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Reporting on movies, film festivals, film production, premieres, movie events, industry trends and plays from around the world

The Global Film Village: 2010 Palm Springs International ShortFest award winners

James Franco comes out to support Palm Springs Shortfest - photo(c) Lani Garfield 

by Marla Lewin

The largest short film festival in North America announced its Winners Sunday at an Award Ceremony at the Camelot Theatre.  Some of the finest award winning shorts were shown in-between announcing the winners.  Darryl Macdonald said,  “The sheer quality and diversity of the work on view provided testament to extraordinary new talents emerging worldwide.”  Darryl also said that next year he would move the dates to avoid conflict with the LA Film Fesival, which friend and  artistic director David Ansen now curates. So many creative, artistic works, from international talent of all ages was thrilling to experience. We agreed that the shorts we saw were exceptional especially the animated ones.


BEST OF FESTIVAL AWARD - $2,000 cash, Software Package courtesy of The Showbiz Software Store. The winner of this award becomes eligible for Academy Awards consideration.
The Gold Mine (La Mina de Oro) (Mexico), Jacques Bonnavent
Betina, a lonely spinster, meets what appears to be the man of her dreams online, and in the course of time he proposes to her. After quitting her job and selling her apartment, she makes the arduous trip to be with him, but what awaits her is a wholly unexpected fate.

FUTURE FILMMAKER AWARD - $2,000 cash, Software Package courtesy of The Showbiz Software Store, Ultimate Stock Footage Collection courtesy of, Final Cut Studio provided by Apple.
Pierre Ferrière, The Story of My Life (Toute ma Vie) (France)
After calling her husband to tell him the good news (they’re having twins!) a woman heads for home on foot, when a stranger accosts her on the street claiming to know everything about her.

PANAVISION GRAND JURY AWARD – Panavision Camera Package valued at $60,000.
Off Season (Canada/USA), Jonathan van Tulleken
Stealing from summer cottages during the brutal off-season winter months, a transient and his faithful dog make a tragic discovery.

JURY SPECIAL CITATION – The jury presented a special mention to Flawed (Canada) directed by Andrea Dorfman "for the originality of its artistic expression, its genre-defying aesthetic and its emotional resonance." A clever idea beautifully executed by Artist/filmmaker Andrea Dorfman.  We watch as drawings burst colorfully into life as Andrea animates hand drawn postcards which she and her boyfriend send each other.


Wish 143 (UK), Ian Barnes
A young man, desperate to come of age before time runs out, has nothing to lose but his virginity.

Runner-up: The Butterfly Circus (USA), Joshua Weigel

Born Sweet (Cambodia), Cynthia Wade
Gorgeously photographed in Cambodia, Born Sweet tells the courageous and inspirational story of Vinh, a 15-year-old boy stricken with arsenic poisoning. Directed by Cynthia Wade, whose Freeheld won the 2007 ShortFest Audience Award and Jury Awards and an Academy Award in 2008.

Runner-up: Flawed (Canada), Andrea Dorfman

Ormie (Canada), Rob Silvestri
Truly an audience crowd pleaser Ormie the Pig has a simple, obsessive goal, to get the cookies just out of reach on top of the refrigerator. Illustrated in the style of golden age animated classics this film constantly delivers one laugh after another.

Runner-up: The Gruffalo (UK), Jakob Shuh and Max Lang


All first place winners in these categories received a cash award of $2,000 and Software Package courtesy of The Showbiz Software Store. First place winners in the Animated and Live Action categories become eligible for Academy Awards consideration. Second Place recipients received a $500 cash prize.

First Place ($2,000) – The Gold Mine (La Mina de Oro) (Mexico), Jacques Bonnavent
Betina, a lonely spinster, meets what appears to be the man of her dreams online, and in the course of time he proposes to her. After quitting her job and selling her apartment, she makes the arduous trip to be with him, but what awaits her is a wholly unexpected fate.

Second Place ($500) – Pretty Little Doggie (USA), E. Ivan Infante


First Place ($2,000) – Hermann (Germany/UK), Hana Geissendorfer
Hermann is 67 years old and lonely. He does have his Budgie, Gloria. He distracts himself from his solitude with his love for Ornithology and rigidly structured days, yet he is still full of desire -- until he meets Jorge.

