dipped into territories uncharted, unexpected and delightfully unusual.  Our tradition of ShortFest films going on to win other Festival awards-even Oscars® -is well in hand with the ShortFest Class of 2005.

Mantis Parable
The 2005 Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films award winners are:

?Torte Bluma, Benjamin Ross USA
Real-life Franz Stangl, the Commandant of the Treblinka extermination camp in 1942-43, enjoyed a most unusual relationship with the Jewish slave who cooked his meals. Teetering on the brink of insanity, their daily rituals were held together by a tenuous tread?until the cargo train brought a surprising arrival.

Josh Staub, ?The Mantis Parable USA
Made by the creator of popular video games ?Myst and ?Ravens, this ravishing animated parable tells the story of a caterpillar trapped in a collectors specimen jar, and the insects who come to his aid.

PANAVISION GRAND JURY AWARD Panavision Camera Package valued at $30,000
Diego Postigo, ?La China Spain
Two young addicts embark on a transcendental dialogue about the laws of nature, the nature of existence, and natural order.

Tama Tu
Named in honor of Alexis Echavarria, who at age 16 made his film 18 Minutes, which screened in this years Festival.  Echavarria died suddenly upon returning from volunteer work in Thailand a few weeks before the Festival had accepted his film.  The Alexis Award will recognize emerging student filmmakers who show great potential in honor of Echavarrias promise that was untimely extinguished.  The recipient will receive a Final Cut Pro package, courtesy of Apple Computer and two days of studio time at Casablanca Studios in Palm Springs, CA. 
Stevo Chang, ?Fields of Mudan USA
Mudan, a young Asian girl, is forced into modern day slavery by the brutal child brothel owner, Madam Zhao. Mudan finds solace only through the memory of her mother and the promise that her mother will one day  return to take her away with her to America.   

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Related Keywords:ShortFest, Palm Springs, Festival, Short Films

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