By Heidi Simmons

Among the pleasures of the Palm Springs ShortFest is not just the treasury of terrific films, but also the abundance of tremendous talent. With so many filmmakers from all over the world, and so close to Hollywood, the ShortFest is a great opportunity to meet important people and learn something about the filmmaking process and business.

As part of the Palm Springs International Short Film Festival & Film Market, June 17 through June 23, there are forums, lectures, master-classes and roundtable discussions. This year there are nine events scheduled at the Renaissance Hotel’s Mojave Learning Center, 888 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way in Palm Springs.

The Palm Springs Film Society – the nonprofit organization behind both the international film festivals and ShortFest — have made it their mission to inspire, empower and encourage all emerging filmmakers from around the globe by offering events designed to bring the working industry together with filmmakers for first-hand experience, conversation and networking.

“The ShortFest Forums have grown into an extraordinary gathering of industry professionals, all ready to meet and mentor our new class of emerging filmmakers,” said Festival Director Kathleen McInnis. “We are so excited to bring together so many people at ShortFest, which every year generates new relationships and projects”

Starting Thursday, June 19 at 11:00 AM there is a discussion on Reality Television – Reality as Entertainment. Five producers from top reality TV will talk about “the good, the bad and the ugly truth” in unscripted, reality programming.

Also Thursday, at 1:00 PM The Casting Chat. Here three members of the Casting Society of America will talk about the latest trends and obstacles in the casting process.

ted-hopeAt 3:00 PM, Thursday a Master Class: Lecture With Ted Hope. An independent film guru and CEO of Fandor – a subscription indie film outlet that has hundreds of film festival favorites, foreign films, documentaries and international movies – will speak about his vision in the ever-changing digital world of content distribution.

Friday, June 20 at 11:00 AM Strategic Publicity & Marketing Designed For Emerging Filmmakers. Five experts in publicity share the best ways to make the most of the film festival circuit.

AllisonTiffany AndersThe 1:00 PM program is Master Class: Music in Film with Allison Anders and Tiffany Anders. This mother-daughter duo talk about the creative and practical aspects of using music in film.

At 3:00 PM the program is MythBusters: Notes And Practical Advice From The (Film Festival) Front. Seasoned festival filmmakers will share their experience on the film festival circuit.

Saturday, June 21 begins at 11:00 AM with Meet The Programmers. Here’s a chance to get inside secrets, tips and advice for submitting films to festivals. Programmers from the Tribeca, Sundance, Telluride, Toronto and other Film Festivals will be talking about what it takes to be part of a great film festival.

At 1:00 PM the program is The Players – Part I: The Business. Here agents, mangers, press and producers talk about the current and future state of the filmmaking business.

The 3:00 PM program concludes the ShortFest Forum event with The Players –Part II: The Art. In this discussion a panel of tastemakers, gatekeepers and content creators examine the health of the film industry, creative television and the art of world cinema.

“We have so many returning industry guests to help us celebrate our 20th Anniversary,” said Director of Industry Relations Christina Sasse. “Our distinguished industry guests come back each year because the ShortFest Forums are as inspiring for them as they are for our filmmakers. They love coming to our “summer camp for filmmakers” and some of them really enjoy making it into a boot camp!”

Exclusively for filmmakers, Roundtable events are Saturday and Sunday. This opportunity puts together two to four working industry professionals with up to 10 filmmakers at a time. Each session is 45 minutes.

Sign ups can be done in advance online at the Filmmakers Blog or the day of the session. Who will be at the table is a mystery until everyone is seated. A clever way to network with the pros, the Roundtable is certain to build relationships with emerging filmmakers and develop the essential collaborative spirit necessary in the industry.

All the Forums and Roundtable events are made up of working industry professionals with major credits. These great events celebrate the filmmaker and enhance the experience for all those in attendance. It is an important part of the overall experience that makes the Palm Springs ShortFest one of the best festivals in the world.

Panel only tickets are available to the public for $11 each; Master Class tickets are $12. All ShortFest Forum programs are presented free to accredited filmmakers participating in ShortFest and its concurrent Short Film Market. Tickets can be purchased by calling (760) 322-2930 or visiting