Festival News

Shortfest Announces Panels & Industry Guests


Palm Springs, CA (June 23, 2011) – The Palm Springs International ShortFest is best known for its award-winning film shorts, but each year the Festival also welcomes a long guest list of filmmakers and industry attendees.  The Festival 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.  Prominent industry figures will participate in three days of panels, workshops and meetings to discuss trends, new technologies and emerging paradigms in film funding, production, distribution and exhibition.  This year’s Festival, taking place June 21-27, will screen a roster of 331 films selected from more than 3,000 worldwide entries which are available in the Film Market.

Festival Director Darryl Macdonald said, “ShortFest prides itself on providing both a showcase for the work of emerging filmmakers and a source for the networking and knowledge that will help guide them to the next step in their careers.  Our forum programs of seminars and one-on-ones are aimed at fulfilling that mandate, and the response from industry participants and ShortFest filmmakers alike has been overwhelmingly positive year after year.”

Kathleen McInnis, ShortFest Film Curator/Director of Industry Programming said, “We are continuing our tradition of providing our over-300 attending filmmakers with vital, first-hand conversations with top industry leaders via our weekend of panels, workshops and one-on-one meetings.  These are especially important to those filmmakers crafting their first features who might not otherwise have access to this wealth of information.”

Friday, June 24:  Examining Key Elements of Visual Storytelling
Moderated by McInnis, these panels will focus on cinematography and its shifting technologies; the politics and business of story, and outside-the-box film funding.

11:00 a.m. - DSLR-RED-ALEXA: The Camera’s Creative Choice
A panel of top, award-winning cinematographers, all of whom work on the cutting edge of new digital camera technology, will speak about their unique experiences with specific cameras in achieving their directors’ visions.

Panelists: cinematographers Alison Kelly (Make a Wish) and Fred Schroeder (Destination Wedding, Four Sheets to the Wind).

1:00 p.m. - The Politics and Business of “Story”
A team of story professionals will speak to the questions of how indeed does “story” work, how does it sell, and how to marry the art of story with the business of film.

Panelists: David Elliot, screenwriter/director; Harris Goldberg, screenwriter/director, Spitfire Entertainment; David Hayter, screenwriter/director; Peter Ignacio, independent producer; and Sydney Neter, president, SND Films.

3:00 p.m. - “New” World Monetization: It’s Still the Money, Honey
Cutting out the middle man and crafting new ways to shorten the road between project and funding, a panel of visionaries speaks to their experiences in forging new financial partnerships for film funding.

Panelists: Asher Goldstein, executive, Traction Media; Kevin Iwashina, managing partner, Preferred Content; Ben Kramer, film finance agent, CAA; Michael Roiff, president/producer, Night & Day Pictures; and Sharon Swart, producer and acquisitions consultant.

Saturday, June 25:  Expand Your Network Day
These interactive panels feature festival programmers, top film journalists and major agents, managers and producers, moderated by John Anderson, film critic for Variety, The New York Times and Washington Post.

11:00 a.m. - Meet the Programmers
Festival programmers from around the globe speak about their unique festival programming styles.  Filmmakers will have a chance to meet all panel participants.

Panelists: Sharon Badal, Tribeca Film Festival; Penny Bartlett, Chicago International Film Festival; Beth Barrett, Seattle International Film Festival; Andrew Crane, American Cinematheque; Claudette Godfrey, SXSW; Todd Luoto, Sundance Film Festival; David Nugent, Hampton’s International Film Festival; Kim Yutani, Outfest and Sundance; and Paul Sloop, Cleveland International Film Festival.

1:00 p.m. - Meet the Press
Top-level film journalists will address the question “How can (or should) filmmakers judge success in the media arena?” by addressing topics relating to what kind of coverage can/should filmmakers expect; how do (or can) filmmakers affect their coverage; when is a mention as good as a review; what kind of relationships can/should filmmakers craft with film journalists, etc.

Panelists:  Jeremy Kay, U.S. editor, Screen International; Gregg Kilday, film editor, The Hollywood Reporter; Steve Pond, columnist, TheWrap.com; Pat Saperstein, senior editor, Variety; and Anne Thompson, IndieWire.

3:00 p.m. - Meet the Agents, Managers and Producers
Demystifying the aura surrounding the film industry’s gate keepers, a panel of straight-talking agents, managers and producers will speak to their complex and symbiotic relationship with filmmakers.

Panelists: David Greenblatt, president, Greenlit Creative; Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, president/producer, Automatik; Miles Levy, partner, James/Levy Management; April Lim, agent, Global Artists Agency; Bec Smith, agent, Motion Picture Literary Department and Independent Film Group, UTA; and Peter Trinh, motion picture agent, ICM.

Sunday, June 26: Filmmaker/Industry Brunch
On Sunday, June 26, The Festival will host a filmmaker and industry only brunch with special guests Jon Bloom (Chair of the Short Films and Feature Animation Branch for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) and Terry George (Director Reservation Road, Hotel Rwanda and film short The Shore screening at the Festival).

The Festival has also assembled an all-star line-up of experts to share their knowledge and expertise with filmmakers in a one-on-one personal consultation setting.  Those participating this year include: Scilla Andreen, CEO, IndieFlix; Kalman Apple, acquisitions & sales consultant, Shorts Entertainment Network; Kimberley Browning, festival director, Hollywood Shorts; Mike Dallatorre, program manager/cinematographer, Panavision; Amy Lillard, producer/executive director, Washington Filmworks; Scott Dwyer, program director, KQED-TV; Eliza Hajek, manager development & sponsorship, SAGIndie; Ric Halpern, vice president/COO, Film in Thropic; Tamara Johnson, re-recording mixer, Smart Post Sound; Elliot Kotek, Moving Pictures; Rick Stevenson, head curator, Official Best of Fest; and Toby Wilkins, director (Splinter, The Grudge 3). 

Allison Anders (director - Border Radio, Gas Food Lodging, Mi Vida Loca), Effie T. Brown (producer - Real Women Have Curves, Rocket Science) and Kirsten Smith (producer/writer - Legally Blonde, 10 Things I Hate About You, The House Bunny) will serve on the ShortFest jury.

Panel tickets are available for $10 each.  The Festival also offers the ShortFest Film School Weekend Pass for student filmmakers priced at $100 (with student ID).  The pass provides access Friday through Sunday for regular film screenings, all panels and one festival-sponsored party.  Tickets can be purchased by calling (760) 322-2930 x241 or visiting www.psfilmfest.org.

About The Palm Springs International Shortfest
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.

The Palm Springs International ShortFest is supported by an ever-growing number of new and longtime sponsors with local, national and international prominence. The Title Sponsor is the City of Palm Springs with Presenting Sponsors The Desert Sun and Spencer’s.  Major Sponsors include Persol, MAKE, Panavision, The BottomLine, Greenhouse Studios, KPSP Local 2, The Pipeline, Australian Consulate General in Los Angeles and Palm Springs Life.  The official host hotel and media center is the Renaissance Palm Springs.  More information is available online at www.psfilmfest.org or by calling (800) 898-7256.


Steven Wilson / Emily Davis
B|W|R Public Relations
swilson@bwr-la.com / edavis@bwr-la.com

David Lee
Palm Springs International Film Festival

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