Festival News

by: Steven Wilson/Ron Hofmann
Festival Sets Record Breaking Year with Film Submissions, Attendance and Filmmaker Attendees;

PALM SPRINGS, CA (August 30, 2006) –The 2006 Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films & Short Film Market (ShortFest), the largest short film festival and market in North America, now in its 12th year, announced its Festival award winners on Tuesday, August 29, 2006. Setting new records all around, more than 550 filmmakers and industry representatives from around the world participated in this year’s Festival. 333 short films screened in competition featuring 74 World Premieres, 56 North American Premieres and 16 U.S. Premieres and along with more than 2,500 filmmaker submissions, from over 48 countries, in the film market. Held from August 24-30, 2006, the Festival saw 16,200 attendees up 8% from last year’s.

A total of 23 festival awards in 14 categories and six audience favorites were announced Tuesday evening at the Awards Presentation held at the Camelot Theatre in Palm Springs, CA, followed by the Closing Night Party at Las Casuelas Terazza . A total of $14,000 in cash prizes, $7,500 in Kodak film stock, $6,000 in software prizes and a $60,000 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. Over the past eleven years, the Festival has presented 49 films that have gone on to receive Academy Award nominations.

Commenting on the success of this year’s Festival and Market, Festival Director Darryl Macdonald said, “Record-breaking attendance and a hyperactive Short Film Market made this a banner year for Palm Springs ShortFest and the hundreds of film makers who participated. We are already laying plans for an expansion of the Film Market next year to accommodate the heightened sales interest in short films so much in evidence here.”

Commenting on the films screened at this year’s Festival, ShortFest Director of Programming Anita Monga said, “It’s an honor to be a part of this incredible event, which continues to grow each year. The audiences truly did enjoy the programs put together from these wonderful films.”

The 2006 Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films award winners are:


BEST OF FESTIVAL AWARD- $2,000 & Showbiz Software Package
“Bawke,” Hisham Zaman - Norway
Winner of the Best Narrative Short at the Toronto Worldwide Short Film Festival, this moving story of a father and son, illegal immigrants to Scandinavia, traces their odyssey through the maze of difficulties they face in hopes that the son can have a better life than his father.

FUTURE FILMMAKER AWARD - $2,000 & Showbiz Software Package
Alex Weil, “One Rat Short” – USA
This dazzling CG animated film traces the lives of laboratory rats who are up against the forces of giant scientific testing labs bent on utilizing the animals for their own nefarious purposes.

PANAVISION GRAND JURY AWARD – Panavision Camera Package valued at $60,000 & two days studio time courtesy of Casablanca Studios, Palm Springs, CA
Hubert Davis, “Aruba” – Canada
A young boy finds an inventive way to solve two major problems in his life, with the help of an exotic postcard and his own native intelligence.

All first place winners in these categories will receive a Showbiz Software package.

“Zombie Prom,” Vince Marcello – USA
“Dark Night,” Leonid Prudovsky – Israel (Winner-Tie)

“Chicken,” Desiree Handall – USA (Winner)

“First Flight,” Cameron Hood, Kyle Jefferson - Canada (Winner)

All first place winners in these categories received a cash award of $2,000, Showbiz Software Package and will be eligible to submit their films to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences for Oscar consideration. Second Place recipients received a $500 cash prize.

First Place ($2,000) – “Happiness,” Sophie Barthes – USA
A deliciously sanguine, straight-faced comedy about how the little things can make all the difference in a humdrum world.

Second Place ($500) – “Avatar,” Lluis Quilez – Spain

First Place ($2,000) “The Last Dog in Rwanda,” Jens Assur – Sweden
Fascinated by war since he was a young boy, Davis becomes a news photographer who journeys to theatres of war around the world to send pictures home from the front. Caught behind the shifting battle lines of the Rwandan civil war, the reality of his obsession becomes all too apparent.

Second Place ($500) “Paraodx,” Jeremy Haccoun – UK

First Place ($2,000) – “Rabbit,” Run Wrake – UK
When a boy and girl find an idol in the stomach of a rabbit, great riches follow, but for how long?

Second Place ($500) – “Dreams and Desires- Family Ties,” Joanna Quinn – UK

First Place ($2,000) – “Lot 63, Grave C,” Sam Green – USA
At the 1969 Rolling Stones concert in Altamont, the Hell’s Angel killed a young man named Meredith Hunter, who has become a historical footnote, and at the same time completely forgotten as an individual.

Second Place ($500) – “A Hell of Fishing,” Vincent Bruno – Belgium

All first place winners in these categories will receive $1,000 in Kodak film stock and will be eligible to submit their films to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences for Oscar consideration. Second Place recipients receive $500 in Kodak film stock. All student filmmakers in competition are eligible for these awards.

