Palm Springs ShortFestThe 2013 Palm Springs International ShortFest & Short Film Market will showcase 330 films from 49 countries, including 70 world premieres and 55 North American premieres. The 19th annual event, set for June 18-24 at desert city’s Camelot Theatres, will include shorts starring such boldfaced names as Cate Blanchett (the animated A Cautionary Tail), Mireille Enos and Brooke Shields (Wild Horses), Rachel Griffiths (Butterflies), Ian McKellen (The Egg Trick), Jason Ritter (Boats Against The Current) Gerard Depardieu (Frank-Etienne) and many more. SND Films founder Sydney Netter, Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters actress Missi Pyle (actress) and Los Angeles Times film critic Betsy Sharkey will serve on the ShortFest jury. A total of $110,000 in prizes will be awarded in 19 categories to shorts in competition. Eleven films have been chosen to represent the ShortFest Online Film Festival, and will play on a special section of the ShortFest website starting Tuesday. Online voting for these films will continue through the festival, with the “ShortFest Online Audience Award” announced at the Festival Award Ceremony on Closing Night. See those titles and the ShortFest press release after the jump.

Palm Springs, CA (June 10, 2013) – Get ready to put on your shorts for the 2013 Palm Springs International ShortFest & Short Film Market. Now in its 19th year, ShortFest will showcase 330 films including 70 World Premieres, 55 North American Premieres and 14 U.S. Premieres. The selection of films for screening and competition features star-studded casts and award-winning films from 49 countries around the world. All selections are structured into 53 programs, which will screen June 18-24, at the Camelot Theatres inPalm Springs; with all 3,000 festival submissions available in the ShortFest Market.
“A wealth of newly emerging talent and new storytelling trends are the big news from this year’s ShortFest lineup” said Festival Director Darryl Macdonald. “While the U.S., Australia, the U.K., France and Spain remain at the forefront of the international short film renaissance, we’re seeing a wellspring of exciting new talents emerge from Scandinavia, Latin America, the Benelux countries and Africa. The work itself is more adventuresome, too, eschewing standard genre-based filmmaking in favor of character-driven stories and genre-bending formats. It makes for a much richer cinema.”
Kathleen McInnis, ShortFest Film Curator/Director of Industry Programming said, “We are so delighted to present new works at ShortFest from so many unique new countries this year, especially the African countries of Burundi, Mali and Burkina Fasso. It means a great deal to us to be supportive of emerging filmmakers from across the globe, and to bring their dynamic stories to our ShortFest audience. And it tells us that visual storytelling thrives, no matter the geographical, political or socio-economic environment.”
This year’s star-studded shorts feature Academy Award winners and nominees, as well as film and television stars. Jason Ritter inBoats Against the Current (USA); the voice of Rachel Griffiths in Butterflies (Australia); the voice of Cate Blanchett in the North American Premiere of A Cautionary Tale (Australia); Tom Sizemore in The Charlatan (USA); Christopher Lloyd in the World Premiere of The Coin (USA); Shannyn Sossamon in The Cyclist (USA); Yvan Attal and Anne Parillaud in the North American Premiere of Delicate Gravity (France); Alan Rickman in Dust (UK); Ian McKellen in the World Premiere of The Egg Trick (UK); Christopher Eccleston andFelicity Jones in the World Premiere of Emily (UK); Gerard Depardieu in Frank-Etienne (France); the voice of Bill Nighy in the North American Premiere of The Hungry Corpse (UK); Missi Pyle in Killing Vivian (USA); Brenda Blethyn and Tom Jones in the World Premiere of King of the Teds (UK); Anson Mount directs Last Time We Checked (USA); Elle Fanning in Likeness (USA); Nick Cassavetes in the World Premiere of Love and Skin (USA) directed by Virgina Cassavetes; voices of Hugh Bonneville and Andy Serkis in the North American Premiere of The Magnificent Lion Boy (UK); Nastassja Kinski and Julian Sands in The Nightshift Belongs to the Stars (Italy) directed by Edoardo Ponti; Hugo Weaving in No Budget (Australia); David Lyons marks his directorial debut in the North American Premiere of Record (USA); Lee Meriwether in Remember to Breathe (USA); Lauren Ambrose and Adam Driver inThe River (USA); Frances Conroy in Sequin Raze (USA); Shohreh Aghdashloo in Silk (USA) directed by Catherine Dent; Jordana Spiro directs Skin (USA); Denis Lavant in the North American Premiere of Spring Tides (France); Lisa Edelstein and James Le Grosin the World Premiere of Three Hours Between Planes (USA); Emma Thompson in Walking the Dogs (UK); Brooke Shields andMireille Enos in the World Premiere of Wild Horses (USA); and Camilla Belle in Zero Hour (Mexico/USA).
