Festival News

2009 ShortFest Announces Line-Up


Festival to Showcase Directorial Debuts by Demi Moore, Courteney Cox-Arquette, Marianne Jean-Baptiste and Joseph Gordon-Levitt; and Shorts Featuring Laura Dern, Olympia Dukakis, Danny Glover, Carla Gugino, Linda Hunt, John Lithgow, Christopher Lloyd, Alfred Molina, Rick Schroeder, Brittany Snow, Eric Stoltz and Rumer Willis

Palm Springs, CA (June 9, 2009) – The 2009 Palm Springs International ShortFest announced its roster of 315 films, selected from more than 2,500 worldwide entries. Now in its 15th year, ShortFest will showcase 76 World Premieres, 43 North American Premieres and 14 U.S. Premieres. The selection of films for screening and competition features star-studded casts as well as award-winning films from 41 countries around the world. All selections are structured into 52 themed programs, which will screen June 23-29, 2009, at the Camelot Theatres in Palm Springs, CA. See attached or visit www.psfilmfest.org after June 14 for a complete list of this year's film programs.

Commenting on the Festival Darryl Macdonald, Programming and Executive Director said, "We were fortunate to have a wealth of extraordinary work submitted to us from all around the world this year, which made the selection process that much more difficult. The resulting line-up of short films is a richer, more diverse and accomplished collection of work than I've ever seen, and heralds a wealth of great new talent to enrich the film world for years to come."

"We're also excited this year about our special events at the festival, as we have brought together an exemplary list of industry heavyweights to share their knowledge — on both the 'Digital Delivery/New Media Day' and 'Take it to the Next Level Day' over closing weekend," said ShortFest Film Curator Kathleen McInnis. "We're giving our short filmmakers the real world tools to make that leap to feature filmmaker and beyond as part of our mandate to put filmmakers first."

Festival attendees will be able to see a roster of films featuring familiar faces in front of and behind the camera. Four actors will have their directorial debuts featured at the Festival including Demi Moore directing Streak (USA) starring Brittany Snow, Rumer Willis and Madeline Zima; Courteney Cox-Arquette directing and starring in The Monday Before Thanksgiving (USA) along with Laura Dern and Rosemary Harris; Marianne Jean-Baptiste directing Ink (USA); and Joseph Gordon Levitt directing Sparks (USA) starring Carla Gugino and Eric Stoltz. Other star-studded shorts include past Palm Springs International Film Festival Rising Star recipient Adam Beach who stars in Help (USA); Danny Glover in This Life (Australia); Olympia Dukakis in Hove (The Wind) (USA); Alfred Molina in Lessons in Self-Defense (USA); Rick Schroeder in Locker 13: Down and Out (USA); Christopher Eccleston in The Happiness Salesman (UK); Derek Jacobi in One of Those Days (UK); Will Patton in Looking at Animals (USA); the voices of Christopher Lloyd and John Lithgow in The Macabre World of Lavender Williams (USA); and Linda Hunt narrating The Crooked Eye (USA).

The selected short films are organized into 52 programs covering a variety of genres -- including thrillers, horror, animation, documentaries, and comedies -- and themes, including family, war, art, grandparents, pet peeves, sex, memories, immigration, obsessions, couples, travel, parents, the Jewish experience, gay and lesbian lifestyles. In addition, one of the programs will highlight short films from the NYU Tisch School of the Arts Asia, based in Singapore. The school has students from 21 countries and a faculty of working film professionals all dedicated to educating the next generation of storytellers.

This year's opening night screening on Tuesday, June 23 at 6:30 p.m. will be highlighted by award-winning live-action and animated comedy films including Dead Bunny (USA), Emilia Eckle (USA), Expiration (USA), Eyelash (Switzerland), Multiple Choice (Australia), My New Toy (Australia), Stop Requested (France), The Suffering of Mr. Karpf - The Birthday (Germany), True Beauty This Night (USA) and The Williams (France).

A jury of three industry professionals will screen this year's short films selected for competition in eighteen categories including Best Animation, Best Documentary, Best Live Action, Best of Festival and the Future Filmmaker Award. A total of $94,000 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 and five days studio time courtesy of DST Studios. 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 for a possible Academy Award nomination. Over the course of its first 14 years, the Festival has presented 64 films that have gone on to receive Academy Award nominations.

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 ShortFest and its Short Film Market, are the largest and most prominent short film showcase in North America. The Festival and its concurrent 2,500-film Film Market continues to serve as a scouting ground for new filmmaking talent and is well attended by those in the business of buying and selling short films.

Three days of panels comprised of industry representatives have been assembled to discuss trends and provide advice on short filmmaking. Friday, June 26 is "Digital Delivery/New Media Day" where top leaders in new media will discuss with filmmakers digital exhibition platforms, digital distribution and digital creativity. Saturday, June 27 is "Take It to the Next Level Day" with panels that will offer filmmakers tangible advice on making a feature production including packaging the production, casting the film and publicity. Sunday, June 28 is a brunch where filmmakers can meet programmers from a number of key festivals as well as theatrical, television and online buyers.

The Palm Springs International ShortFest is supported by an ever growing number of new and long time sponsors with local, national and international prominence. The Title Sponsor is the City of Palm Springs with Presenting Sponsors The Desert Sun, Spencer's and the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. Major Sponsors include MAKE, Panavision, The Bottom Line, Kodak, KPSP, the Kaiser Restaurant Group and the Ace Hotel. The official host hotel and media center is the Hilton Palm Springs Resort. More ShortFest information is available online at www.psfilmfest.org or by calling (800) 898-7256.

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