2017 ShortFest Announces Award Winners
2017 PALM SPRINGS INTERNATIONAL SHORTFEST ANNOUNCES FESTIVAL WINNERS
Facing Mecca Receives Two Awards Including Best of the Festival; The Head Vanishes, Dekalb Elementary Receive Top Jury Awards; Red Light, Coin Operated, Kayayo and Lost Face Receive Audience Awards
PALM SPRINGS, CA (June 25, 2017) - The 2017 Palm Springs International ShortFest, the largest short film festival and only short film market in North America, announced its Festival award winners on Sunday, June 25, 2017. 338 short films screened throughout the Festival along with more than 4,200 filmmaker submissions available in the film market. More than $115,000 in prizes, including $20,000 in cash awards were awarded in 21 categories. "After spending a week in and out of theaters, and talking with filmmakers and audiences, we close out the festival with such a strong sense of community," said Festival Director Lili Rodriguez. "Filmmakers are making movies about the changing world around them. I think our award winners showcase an understanding and compassion for people and it's a great thing to see." The 2017 Palm Springs International ShortFest award winners are:
Jury Awards and awards in the non-student and student competition categories were selected by ShortFest jury members David Ansen (film critic/PSIFF Lead Programmer), Lindsey Bahr (Associated Press), Kate Bosworth (actress/producer), Ian Durkin (Vimeo), Sam Lansky (Time Magazine) and Heidi Zwicker (Sundance).
BEST OF FESTIVAL AWARD - Winner received $5,000 cash prize courtesy of the Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau. The winner of this award may be eligible to submit their film to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for Oscar® consideration. Facing Mecca (Switzerland), Jan-Eric Mack Pensioner Roli comes to Fareed's assistance when the Syrian refugee is faced with a bewildering forest of Swiss bureaucracy before he can bury his Muslim wife.
GRAND JURY AWARD - Winner received a $2,000 cash prize. The Head Vanishes (France/Canada), Franck Dion Jacqueline, no longer quite in her right mind, still goes on her annual summer trip. This year, she's followed by some woman who claims to be her daughter.
PANAVISION BEST NORTH AMERICAN SHORT - The use of a camera package valued at $60,000 courtesy of Panavision. Dekalb Elementary (USA), Reed Van Dyk Inspired by an actual 911 call placed during a school shooting incident in Atlanta, Georgia.
NON-STUDENT COMPETITION AWARDS
All first place winners in the non-student categories received a cash award of $2,000 and may be eligible to submit their film to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for Oscar® consideration.
BEST Animated short The Head Vanishes (France/Canada), Franck Dion Jacqueline, no longer quite in her right mind, still goes on her annual summer trip. This year, she's followed by some woman who claims to be her daughter.
BEST Live Action short over 15 minutes Retouch (Iran), Kaveh Mazaheri Maryam's husband does weightlifting at home. When a weight falls on his throat and puts him near death, Maryam makes a decision. BEST Live Action short 15 MINUTES AND UNDER Great Choice (USA), Robin Comisar A woman gets stuck in a Red Lobster commercial.
BEST Documentary short Edith + Eddie (USA), Laura Checkoway Ninety-something Edith and Eddie are America's oldest interracial newlyweds, whose unusual and idyllic love story is disrupted by a family feud that threatens to tear them apart.
STUDENT COMPETITION AWARDS
All first place winners in these categories received a $500 cash prize.
BEST STUDENT ANIMATION Sog (Germany), Jonatan Schwenk After a flood, the fish are stuck in trees, in danger of drying out. They scream sharply, disturbing the inhabitants of a nearby cave.
BEST STUDENT Live Action short over 15 minutes Facing Mecca (Switzerland), Jan-Eric Mack Pensioner Roli comes to Fareed's assistance when the Syrian refugee is faced with a bewildering forest of Swiss bureaucracy before he can bury his Muslim wife.
