Palm Springs Short Fest Announces Program Highlights

Short Film News (SFN) - The 14th Palm Springs International Short Fest announced its roster of 317 films from 40 countries, selected from more than 2,700 worldwide entries.

The festival which will be held from August 21-27, 2008, showcases 53 World Premieres, 47 North American Premieres and 24 U.S. Premieres.

"This year's Short Fest line-up reflects a return to more personal themes in the world of short film storytelling, and a move away from the 'big issue' themes of recent years, like the Iraq War, immigration and 9/11," said Festival Director Darryl Macdonald. "That and the increasingly sophisticated use of technical innovations in the short filmmaking process are the two big stories that emerge from the short film world this year."

This festival's opening night will be highlighted by award-winning films including Life's Hard (Romania), Manon on the Asphalt (France), Procrastination (U.K.), Sikumi (On the Ice) (USA), Tadeo Jones and the Basement of Doom (Spain) and The Wednesdays (Ireland).

The selected short films are organized into 51 themed programs covering a variety of genres including thrillers, horror, animation, documentaries, and comedies, and the event will feature a special focus on films from France.

Festival attendees will be able to see a roster of films featuring familiar faces in front of and behind the camera, including Kate Hudson directing Cutlass starring Dakota Fanning, Virginia Madsen, Kurt Russell and Chevy Chase; Kirsten Dunst directing Welcome starring Winona Ryder; and Matthew Modine directing and starring in I Think I Thought.

A jury of five industry professionals include actor Bill Pullman; Eileen Arandiga, Festival Director of the Worldwide Short Film Festival in Toronto; Dana Harris, editor; Sydney Levine of Film Finders; and Dragan Milinkovic, Serbian film academic and producer will judge this year's short films selected for competition in eighteen categories including Best Animation, Best Documentary, Best Live Action, Best of Festival and the Future Filmmaker Award.

First place winners will automatically become eligible for consideration by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for a possible Academy Award nomination.

Also, seminars and panels comprised of industry representatives will be assembled to discuss trends and provide advice on short filmmaking.

The complete list of this year's film programs will be available on on August 11.

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