The 25th annual Palm Springs International ShortFest will showcase 369 films including 60 World Premieres, 25 International Premieres, 46 North American Premieres, 17 U.S. Premieres and 98 California Premieres.  There are 60 curated programs, which will screen June 18-24, at the Camelot Theatres (Palm Springs Cultural Center) in Palm Springs.  More than 5,600 of the festival submissions from 118 countries were submitted, most of which will be available in the Film Market for industry attendees to view. The complete line-up and schedule is available at www.psfilmfest.org and a list of films are included at the end of this article.  

“Once again, we’re thrilled to share an incredible lineup brimming with talent from all over the globe,” said Artistic Director Lili Rodriguez. “From festival favorites to fresh discoveries, it’s clear that there is no shortage of talent in the short film world. The programming team poured over a record number of 5,600 submissions to find the 369 films that made the lineup – a selection that showcases a kaleidoscope of voices and perspectives, rich in originality and skill.”

Short films featuring celebrated film and TV actors include Paul Lieberstein, Mandy Moore and Justin Bartha in The Big Break; Gillian Jacobs directs Danny Pudi in Curated; Maria Bello in EXIT; Amy Landecker in Father Figurine; Jamie McShane in Good Morning; Tyler Labine in It’s Your Call; Brittany Snow directs Milkshake with Anna Camp; Patton Oswalt, Ben Schwartz and Dermot Mulroney in Monster Challenge; Chris Gethard in Nighty Night; Tom Skerritt in The Phantom 52; M. Emmet Walsh in South of Bix; and Brian Cox in Widdershins.

Over $86,000 in prizes, including $26,750 in cash awards, will be given out in 22 categories to this year’s short films in competition.  First place winners in five 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 24 years, the Festival has presented 101 films that have gone on to receive Academy Award® nominations.  Winners will be announced at a brunch on Sunday, June 23.   

Prominent industry figures from the Sundance Institute, Showtime, Netflix, AMPAS®, Anonymous Content, CAA, ICM Partners, Tribeca Film Institute, IDA, Film Independent, Management 360, Refinery 29, Vimeo, SAGindie, Breaker, Mosaic, CINETIC MEDIA, Seed&Spark, ATTN:, Chicken & Egg Pictures, Circle of Confusion, Odenkirk Provissiero and other organizations will participate in three days of ShortFest Forum programs covering a wide range of emerging trends and new practices in the global film community. The ShortFest Forum schedule includes:

Thursday, June 20th

10:30am – 11:30am

Roundtable: The Market for Short Form: Curators & Programmers

Whoever said that short form was just a stepping stone to long form is just wrong! Talk with a wide range of curators, programmers, and platform execs about the many opportunities that exist for short form content.  

12:00pm – 1:15pm

Interactive: You’ve Got Production Questions, We’ve Got Answers!

These one-on-one sessions will have producers, financiers, distributors, crowdfunding specialists, editors, union reps, casting directors, line producers, and more all answering your questions about all things production from pre to post. After 10 minutes it’s musical chairs, so be ready with questions in hand.

2:00pm – 3:00pm

Class: How to Pitch Like a Pro #1

We know you have another idea or script you’re ready to pitch — feature, episodic, VR or short form, all are welcome! Our industry guests will show you the ropes to a successful pitch, and share stories on the dos and don’ts. They will share some insights and then workshop some of your pitches.

3:30pm – 4:30pm

Panel: The Indie Episodic Landscape: Triumphs, Trials & Trends

Executives and Indie Creators discuss the current landscape for indie episodic projects. With more content than ever being produced for the small screen, and opportunities for both established auteurs and fresh voices. In these ever-changing times in entertainment, how can you break into the episodic medium?

 

Friday, June 21st

10:30am – 11:30am

Roundtable: Big Business: Agents, Managers & Acquisitions

Come hear directly from the dealmakers’ mouths. Agents, managers, and acquisitions execs discuss the current and future state of the business of filmmaking: from buying and selling, packaging a project, finding representation that works for you, and how to set up a project for distribution success before it’s even made. Be ready to listen and ask your burning questions.

12:00pm – 1:15pm

Interactive: Speed Pitching #1

It’s time to test out those pro pitching skills! Our diverse group of industry professionals — agents, studio executives, financiers, producers and filmmakers — are ready to meet with you one-on-one. You pitch. They respond. Make sure you leave some time for valuable feedback. After 10 minutes it’s musical chairs.

2:00pm – 3:00pm

Class: How to Pitch Like a Pro #2

We know you have another idea or script you’re ready to pitch — feature, episodic, VR or short form, all are welcome! Our industry guests will show you the ropes to a successful pitch, and share stories on the dos and don’ts. They will share some insights and then workshop some of your pitches.

3:30pm – 4:30pm

Panel: Best Foot Forward: Labs & Grants & How to Get Them

You’ve made your calling card short film, now you’re ready to take things to the next level with funding your next project and/or participating in artist development labs. Hear directly from the source about what to expect from a lab experience and the dos and don’ts of the application process for labs and grants.

Saturday, June 22nd

10:00am – 11:00am

Roundtable: Meet & Greet: Labs & Grants  

A follow-up to Friday’s panel, this is a chance to connect directly with the organizations offering artist development lab programs and/or grants. Our industry guests will lay out their opportunities and have an open discussion with you about what might make sense for your next project and the career you’re working to build.

11:30am – 12:45pm

Interactive: Speed Pitching #2

It’s time to test out those pro pitching skills! Our diverse group of industry professionals — agents, studio executives, financiers, producers and filmmakers — are ready to meet with you one-on-one. You pitch. They respond. Make sure you leave some time for valuable feedback. After 10 minutes it’s musical chairs.

*Note: You will need to have attended the How to Pitch Like a Pro #1 or #2 on Thursday or Friday to participate in this session.

1:15pm – 2:15pm

Class: How to Ruin a Film in 10 Ways

Unnecessary violence or nudity, shooting with the first draft of your script, deciding the crew can feed themselves – whether it’s a writing trope or a mistake during production, we’re all aware of the things that can ruin a film. These industry professionals drill down on the things you should avoid with your future projects before addressing specific challenges you’re facing as a filmmaker.

2:45pm – 3:45pm

Panel: Building Momentum: Festivals, Audience & Awards Strategy

Learn the ropes of audience building and awards strategy with your most recent short film or for your future projects. What choices and opportunities might present themselves and where? How can filmmakers best capitalize on these? Planning for the release of your film is imperative for the best return on these opportunities. Our panelists will discuss steps for releasing your film from planning to distribution!

4:00pm – 5:00pm

Panel: Meet the Programmers

Let’s take a quick trip to top festivals and meet their programmers. Our panelists will provide candid insights into the programming process, deciding which festivals are best for your project, and making sure you make the most of your festival experience.

About Palm Springs International ShortFest 

Designated by AMPAS, BAFTA and BIFA as an award-qualifying festival, and accredited by the International Short Film Conference, the Palm Springs International ShortFest & Short Film Market, one of the most acclaimed short film showcases in the world. The concurrent Short Film Market, the only one in North America, will feature a library of more than 5,400 films available to film buyers, industry and press.  The ShortFest Forum programs are a four-day schedule of seminars, panel discussions, roundtables and master classes staged free of charge for attending filmmakers.  For more information and tickets, call (760) 778-8979 or visit the website at www.psfilmfest.org.   

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