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by Marla Lewin
The 2010 Palm Springs International ShortFest announced that it has selected  314 films from more than 3,000 worldwide entries. Among the films screening and in competition areaward-winning films from 43 countries around the world. The 16th ShortFest will showcase 58 World Premieres, 55 North American Premieres and 24 U.S. Premieres.   All selections are structured into 52 themed programs, which will screen June 22-28, at the Camelot Theatres in Palm Springs, CA.  See attached or visit for a complete list of this year’s film programs.

Many of the films have  star-studded casts including: AnnaLynne McCord in Amexica (Mexico/USA); Annie Leibovitz in the documentary Annie Leibovitz 'So, There You Go' (USA); Julian Sands in The Good Life (USA);Vincent D’Onofrio and Kevin Corrigan in The New Tenants (Denmark/USA); Brendan Gleeson in Noreen(Ireland); Alicia Witt and David Morse in The Pond (USA); Jesse Eisenberg in Some Boys Don’t Leave (USA);Matthew Rhys in Think Tank (USA); and John Mahoney and Lili Taylor in Tired of Being Funny (USA).  Lending their voices to shorts, Isabella Rossellini narrates the live action Flat Love (Spain/USA); Helena Bonham-Carter, Robbie Coltrane, John Hurt and Tom Wilkinson in the animated The Gruffalo (UK); Meryl Streep, Forest Whitaker and Spike Jonze in the animated Higglety Pigglety Pop! Or There Must Be More To Life(Canada/USA), and Ian McKellan and Joseph Fiennes in the animated A Lost and Found Box of Human Sensation (Germany).

In addition to familiar faces in front of the camera, three actors direct shorts at the Festival.  Glenn Close co-directs and narrates the World Premiere documentary Pax (USA) with Sarah Harvey.  Kirsten Dunst directs Bastard (USA) starring Brian Geraghty, Juno Temple, Lukas Haas and Joel David Moore.  James Franco directs three shorts including The Clerk’s Tale (USA), The Feast of Stephen (USA) and Herbert White (USA) starring Michael Shannon.  Franco will attend the screening of his three shorts and participate in an on-stage conversation withVariety’s Peter Bart on Saturday, June 26 at 3:00 p.m.

Darryl Macdonald, programming and executive director, said, “While it’s remarkable how many established actors are now actively working in the short film field, ShortFest’s primary purpose – apart from providing great entertainment for moviegoers – is to showcase and support exceptional new talent emerging in the creative field, and this year’s event features a huge number of innovative new directors, writers, actors and animators emerging in America and worldwide. The animated shorts are particularly strong this year, and the live action work is much more polished.”

The Opening Night screening, on Tuesday, June 22 at 6:30 p.m., will be highlighted by award-winning live-action and animated comedies in a program titled “Opening NightFor Laughing Out Loud.” Throughout the Festival the selected short films are organized into 52 programs covering a variety of genres – including thrillers, horror, romance, fantasy animation, documentaries and comedies – and themes such as family, war, art, sex, love, memories, dreams, couples, travel, sports, crime, philosophy, animals, motherhood, the Jewish experience, GLBT shorts and French Language shorts.  There will also be a special focus on Australia, “On Top Down Under”, encompassing screenings and a reception.

A jury of industry professionals will screen this year’s slate of short films selected for competition across 17 categories, including Best Animation, Best Documentary, Best Live Action, Best of Festival, and the Future Filmmaker Award.  A total of $90,000 in money and production prizes, including $14,000 in cash awards, will be given out.  The Panavision Grand Jury Award winner will receive a digital or film camera package valued at $60,000.  An additional $7,500 in Kodak film stock will be presented to the film winners in the student award categories.

Designated by AMPAS as an award-qualifying festival. First place winners in four categories will automatically become eligible for consideration by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) for a possible Academy Award nomination.  Over the course of its first 15 years, the Festival has presented 68 films that have gone on to receive Academy Award nominations.  Winners will be announced on Sunday, June 27 at a Closing Night screening and reception. ShortFest is the most prominent short film showcase in North America.

Additional ShortFest information is available online at or by calling (800) 898-7256.

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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.


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