• 2023 Palm Springs International ShortFest Announces Festival Winners


The Old Young Crow Receives Best of the Festival; Way Better, Will You Look At Me, Sèt Lam and Mystic Tiger Receive Top Jury Awards

PALM SPRINGS, CA (June 25, 2023) - The 2023 Palm Springs International ShortFest announced its Festival juried and audience award winners as part of Closing Night at the Camelot Theatres (Palm Springs Cultural Center). Awards and cash prizes worth $25,000 including five Academy Award® qualifying awards were presented to the winners selected from the 299 shorts films that were part of the Official Selection. The festival took place June 20-26, 2023.


Oscar®Qualifying Awards:  

The winner of these awards may be eligible to submit their short to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for Oscar® consideration.   


Best of the Festival Award - Winner received $5,000 cash prize courtesy of Harold Matzner, Palm Springs International Film Society’s Immediate Past Chairman 

Jury: Angel An (VP of Acquisitions, Roadside Attractions); Kiva Reardon (Vice President of Film, PASTEL); Clay Pruitt (Head of Programming, Impact Distribution, Impact Distribution, Seed&Spark) 


  • Winner:  The Old Young Crow (Japan/USA), Directed by Liam LoPinto
  • Special Mention:  48 Hours (Iran), Directed by Azadeh Moussavi
  • Special Mention:  Away (Hungary/Belgium/Portugal), Directed by Ruslan Fedotow


Best Animated Short - Winner received a $1,000 cash prize.  

Jury: Geoff Marslett (Animator/Director/Writer/Producer); Irene Soriano (Writer/Film Curator); Gabe Van Amburgh (Film Programmer and Senior Manager, SXSW)  


  • Winner:  Way Better (Lithuania), Directed by Skirmanta Jakaitė
  • Special Mention:  Ashkasha (Spain/Argentina), Directed by Lara Maltz
  • Special Mention:  Eeva (Croatia/Estonia), Directed by Lucija Mrzljak and Morten Tšinakov


Best Documentary Short - Winner received a $1,000 cash prize.  

Jury: Eugene Yi (Director/Editor/Writer, Free Chol Soo Lee); Maria Santos (Funds Program Officer, International Documentary Association); Opal H. Bennett (Producer, American Documentary | POV Shorts) 


  • Winner:  Will You Look At Me (China), Directed by Shuli Huang
  • Special Mention:  Birdsong (UK/Laos), Directed by Omi Zola Gupta and Sparsh Ahuja


Best Live-Action Short Over 15 Minutes - Winner received a $1,000 cash prize.  

Jury: Colin West (Writer/Director, Linoleum); Kate Mason (Filmmaker); Rosa Morales (Artist Development Associate Manager: Narrative Programs, SFFilm) 


  • Winner:  Sèt Lam (France), Directed by Vincent Fontano
  • Special Mention for Performance:  Brenda Cullerton in Endless Sea (USA), Directed by Sam Shainberg
  • Special Mention:  The Newt Congress (Switzerland/Germany), Directed by Matthias Sahil and Immanuel Esser


Best Live-Action Short 15 Minutes and Under - Winner received a $1,000 cash prize.  

Jury: Albert Lee (Motion Picture Literary Agent, CAA); Liz Cardenas (Producer / Filmmaker, Ten to the Six Pictures); Lizzie Shapiro (Producer, The Space Program) 


  • Winner:  Mystic Tiger (Spain), Directed by Marc Martínez
  • Special Mentions:  I Have No Legs, and I Must Run (China), Directed by Yue Li


Student Short Awards:  


Best Student Animated Short & Best Student International Short - Each winner received a $1,000 cash prize.  

Jury: Christine Davila (Head of Development and Production, Ojalá); Florentina Almonte (Content Acquisitions Executive at Shorts TV International); Lauren Lopez de Victoria (Film Producer)  


Student Animated Short  

  • Winner:  The Rainbow Dung Beetle (USA), Directed by Ellen Moway and Cole Dupzyk


Student International Short  

  • Winner:  A Dead Marriage (Poland), Directed by Michel Toczek
  • Special Mention:  Between Her (Israel), Directed by Bar Cohen


Best Student U.S. Short & Best Student Documentary Short - Winner received a $1,000 cash prize.  

Jury: Parker Hill (Writer/Director, Cusp); Francis Román (Senior Film & TV Festival Programming Manager and Leads, Shorts Programming at SXSW); Lauren Shelton (Ley Line Film Group) 


Student U.S. Short  

  • Winner:  SULAM (Ladder) (USA), Directed by Noam Argov
  • Special Mention:  Invasive Species (USA), Directed by Annie Ning


Student Documentary Short  

  • Winner:  Kaamoksen Valossa (Finland), Directed by Niko Väistö
  • Special Mention:  Still Waters (USA), Directed by Aurora Brachman


Special Jury Awards:  


Best International Short - Winner received a $1,000 cash prize.  