Throughout the Festival the selected short films are organized into programs covering a variety of genres – including action, comedies, dramas, horror stories, thrillers and mysteries– and themes such as animals, art, communication, crime, dreams, family, taboos, love, memories, siblings, conflicts, travel, work, GLBT and kids’ shorts.
Sydney Netter (Founder, SND Films), Missi Pyle (actress) and Betsy Sharkey (Film Critic, Los Angeles Times) will serve on the ShortFest jury. A total of $110,000 in prizes, including $16,000 in cash awards, will be given out in 19 categories to this year’s short films in competition. The Panavision Grand Jury Award winner will receive a digital or film camera package valued at $60,000. 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 18 years, the Festival has presented 95 films that have gone on to receive Academy Award nominations. Winners will be announced on Sunday, June 23 at a Closing Night screening and reception.
Eleven films have been chosen to represent the ShortFest Online Film Festival, and will play on a special section of the festival web site (www.psfilmfest.org/shortfest) starting a week prior to the festival. Online voting for these films will continue through the festival, with the “ShortFest Online Audience Award” announced at the Festival Award Ceremony on Closing Night. A selection of the online films will also play during the festival proper, so that attending audiences may see them live. The ShortFest Online Film Festival will continue to play online for two months after the end of the festival.
• Amstel (Netherlands) – It’s early Sunday morning, and Maarten has just met the girl of his dreams. Unfortunately he’s still drunk, and still with his date from the night before. Director: Jaap van Eyck. Cast: Tjebbo Gerritsma, Nyncke Beekhuyzen, IIke Paddenburg.
• Bad Cars (USA) – An exploration of the difficulty of finding love in Los Angeles, particularly when you have a crappy car. Director: Anthony Deptula.
• Bubble Boy (USA) – Love makes everything look better (and bigger)! Director: Tang Tao.
• Bouddhi Bouddha (France) – Just back from a trip to Nepal, two friends let the mysteries of meditation and the allure of exotic lands blur the lines of their relationship. Director: Sophie Galibert.
• The Mrs. (USA) – In one man’s world, it’s a good thing his wife gets up before he does. The Mrs. is one of five different films from the same script. As part of Bombay Sapphire’s Imagination Series, Oscar winner Geoffrey Fletcher wrote a script stripped of any stage direction and asked people to imagine their film. Director: Matt Smukler. Cast: Paul Messinger, Bonnie Burroughs, Sean Miller.
• Naptime! (USA) – Naptime! might just be that revolutionary new product that could save your life (or at least your sanity). Play this video to learn all about it! Director: Chris Capel. Cast: Mallory Moye, Asif Ali, Taylor Orci.
• Shelved (New Zealand) – Two industrial robots, Craig and Beano, figure they’re too cool for school until a plague starts hitting the warehouse floor: robot workers are being replaced by humans! Can Craig and Beano survive the gathering storm? Director: James Cunningham. Cast: Simon McKinney, Stephen Papps, Lara Fischel-Chisholm, Penny Ashton, Peter Rowley.
1. Sleddin’ (USA) – A daring little boy goes on a mini winter adventure, though not all is as it seems in beautifully crafted animated short. Director: John Pettingill.
• Start the Engine and Reverse (Russian Federation) – A first date, illicit enough, but made all the more so since the couple are driving her father’s car, turns quickly into a showdown of morals and conscience on a snowy road. Director: Andrey Zagidullin. Cast: Lubov Novikova, Egor Kharlamov.
• Sweet Crude Man Camp (USA) – A haunting look at the complicated realities surrounding the ongoing oil boom in the Bakken region of North Dakota. Director: Isaac Gale.
• Whateverest (Denmark/Norway) – Enter the strange world of Marius Solum Hohansen, a young failed musician who cares for his father, manages the family’s tanning salon business and posts “drug recipes” on the Internet. Director: Kristoffer Borgli. Cast: Marius Solem Johansen, Jan Thomsen.