BEST STUDENT Live Action short 15 MINUTES AND UNDER Iron Hands (USA/China), Johnson Cheng A 12-year old girl tries out for the traditionally all-boys' Chinese youth Olympic weightlifting team. And makes an unlikely connection with the weightlifting gym's reclusive groundskeeper.
BEST STUDENT DOCUMENTARY short Searching for Wives (Singapore), Zuki Juno Tobgye Male migrant workers from South India living in Singapore send photos back home in the hope of finding suitable and willing marriage partners. Special Jury Mention: I Made You, I Kill You (Romania/France), Alexandru Petru Badelita In a remarkable cinematic diary, by turns touching and disturbing, Badelita looks back at his traumatic childhood growing up in rural Romania.
BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT
Red Light (Bulgaria/Croatia), Toma Waszarow A bus stops at a village's only intersection, where the traffic light is stuck on red. The driver refuses to move forward
BEST ANIMATION SHORT Coin Operated (USA), Nicholas Arioli Seventy years pass in the life of one naïve explorer.
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT
Kayayo (Norway), Mari Bakke Riise Elementary-school-age Bamunu works as a kayayo (a living shopping cart) at the markets in Accra thousands of miles from her village.
SHORTFEST ONLINE AUDIENCE AWARD
Lost Face (Australia/Canada), Sean Meehan Based on a classic story by Jack London set in mid-1800s Alaska, a man makes a deal with a native chief in hopes to save his life.
FUTURE FILMMAKER AWARD - Winner received a $2,000 cash prize.
Where You Found Refuge (France), Guillaume Legrand After Didier finds his daughter living in a cult, he decides to bring her home by force. Special Mention: Fry Day (USA), Laura Moss An adolescent girl comes of age against the backdrop of serial killer Ted Bundy's execution in 1989.
ALEXIS AWARD FOR BEST EMERGING STUDENT FILMMAKER - The Alexis Award is selected by the Festival's programming team and was created in honor of Alexis Echavarria, whose talent as a budding filmmaker and gift for inspiring excellence among his fellow students were cut short suddenly in 2005 at age 16. The recipient received Final Cut Pro X courtesy of Apple. Chebet (Kenya/USA), Tony Koros A pregnant woman in the Kenyan highlands decides to take drastic action when she finds her husband passed out in front of their house yet again.
HP BRIDGING THE BORDERS AWARD PRESENTED BY CINEMA WITHOUT BORDERS - The award goes to a film that is most successful in bringing and connecting the people of our world closer together. The winner received an HP ZBook 17 Mobile Workstation valued at $3,000. Pantheon (France), Ange-Régis Hounkpatin Son of a Beninese immigrant, cut off from his roots, Solomon is about to donate his deceased father's Voodoo costume to a museum when a young street-dancer reminds him of the ancestral soul.
YOUTH JURY AWARD - The winner received a $500 cash prize.
Everybody Else is Taken (New Zealand), Jessica Grace Smith Meet Mika, a girl who refuses to let her gender define her place in one of the harshest environments on Earth-the play-ground.
About Palm Springs International ShortFest Designated by AMPAS, BAFTA and BIFA as an award-qualifying festival, and accredited by the International Short Film Conference, the Palm Springs International ShortFest & Short Film Market, one of the most acclaimed short film showcases in the world, will take place in Palm Springs on June 20-26. Now in its 23rd year, ShortFest will showcase 338 short films from 60 countries. The concurrent Short Film Market, the only one in North America, will feature a library of more than 4,200 films available to film buyers, industry and press. The ShortFest Forum programs are a four-day schedule of seminars, panel discussions, roundtables and master classes staged free of charge for attending filmmakers. The Palm Springs International Film Festival will be held January 4-15, 2018 and the Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala will be held January 2, 2018.
For more information and tickets, call (760) 778-8979 or visit the website: www.psfilmfest.org.
Digital images from the Festival and from films screened during the Festival are available upon request.
Palm Springs International Film Society Contact
David Lee | Marketing & Publicity Manager