First Place – “Breathe,” Juliet Porter – Australia
A young couple copes with the birth of their severely disabled son.

Second Place – “Re: Monday,” Adam Burr - USA

First Place – “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves,” Andrea Janakas - USA
It’s November 4, 1979. Marie (Annie Quinn) and her best friend Chrissy (Amanda Seyfried), both 15, attempt to fend off boredom at the local small-town bowling alley, where they hear reports of a missing girl.

Second Place – “La Primavera,” Ruben Obregon Casas - Mexico

First Place – “Memorial,” Jon Gutman - USA
After witnessing the death of her father, a young girl’s reality blurs with her memories as she journeys into the layered walls of her urban landscape in this beautifully animated short.

Second Place – “Temerario,” Carl Zitelmann – UK

First Place – “Going Home,” Hung P. Nguyen – USA
An intimate and deeply personal retelling of a family’s escape from war-torn Vietnam. A mother reveals something at once painful and yet potentially liberating for the entire family.

Second Place – “Kaden,” Harriet Storm – USA

First Place ($1,000 in Kodak film stock.)
Adam Arkapaw (cinematographer), “The City Eats Its Weak” – Australia
A fabulously strange tale about urban alienation set in a futuristic city where cameras relentlessly record everything that goes on. Paranoia, or cautionary tale?

Second Place ($500 in Kodak film stock)
Isaac Vila (cinematographer), “Retruc” – Spain

Named in honor of Alexis Echavarria, who at age 16 made his film 18 Minutes, which screened at last year’s 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 Echavarria’s promise that was untimely extinguished. The recipient will receive a Final Cut Pro package, courtesy of Apple Computer valued at $2,500.

Talya Lavie, “The Substitute “ - Israel
In this riveting drama, Zohara is an Israeli soldier on an isolated military base who is about to get a much-anticipated transfer. Her hopes are shattered when her substitute appears to be suicidal.

A special award was presented by juror Jason Reitman’s production company Hard C Productions titled The Hard C Hi Five to Lo-Fi Award. The award was presented to Steve Dildarian, director of “Angry Unpaid Hooker,” an animated short in which a young man wakes up with a cranky prostitute in his apartment, who he can’t pay, and he can’t explain to his girlfriend how she got there.

Jury members include Sharon Badal, Short Film Programmer of Tribeca Film Festival; Borys Kit from “The Hollywood Reporter”; Kathleen McInnis, Festival Specialist for Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television; Jason Reitman, director of “Thank You for Smoking”; and Shane Smith, Director of Programming for Channel Zero.

Software prize packages include Gorilla 3 Scheduling & Budgeting Software courtesy of Jungle Software, Movie Magic Scheduling and Movie Magic Budgeting courtesy of Entertainment Partners, Avid Liquid Pro courtesy of Avid Technology, Showbiz Producer, Showbiz Budgeting and Actualization, Showbiz Time Cards for SAG, Showbiz Time Cards for Film & Television courtesy of The Showbiz Software Store and Final Cut Pro Suite for the Alexis Award winner courtesy of Apple.

This year’s Festival saw 350 filmmakers from around the world attend. Among filmmaking guests who attended screenings at the event were Sylvester Stallone’s son Sage Stallone, who attended the World Premiere of his film “Vic” along with members of the cast. Superman Return’s Brandon Routh attended the screening of “Denial”, the short he stars in, along with fiancée Courtney Ford and the short’s director Joel Kelly. CSI:’s Archie Kao attended the screening of the short he starred in, “Fast Money.”

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 Festival of Short Films and Short Film Market is the largest and most important short film showcase in North America. The Festival and its concurrent 2,500-film Film Market has captured Hollywood’s attention as a scouting ground for new filmmaking talent and is well attended by those in the business of buying and selling short films.

The Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films is supported by a growing number of local and national sponsors. Renewing their support of this year’s Festival is the Title Sponsor, The City of Palm Springs and Presenting Sponsors including Spencer’s Restaurant, The Desert Sun, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and Wessman Development. This year’s major sponsors include Kodak, Las Casuelas Terraza restaurant, the Palm Springs Mall, Panavision, Dale’s Lost Highway, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, CBS2 Television, The Bottom Line, Crazy Bones Restaurant, MySpace.com., Tourism tv., Morris Desert Media, KMIR-TV, KESQ-TV and Time Warner Cable. Additional sponsors include Greater Palm Springs Pride, Subway, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Starz Entertainment Group, Metromint, Palm Springs Women in Film & Television and Toucan’s Tiki Lounge. This year’s official Host Hotel is the Hotel Zoso.

The 2007 Palm Springs International Film Festival will be held January 4-15, 2007. For additional information, call the Festival headquarters at (760) 322-2930 or visit www.psfilmfest.org.

Digital images from the Festival and from films screened during the Festival are available upon request.

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