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Palm Springs International ShortFest: North America’s Premier Short Film Festival Opens for 15th Edition

Published by Ian Garnette

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With an impressive line-up of short films, the (ironically) long-windedly named Palm Springs International ShortFest Short Film Festival and Film Market gets ready to open its theater doors on June 23.

Now in its fifteenth year, ShortFest has grown to become the largest and highest profile short film showcase in North America. Over the course of a week, 315 films from established and (as yet) unknown talents from around the world will be screened, while short film buyers and sellers will be able to browse 2,500 films in the concurrent Film Market.

Opening Night Program

The festival’s films are grouped into programs – 52 in total. These cover a variety of genres – thrillers, animation, documentaries, comedies – and each program has a theme, ranging from romance, sex and gay lifestyles to grandparents, immigration and pet peeves.

Opening night keeps it light with a selection of ten comedy shorts. Among them is the award-winning True Beauty This Night (USA), the animated Eyelash (Switzerland), which will have its U.S. premiere at the festival, and the directorial debut of Sex and the City writer/executive Cindy Chupack Whose Dog Is It Anyway? (USA), starring Sarah Paulson.

Actors with Directorial Debuts

Several A-list actors who have chosen the short film medium to flex their directorial muscles will also be presenting work at this year’s event. The best known of these are Demi Moore with the 16-minute Streak, a coming-of-age story starring her daughter Rumer Willis, and Courteney Cox Arquette with The Monday Before Thanksgiving, a 20-minute film about a happily single and successful woman (Laura Dern), whose family’s concerns start to make her doubt herself.

Other famous faces staying in front of the camera include Danny Glover in This Life (Australia), Olympia Dukakis in Hove (The Wind) (USA) and Derek Jacobi in One of Those Days (UK).

ShortFest in Numbers

  • 2,500 films from around the world were submitted for the 2019 edition;
  • 315 films from 41 countries were finally selected for inclusion in the festival;
  • Of these, 76 are world premieres, 43 are North American premieres and 14 U.S. premieres;
  • The films are grouped into 52 themed programs;
  • The festival attracts in excess of 20,000 visitors.
  • ShortFest is recognized as an Oscar-qualifying festival. In its 14-year existence, the festival has had 64 films go on to earn Oscar nominations.

Further Information

The 2019 Palm Springs International ShortFest runs from June 23-29 in the Camelot Theaters in Palm Springs, California. A complete program overview and ticketing details can be found on the festival website.

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