2019 Shortfest Announces Festival Winner


The Christmas Gift Receives Best of the Festival; 
Guaxuma and King Wah (I Think I Love You) Receive Top Jury Awards;

PALM SPRINGS, CA (June 23, 2019) - The 2019 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 23, 2019.  369 short films screened throughout the Festival along approximately 5,600 of filmmaker submissions available in the film market.  More than $86,000 in prizes, including $26,750 in cash awards were awarded in 22 categories.    

BEST OF FESTIVAL AWARD - Winner received $5,000 cash prize courtesy of the Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau.  Awarded by the International Jury to a student or non-student short. The winner of this award may be eligible to submit their short to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for Oscar® consideration.   

The Christmas Gift (Romania/Spain), Directed by Bogdan Muresanu
A few days after Ceausescu's bloody repression in Timisoara, a father's quiet evening turns to panic as he finds out that his son has mailed a letter to Santa that includes something for him -- his wish to see Ceausescu dead.

BEST INTERNATIONAL SHORT - Winner received a $2,000 cash prize. Awarded by the International Jury to the best student or non-student short produced outside of North America.   

Guaxuma (Brazil/France), Director Nara Normande
Grains of sand in motion capture happy childhood memories on the beach of a special friendship.  

BEST NORTH AMERICAN SHORT - Winner received $1,000. Awarded by the International Jury to the best student or non-student short produced in North America.  

King Wah (I Think I Love You) (USA), Director Horatio Baltz
A disgruntled delivery man, a woman with chronic déjà vu, Pat Sajak, and a slow dance in a Chinese takeout restaurant.    

BEST U.S. SHORT - Winner received camera package courtesy of Panavision, valued at $60,000. Awarded by the International Jury to the best student or non-student short produced in the U.S.  

Manila is Full of Men Named Boy (USA/Philippines), Director Andrew Stephen Lee
Manila, July 7, 2009. As Michael Jackson's televised funeral plays throughout the country despite terrorist attacks in the south, an estranged son, to impress his father, purchases a child who can drink and smoke

For the following awards all first-place winners 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 (Awarded by the Animation Jury)  

Dani (USA), Director Lizzy Hogenson
A 30-year-old woman, feeling obligated to wear a brave face, delivers her grim breast cancer prognosis to her mother over a simple phone call. 

Special Mention:
Caterpillarplasty (Canada), Director David Barlow-Krelina
In an advanced technological society where the caterpillar has special significance, the people desire metamorphosis.  

BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT OVER 15 MINUTES (Awarded by the International Jury) 

Summer Hit (Germany), Director Berthold Wahjudi0
Laia from Spain and Emil from Iceland are enjoying their semester abroad in Munich. While Laia feels perfectly fine just having sex with Emil, his profession of deeper feelings puts her on the defensive.   

BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT 15 MINUTES AND UNDER (Awarded by the International Jury) 

Youth (Egypt/USA), Director Farida Zahran
A teenage girl takes a step toward adulthood in contemporary Cairo.   

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT (Awarded by the Documentary Jury)

Inferno (Australia/Mexico), Director Patrick Fileti
An explosive portrait of the lives of artisans and their families in the lead up to the festival of San Juan de Dios, when blazing revelry engulfs the town of Tultepec, Mexico, famous for its pyrotechnics industry.  

Special Mention:
Brother, Move On (Switzerland/India), Director Antshi von Moos
A taxi service "for women by women" offers a small step towards gender equality in Delhi.

All first-place winners in these categories received a $500 cash prize.    

BEST STUDENT ANIMATED SHORT (Awarded by the Animation Jury) 

Nosis (Germany), Director Vincenz Neuhaus
When a boy with an exceptionally long nose accidentally falls into a cake, his life changes in unforeseen ways and drives him to re-explore life no matter the dark consequences.  

Special Mention:
Wild Love (France), Directors Paul Autric, Quentin Camus, Léa Georges, Maryka Laudet, Zoé Sottiaux, Corentin Yvergniaux
While on a romantic getaway, Alan and Beverly cause a fatal accident. This crime won't remain unpunished...   


A Little Break (France), Director Louise Groult
Accompanying her cousin on a camping trip to coastal Normandy, 16-year-old Charlotte discovers that the path to romantic fulfillment can be painful for a young woman in an insensitive world.

Special Mention:
What Do You Know About the Water and the Moon (China), Director Jian Luo During an abortion, instead of aborting the fetus, a girl gives birth to a live jellyfish.   


Night Swim (USA), Director Victoria Rivera
Three teenage girls break into a closed-off pool on a hot summer night, but when unwanted guests show up, their friendship is tested and one of them is left behind.  

Special Mention:
Sir Thomas (Israel), Director Raanan Fogel, Michael Amir A young man finally gets to go home with the girl he has a crush on. Unfortunately, Sir Thomas does not seem to want to cooperate.  

BEST STUDENT DOCUMENTARY SHORT (Awarded by the Documentary Jury) 

Seeds of Deceit (Netherlands), Director Miriam Guttmann
In a shocking breach of trust and ethics, famed Dutch fertility doctor Jan Karbaat inseminated dozens of unsuspecting patients with his own sperm. Seeds of Deceit considers the resulting anger, sadness and curiosity through the testimony of two mothers and their children.  


VIMEO STAFF PICK AWARD - Selected by Vimeo curators. Films featured in competition are eligible for the award, which includes a $2,500 cash prize.   

The Culture (Norway), Director Ernst De Geer
It's the opening night at the concert house where Arvid works. When his sister steals the spotlight and a resulting confrontation with an important man builds, Arvid's worst side is revealed.   

