Hungarian film "The Dinner" (Vacsora) by Karchi Perlmann won the "Best of the Festival Award" at the 2009 Palm Springs International ShortFest. The film, which tells the wry tale of a hapless pig farmer whose minor domestic accident turns into a wholly unexpected catastrophe for all involved, took a special mention at the 2008 Venice Film Festival. The win in Palm Springs makes the short eligible for Oscar consideration and includes a $2,000 cash prize.
Katie Wolfe's "This is Her" (New Zealand) received the festival's Future Filmmaker Award ($2,000). The short is described as an "anatomy of a relationship that is strikingly examined in painstaking detail as a family's history unfolds onscreen." "Jonathan's Home" by Nathanael Carton (Japan/Singapore) took PSISF's Panavision Grand Jury Award. "Home" is a look at a young au pair charged with the caretaking of young Jonathan whose unique challenges distance him from his family." The award includes a camera package valued at $60,000 and five days studio time from DST Studios in Palm Springs.
Other jury winners include Peter Thwaites "The Stars Don't Twinkle in Outer Space" (best live action short under 15 minutes) with "The Man Inside" by Rory Bresnihan taking second place. Best live action short over 15 minutes went to Bert & Bertie's "The Taxidermist," while Dylan Ritson and Blake Ritson's "Love Hate" took second place in the category. Juan Jose Medina's "Cages" won best animated short, while Justin Webber's "Juiced and Jazzed" was runner up. Best documentary short went to Lindsay Goodall's "Irene" and Ginita Jimenez's "Naming Pluto" won the second place prize in the category.
In audience awards, Veronica DiPippo's "Dandelion Dharma" took favorite live action short and "Claiming the Title: Gay Olympics on Trial" by Jonathan Joiner and Robert H. Martin won favorite documentary short. Phiulip Hunt's "Lost and Found" won in the animation category.
315 shorts screened during the festival, taking place June 23 - 29. PSISF is the largest short film festival and market in North America.
Festival director Darryl Macdonald commented about this year's event, "We've never had such a large and accomplished group of young filmmakers gathered together at this event at one time, and the positive critical and audience acclaim for the films on view at ShortFest this year is a testament to the wealth of new film talent emerging around the world right now."