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Palm Springs 2020 Virtual ShortFest Winners Gain Oscar Eligibility

Many of the winners from the digital event can now submit their films for the shorts categories at next year's Academy Awards.



Courtesy Palm Springs International ShortFest

The 2020 Palm Springs International ShortFest has announced its festival juried award winners from the 332 shorts films featured throughout this year’s virtual edition, running June 16-22. Awards and cash prizes worth $25,000 were handed out, and a number of the winners are now eligible for the 2021 Academy Awards short film categories. See the full list of winners below.

At a time when all festivals have been forced to go virtual, there’s no telling how much buzz these events can generate, but the Oscar eligibility provides a nice boost for rising filmmakers coming out of ShortFest. It’s a long road ahead for festival films since the Oscars have now been pushed back to April 25 next year, with other awards ceremonies, including the Film Independent Spirit Awards (now April 24), falling in line. Expect a packed fall season as the backlog of titles from postponed dates, canceled festivals, and shuttered productions get unleashed.

Palm Springs International ShortFest 2020 held a number of panels and virtual mixers, well-attended by filmmakers from all over the world and providing a unique opportunity to network with international industry folks that might not otherwise be possible in person. Below is the full list of this year’s winners:

Oscar-Qualifying Awards

Greater Palm Springs CVB Best of the Festival Award: “Matriochkas” (Belgium/France), Directed by Bérangère Mc Neese

Special Mention (for Creative Vision): “Stay Awake, Be Ready” (Vietnam/South Korea/USA), Directed by Pham Thien An

Special Mention (for Direction): “Mizaru” (India/USA), Directed by Sudarshan Suresh

Best Animated Short: “The Fabric of You” (UK), Directed by Josephine Lohoar Self

Special Mention: “SH_T Happens” (Czech Republic/Slovakia/France), Directed by Mihalyi and David Stumpf

Best Documentary Short: “The Heart Still Hums” (USA), Directed by Savanah Leaf and Taylor Russell

Special Mentions: “Dead Woman’s Pass” (Peru/Qatar), Directed by Lali Houghton; “Huntsville Station” (USA), Directed by Jamie Meltzer and Chris Filippone

Best Live-Action Short Over 15 Minutes: “Birth Right” (Israel), Directed by Inbar Horesh

Special Mention: “Henet Ward” (Egypt), Directed by Morad Mostafa

Best Live-Action Short 15 Minutes and Under: “Dummy” (Lithuania), Directed by Laurynas Bareisa

Special Mention: “The Midsummer’s Voice” (China/USA), Directed by Yudi Zhang

Student Short Awards

Best Student Animated Short: “Daughter” (Czech Republic), Directed by Daria Kashcheeva

Special Mention: “SH_T Happens” (Czech Republic/Slovakia/France), Directed by Michaela Mihalyi and David Stumpf

Best Student Documentary Short: “For Your Sake” (Germany), Directed by Ronja Hemm

Special Mention: “All Cats Are Grey in the Dark” (Switzerland), Directed by Lasse Linder

Best Student International Short: “Still Working” (Switzerland), Directed by Julietta Korbel

Special Mention: “22:47 Linie 34” (Switzerland), Directed by Michael Karrer

Best Student U.S. Short: “Heading South” (China/USA), Directed by Yuan Yuan

Special Mention: “Tape” (USA/Canada/Finland), Directed by Jojo Erholtz

Special Jury Awards

Best International Short: “The Tongues” (Norway), Directed by Marja Bål Nango and Ingir Bål

Special Mention: “Funfair” (Iran/Canada), Directed by Kaveh Mazaheri

Best U.S. Short: “My Hero” (USA), Directed by Logan Jackson

Special Mention (for Stylistic Vision and Emerging Talent): “Pharmacopeia” (USA), Directed by Tania Taiwo

GoE Bridging the Borders Award: “The Present” (Palestine), Directed by Farah Nabulsi

Special Mention: “Container” (Greece/USA), Directed by Daphne Maziariaki

Local Jury Award: “Welcome Strangers” (USA), Directed by Dia Sokol Savage

Special Mention: “Sundays at the Triple Nickel” (USA), Directed by Jess Colquhoun

Vimeo Staff Pick Award: “Give Up the Ghost” (Jordan/Germany/Sweden), Directed by Zain Duraie

Young Cineastes Award: “Colette” (USA/France/Germany), Directed by Anthony Giacchino

Special Mention: “Gold Plated” (Belgium), Directed by Chloé Léonil

Best Comedy Short: “Viktor on the Moon” (Denmark), Directed by Christian Arhoff

Special Mention (for Direction): “Blocks” (USA), Directed by Bridget Moloney

Best LGBTQ+ Short: “Kama’aina” (USA), Directed by Kimi Howl Lee

Special Mention: “La Gloria” (USA), Directed by Mary Evangelista

Best Midnight Short: “The Sleepwalkers” (India), Directed by Radhika Apte

Special Mention (for Best Climax): “The Nights Alone” (France), Directed by Olivier Strauss

Anne Thompson contributed reporting.

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