BRIDGING THE BORDERS AWARD PRESENTED BY CINEMA WITHOUT BORDERS Winner received a $2,500 courtesy of Go Energistics. Awarded by the Cinema Without Borders jury to the short that is most successful in bridging and connecting the people of our world closer together.    

Ahmed's Song (France), Director Foued Mansour One day Ahmed, employed at the public baths and nearing retirement, encounters Mike, a teenager adrift. Inside the bathhouse walls, in a place on the verge of disappearing, a strange relationship will develop between these two fractured souls.  

Special Mention:
Green (USA), Director Suzanne Andrews Correa An undocumented Turkish pedicab driver unwittingly draws police attention, endangering his brother, his community and himself.   

FUTURE FILMMAKER AWARD - Winner received a $1,000 cash prize.  Honors a non-student filmmaker whose work demonstrates that they are poised to take a significant next step in their career.

sometimes, i think about dying (USA), Director Stefanie Abel Horowitz Fran is thinking about dying, but a man in the office might want to date her.   
Special Mention:
Magnetic Harvest (France), Director Marine Levéel
Mickaël, a pig farmer in rural France, finds his search for an amorous connection interrupted by the sudden return of the charming and youthful Paul.   

BEST EMERGING STUDENT FILMMAKER - Winner received a $1,000 cash prize. Awarded by the ShortFest programmers. Honors a student filmmaker whose work and vision point to a bright, prospective career in cinema.  

Stone Age (Switzerland), Director Lou Rambert Preiss In a vast stone quarry, an explosion reveals an object from the past.  

Special Mention:
Truck Slut (USA), Director Ryan Craver A lonely, gay 13-year-old reflects on his complicated love for his volatile sister, the night she humiliated him, and her disappearance from their small, Southern town.   

YOUTH JURY AWARDS - Awarded by ShortFest youth juries composed of local students interested in cinema and the arts. Each winner received a $250 cash prize. The Kids' Choice jury is composed of students aged 8-13 and the Young Cineastes jury is composed of students aged 14-17.

KIDS' CHOICE (Ages 13 and under)  

All In Good Time (Ireland), Director Bonnie Dempsey
A comic fantasy about two children, one in 1918, the other in 2018, who magically communicate across time through messages in a bottle and help solve each other's problems.  

Special Mention:
Goldie (USA), Director Emily Brundige A giant girl feels out of scale in her colorful little town, only to realize she takes up just the right amount of space.


Ale y Yose (USA), Director Erin Semine Kökdil
Two undocumented friends struggle with the reality of an unknown future, reimagining what it means to be a teenage girl in the U.S.  

Special Mention:
Something About Alex (Netherlands), Director Reinout Hellenthal
A 14-year-old boy develops a close friendship with his older sister's boyfriend, and must confront the depth of his feelings when the couple announces that they will be moving away.  

LOCAL JURY AWARD - to be announced   

AUDIENCE AWARDS - Winner received a $250 cash prize. Awarded to the film which scored the highest on ballots submitted by the audience in its respected category.  

BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT - to be announced   
BEST ANIMATED SHORT - to be announced   
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT - to be announced   
BEST STUDENT SHORT - to be announced      

This year's ShortFest Jury members included: 

  • International Competition Jury members Liane Cunjie (Programmer at Overlook Film Festival), Claudette Godfrey (Senior Film Programmer at SXSW), Mike Ott (filmmaker), Jason Sondhi (co-founder Short of the Week).
  • Animation Competition jury members Kevin Harman (Screenings Specialist, Netflix), Ana Souza (Manager of Programming Sundance), Caleb Ward (Acquisitions Coordinator The Orchard).
  • Documentary Competition jury members Michelle Hamada (Manager, Documentary & Scripted Programs at Tribeca Film Institute), Therese Hayes (co-curator Stuttgart Indian Film Festival), Paul Sloop (lead programmer of short films, Cleveland International Film Festival).
  • Student Live Action Over 15 Minutes Competition Jury Maggie Downs (Marketing Director at UC Riverside), Jesse Knight (Programmer at AFI Fest), Bojana Sandic (film festival programmer).
  • Student Live Action 15 Minutes and Under Competition Jury Angela C. Lee (Senior Manager of Artist Development at Film Independent), Clementine Leger (Festival Coordinator for the School of Cinematic Arts at USC), Avi Rodriguez (CSUSB Palm Desert).
  • Cinema Without Borders Jury Keely Badger (Executive Director of Neda Nobari Foundation), Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami (filmmaker), Basil Khalil (filmmaker), Jim Miller (Executive Director of Brave New Films), Susan Morgan Cooper (Director/Producer/Writer), Tom Papas (SciFi Film Festival and Veterans Film Festival), Adam Shepherd (President and CEO of Go Energistics), Bijan Tehrani (Editor in Chief of Cinema Without Borders).
  • Local jury Patricia Garza-Elsperger (Producer), Denise Goolsby (Manage of the City of Palm Springs' Office of Neighborhoods), Sergio Pinedo, Joseph "Woody" Woodson.
  • Young Cineastes Youth Jury Leilani Balderas, Graham Bennett, Marina Castillo, Sedona Cruz, Daniel Lorette, Stefan Pejovic, Zach Posa.      

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. The concurrent Short Film Market, the only one in North America, will feature a library of more than 5,600 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.  For more information and tickets, call (760) 778-8979 or visit the website at

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Steven Wilson / Ashley Patterson /  

Palm Springs International Film Society
Israel Wilder