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Aspen Shortsfest 2009 Deadlines Approaching For Entries

Aspen Shortsfest is preparing for the 18th annual edition of its Oscar©-qualifying international competition, which will take place April 1-5, 2009.

The 2009 Aspen Shortsfest has recently been recognized by both the National Endowment for the Arts and Colorado Council on the Arts, who have provided partial funding for this singular showcase for short filmmaking.

A jury of noted film professionals will award more than $20,000 in cash, plus other prizes, to winners in several categories, who then may also qualify for Academy Award© consideration. In recent years, several Aspen Shortsfest award-winners have garnered Oscar© Awards or nominations (Il Supplente (The Substitute), Tanghi Argentini, The Danish Poet, Éramos Pocos (One Too Many), Our Time Is Up, God Sleeps in Rwanda; Wasp; Two Cars, One Night; Asylum; Squash among others). Widely recognized as one of the world's premiere showcases for short film and video, Aspen Shortsfest offers an intimate international forum attended by emerging artists, established film professionals, journalists, buyers, and film enthusiasts from the U.S. and abroad. receives many enthusiastic reviews from guests, filmmakers and audience members alike. Director Alexander Payne (Sideways) called Shortsfest "a brilliantly conceived miracle of a festival."

Program Director George Eldred comments, "Aspen Shortsfest's intimate scale, casual atmosphere and scenic setting offers a unique opportunity for shorts filmmakers from all over the world to gather together with established professionals to learn from each other's experiences and be inspired by each others' work."

Highlights of the five-day event include public screenings, tributes, retrospectives, panels and workshops. A MasterWorks panel, famous industry-wide for its make up of high-profile guests, shares insights that contribute to the mentoring element of Shortsfest. Past panelists have included Jason Reitman and Daniel Dubiecki (Thank You for Smoking, Juno), Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor (Sideways), Julie Taymor (Frida), Paul Mazursky (Enemies: A Love Story), Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy), Frank Pierson (Dog Day Afternoon), Christopher Hampton (Dangerous Liaisons), and many others. Other special programs like Planet Cinema and Director Spotlight provide a more in-depth look at the artistry of a filmmaker, film genre or country.

Aspen Shortsfest is a presentation of Aspen Film, a non-profit arts organization, sponsored in part by the Danny Kaye and Sylvia Fine Kaye Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Colorado Council on the Arts and the City of Aspen. For more information on Aspen Film and its year-round programs, please contact 970.925.6882 or visit www.aspenfilm.org.

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