Award-winning live-action and animated films from the Cannes, Berlin, Clermont-Ferrand, Annecy, Aspen, and Toronto Festivals and the European Film Award winner are among the opening night highlights for the Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films and Short Film Market (ShortsFest), taking place in the famous California desert community August 24 - 30. Opening highlights include "The Danish Poet," "Mother," "Never Like the First Time," "Sniffer," "Tragic Story with Happy Ending," "Transaction" and "Undressing My Mother." This year's 12th edition will include 73 world premieres, 56 North American premieres and 16 U.S. premieres among the event's line up of 333 films.
PSIFSF's roster of short films are organized into 48 themed programs covering a variety of topics including gay and lesbian lifestyles, animals, show business, relationships, 9/11, body language, crime, families, happiness, true stories, memories, high school, table manners, war, Jewish experiences, road trips, marriage, the Middle East, experimental work, a spotlight on both women directors and Canadian short films as well as the world premiere of a collection of shorts from the creators at Nickelodeon.
Among the line up are shorts with a healthy dose of well-known personalities. "Entourage"'s Adrian Grenier will appear in "Across the Hall," while Oscar-winner Timothy Hutton and Melissa Leo star in "Falling Objects." Also in the line up are: Andy Serkis and Dominic West in "Stingray," Brandon Routh in "Denial," Wilmer Valderrama, Ryan Seacrest and Rick Dees in "Longtime Listener" directed by "Access Hollywood"'s Maria Menounos; David Strathairn in "The Shovel," Debbie Harry in "Honey Trap," Garrison Keillor in "Afraid So," Emmy nominee Jon Cryer in "End of a Dog," Milo Ventimiglia in "Intelligence," Olivia Williams in "Mockingbird," Richard Karn in "The Fast One," Ru Paul in "Zombie Prom," and the world premiere and directorial debut of Sage Stallone's (son of Sylvester) film "Vic" featuring Clu Gulager, Carole Lynley and John Phillip Law.
In addition to films, the festival will host seminars and panels. Topics of discussion include: "Who's Getting Rich Showing Shorts on Cell Phones," a panel of short film sales agents and exhibitors who will examine the financial pros and cons of the many distribution outlets available in the new technology era. "Conquering the International Festival Circuit" is a panel of festival veterans prepared to share their personal lists of the best fests in the world and their strategy for getting a film accepted, while "We Are Women in (Short) Film: Hear Us Roar" is a panel discussion on women who thrive in the short film arena and the steps that can be taken to extend the success into other arenas. "The Sound of Music," is a panel that will illustrate how music can elevate short films.
"The vitality and growing commercial viability of the short film format is amply demonstrated by this year's ShortFest line up, providing vivid evidence that the field has become much more than simply a training ground for blossoming feature filmmaking talent," commented festival director, Darryl Macdonald in a statement. "It's a great year for short films - which means that it's a great year for Palm Springs' ShortFest."