Second Place ($500) – Aquarium (Norway), Bard Rossevold


First Place ($2,000) – 

Angry Man (Sinna Mann) (Norway), Anita Killi


The film portrays the fable of a young boy who enlists the help of the King to deal with his father’s anger management problems. This film won the Special Jury Award at the The 34th Annecy International Animation Film Festival several weeks ago.



Second Place ($500) – 

The Lost Thing (Australia/UK), Andrew Ruhemann & Shaun TanThis film won the Cristal prize the top short award at the Annecy Film Festival.


First Place ($2,000) – The Shutdown (Scotland), Adam Stafford
An explosion at a BP plant leaves dead and injured -- including writer Alan Bissett's father. This is not the Gulf but Falkirk, Scotland.

Jury Special Citation - The jury presented a special mention to The Lucky Ones (Szczesciarze) (Poland), directed by Tomasz Wolski "for transforming a routine look at bureaucratic procedures into a wry, poignant and subversive exploration of the human experience."


All first place winners in these categories will receive $1,000 in Kodak film stock and Movie Outline software. Second Place recipients receive $500 in Kodak film stock. All student filmmakers in Festival competition are eligible for these awards.

First Place ($2,000) – Daughters (China/USA), Chloé Zhao
This film personalizes China's One Child Law which has existed for decades in an attempt to slow the nation's population explosion. Pregnant with her third child – a boy – a Chinese woman must get rid of one of her two daughters when her impoverished sister can no longer afford to raise one of them.

First Place ($2,000) – The Road Home (India/USA), Rahul Gandotra
Sent by his parents in England to an international boarding school in the Himalayas, Pico grapples with his Indian heritage in this engrossing tale of a young boy in search of the road home.


First Place – Prayers for Peace (USA), Dustin Grella
An introspective journey through the heart and soul of his brother's death by an IED outside of Fallujah, the artist finds memory indelible as well as fleeting.

Second Place – Urs (Germany), Moritz Mayerhofer


First Place – The Little Snow Animal (Lumikko) (Finland), Miia Tervo
This fascinating and hauntingly beautiful film pushes the boundary of documentary, animation and live action to create an impressionistic picture of a 16-year-old girl's troubled state of mind.

Second Place – A Moth in Spring (Canada/USA), Yu Gu

First Place ($1,000 in Kodak film stock)
Jaron Henrie-McCrea (cinematographer), Sinkhole (USA)
A smarmy little broker finds himself in the middle of nowhere, in a strange and dangerous land riddled with smoke-spewing sinkholes, and for what? Why, to make the deal, of course.

Second Place ($500 in Kodak film stock)
Ilyeon Kim (cinematographer), A Scene at the Sea (Gu Yeo-Rum-Eui Ba-da) (South Korea/USA)

The Alexis Award for Best Emerging Student Filmmaker went to Some Boys Don't Leave (USA), directed by Maggie Kiley. The recipient will receive Final Cut Studio provided by Apple Computer.Special citation went to A Wink of the Eye (France/USA), directed by Ambarish Manepalli. The Alexis Award was created in honor of Alexis Echavarria, a young filmmaker, whose talent as a budding filmmaker and gift for inspiring excellence among his fellow students were cut short suddenly in 2005 at age 16.

The Cinema Without Borders Best International Film Award went to War (Uerra) (Italy), directed by Paolo Sassanelli. Set in Italy in 1949, this delightful comedy revolves around a father and his three sons, who take dad’s war stories a little too much to heart.

This year's jury members were Dan Ireland, director; Lael Lowenstein, President Los Angeles Film Critics Association; and Guinevere Turner, writer, director and actor. 



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About MarlaLewinGFV

Lewin Marla
(Global Film Village)

Marla is a producer, playwright, screenwriter, publicist and now a journalist. She attends 12 to 20 film festivals per year. She has spoken on filmmaking at many festivals including Cannes and SXSW.


Los Angeles

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