Jury: Matthew Takata (Assistant Director, Feature Film Program’s international work at the Sundance Institute); Valerie Castillo-Martinez (Filmmaker); Ugo Obioha (Agent, UTA) 


  • Winner:  Soleil de nuit (Canada), Directed by Fernando López Escriva and Maria Camila Arias
  • Special Mention:  Infantry (Brazil), Directed by Laís Santos Araújo
  • Special Mention:  Nocturnal Burger (India/USA), Directed by Reema Maya


Best U.S. Short - Winner received a $1,000 cash prize.  

Jury: Aitch Alberto (Writer/Director and NYT Best-Selling Author); Arbi Pedrossian (VP, 20th Digital Studio); Kristen Lopez (Film Editor, The Wrap)  


  • Winner:  Closing Dynasty (USA), Directed by Lloyd Lee Choi


Best Comedy Short - Winner received a $1,000 cash prize.  

Jury: Fawzia Mirza (Filmmaker, Signature Move); Katie White (Producer, Best Summer Ever); Kyle Jaeger (Manager, 2AM) 


  • Winner:  Flail (USA), Directed by Ben Gauthier
  • Special Mention:  Pennies From Heaven (USA), Directed by Sandy Honig


Best LGBT+ Short - Winners each received a $500 cash prize. 

Jury: Apoorva Charan (Producer, Joyland); Andrew Carlberg (Producer, Skin); Sam Feder (Filmmaker)  


  • Winner:  Blond Night (Canada), Directed by Gabrielle Demers
  • Winner:  Burial of Life as a Young Girl (France), Directed by Maïté Sonnet
  • Special Mention:  An Avocado Pit (Portugal), Directed by Ary Zara


Best Midnight Short - Winner received a $1,000 cash prize.  

Jury: Nick Romano (Creative Executive, 18hz); Sarah Lash (Senior Director, Acquisitions at Condé Nast Entertainment); Coral Wright (Director for The Spectacle TV Team at Netflix) 


  • Winner:  Nian (USA), Directed by Michelle Krusiec
  • Special Mention:  Animal Transport (Argentina), Directed by Iván Bustinduy
  • Special Mention for Performance:  Raphaël Quenard in Meantime (France), Directed by Guillaume Scaillet


Mozaik Bridging the Borders Award - Winner received a $1,500 cash prize.  

Jury: Keely Badger; Arameh Etemadi; Vladek Juszkiewicz; Deborah Kolar; Vera Mijojlić; Chale Nafus; Ramin Niami; Bijan Tehrani. 


  • Winner:  Fata Morgana (Germany/Syria), Directed by Daood Alabdulaa
  • Special Mention:  Border Conversations (Germany), Directed by Jonathan Brunner
  • Special Mention:  I See Them Bloom (Spain), Directed by Nikita Gibalenko
  • Special Mention:  The Kidnapping of the Bride (Germany), Directed by Sophia Mocorrea


Local Jury Award - Winner received a $1,000 cash prize.    

Jury:  Diana Acosta; Marcos Garcia; Joan Heeter; Athalie LaPamuk; Kathy Kaye Retardo


  • Winner:  Under G-d (USA), Directed by Paula Eiselt
  • Special Mention:  Teacups (Australia/Ireland), Directed by Alec Green and Finbar Watson


Young Cineastes Award – Winner received a $1,000 cash prize.  

  • Winner:  We Were Meant To (USA), Directed by Tari Wariebi
  • Special Mention:  Amara and Ry’Shauna (USA), Directed by Kate Cohen and A.D. Freese
  • Special Mention:  Ivalu (Greenland/Denmark), Directed by Anders Walter and Pipaluk K Jørgensen


Kids’ Choice Award Winners each received a $500 cash prize. 

  • Winner:  Canary (Canada), Directed by Pierre-Hugues Dallaire and Benoit Therriault
  • Winner:  Mushka (USA), Directed by Andreas Deja


Audience Awards

Best Animated Short

Ice Merchants (Portugal), Directed by João Gonzalez

Best Documentary Short

Eco-Hack! (USA), Directed by Josh Izenberg and Brett Marty

Best Live-Action Short

Death to the Bikini! (Canada), Directed by Justine Gauthier

Best Student Short

Ricky (USA), Directed by Rashad Frett

About Palm Springs International ShortFest  

Designated by AMPAS, BAFTA, BIFA and Goya Awards as an award-qualifying festival, and accredited by the International Short Film Conference, the Palm Springs International ShortFest & Short Film Market is one of the most acclaimed short film showcases in the world.  The event is produced by the Palm Springs International Film Society, whose mission is to nurture and encourage new filmmaking talent, honoring the great masters of world cinema, and expanding audience horizons. Visit https://www.psfilmfest.org/shortfest-2023.   


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Media Contacts     

Steven Wilson / Kylie Elliot / Austin Good  

Scenario Communications 



Daniel Mansour 

Marketing Manager, Palm Springs International Film Society 


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