By Heidi Simmons

Summer officially arrives this week and there is hardly a better way to enjoy the long hot days than spending time in cool theaters watching short movies. 

The Palm Springs International ShortFest (PSISFF) and Short Film Marketplace are still in full swing with lots to see and do.

Celebrating 25 years, ShortFest continues to be one of the country’s most prestigious film festivals. 


There are 369 short films screening in 60 carefully curated programs!  The film market has a library this year of more than 5,500 “shorts” for industry viewing — a record number solidifying PSISFF as a significant global player in the search for talent and provocative stories.

The Palm Springs Cultural Center (formally the Camelot Theatre) hosts the PSISFF screenings at 2300 E. Baristo Road in Palm Springs. 


With so many short films, opening day had seven programs including Opening Night.  There is a still a world of films to view as the festival heads into the weekend.

One of the most appealing characteristics of the PSISFF is the close proximity to talented filmmakers.  It is especially fun to meet the filmmakers and hear what they have to say about their creative vision. 

Nearly all programs have filmmakers in attendance.  Here are some screenings you may want to catch where filmmakers will be present to answer questions.

Wednesday, June 19, 7:30pm, check out “A World Imagined.”  These six eclectic shorts will take you to places you have never been.  If you love sci-fi, dystopian worlds and Steampunk romance, this is the place to be.

Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock (9708293e)
Brittany Snow attends the MOSCHINO Spring/Summer 2019 Menswear Resort Womenswear Show and Party, in Burbank, Calif
MOSCHINO Spring/Summer 2019 Menswear Resort Womenswear Show and Party, Burbank, USA – 08 Jun 2018

Making her directorial debut, actress Brittany Snow (“Perfect Pitch,” “Hairspray”) will be on hand to talk about her film “Milkshake” which screens in the “Growing Pains” program, Thursday, June 20, 1:30pm.

Friday, June 21, 6:00pm, “Welcome to the Neighborhood” boasts seven shorts that look at how living our lives in such close proximity can take a toll.

Actor Ryan Gaul (“The Last OG” and “Superstore”) will be on hand for the short film, “Jack” about a man’s heartfelt trip to the vet.  “Jack” screens in the “Departures” program Saturday, June 22, 3:15pm.

PSISFF always has family friendly films but be sure to double check.  Sunday, June 23, 1:30, “We Are the Champions” celebrates the human spirit and the drive to compete and be the best against all odds.

Finally, Monday, June 23, is PSISFF Best of Fest.  Six programs filled with the films Palm Springs film fans loved the most runs from 10:00am to 8:00pm.


The Palm Springs Film Society, the organization behind both the winter fest and PSISFF, main mission is to give up-and-coming filmmakers the tools and information they need to advance in the industry.  Forums are a way for those participating in the festival to get information and instruction from industry professionals.

University of California, Riverside kicked off the PSISFF Forums Monday at the Mary Pickford Theater with a free screening of “Greener Grass” from PSISFF alums Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe who expanded their short film with the same title into a full-length movie.  On Tuesday, UCR held a reception and the filmmakers discussed the process and challenges of moving from a short movie to a feature film.

UCR included a Masterclass with Scott Hamilton Kennedy and “The Art of Make-up” with Greg Cannon.

Some forums are open to the public but still may require a ticket. Be sure to check the schedule.  The forums are held at the Riviera Hotel, Conference Center on Vista Chino at Indian Canyon.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday, June 20, 21 and 22nd are filled with panel discussions, interactive meetings and industry professionals.  Here is a list of the morning roundtable forums.

Film festivals are popular all over the world.  If you have a desire to be an influencer, curator, or programmer don’t miss the first forum — Roundtable:  The Market for Short Form, Thursday June 20th 10:30.  This is an opportunity to hear platform executives rave about the short film content opportunities.

Friday, June 21, 10:30am the roundtable is Big Business: Agents, Managers & Acquisitions, which is certain to be informative to anyone interested and involved in the filmmaking industry.

Meet & Greet: Labs & Grants is Saturday, June 22, 10:30 and is a perfect opportunity to connect with organizations offering artists development lab programs and grant funding.


Another first for the ShortFest is an art installation titled Juxtaposition by artist Joseph Cole.  The mixed media “explores the relationships of physical media to memory and recursive nostalgia.”

The installation is available for public viewing through Saturday, June 22 at the Riviera Hotel located next to the Filmmaker Lounge in the hotel’s conference center. 


Elevating the evening to new heights, the Opening Night party was held at the Palm Springs Air Museum.  The popular Palm Springs restaurant LuLu catered the event as usual.

Parties require a ticket so be sure to check for availability at the box office or online.

Wednesday, June 19, 10:00pm is the Cha Ching party is at the Agua Caliente Casino Palm Springs.  This is a DeNiro – Scorsese themed casino event. Costumes encouraged!

Gay!La, The Glow Up! Is Thursday, June 20 at Toucan’s Tiki Lounge.

From palm trees to pineapples, the Saguaro hosts Uncomplicated Karaoke! Friday, June 21, 10:00pm.

Saturday, June 22, 10:00pm is the Living in Color party at the Ace Hotel & Swim Club where ironically the theme is monochromatic 1990s cocktail attire! (?)  This party will be a colorful event.

Per tradition, Closing Night: Au Revoir is held poolside at the Hilton Hotel. Sunday, June 23, 8:30 to 10:30pm.


PSISFF is a week of films and fun.  For six days, Palm Springs is a bustle of creative folks out and about enjoying the town.   The community and Film Society continues to build, expand and develop its relationship with emerging and talented filmmakers.  With “Hollywood’s” close proximity and with its local roots, the Palm Spring International Short Film Festival is an outstanding experience.  Enjoy!

For more information and to purchase tickets: phone 760 778 8979, online or in person Camelot Theatres 2300 E. Baristo Road, Palm Springs during box office hours — one hour before the first screening until half an hour after the last show begins.