jason stuart film

Palm Springs International ShortFest Brimming With Talent

More than 300 films will screen including 60 world premieres during its June 18-24 run at Camelot Theatres.

Site Staff Arts & Entertainment, Current Digital

jason stuart film
Jason Stuart stars in the film, Hank, which will screen at the Palm Springs International ShortFest.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY EGOR POVOLOTSKIY

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 psfilmfest.org.

“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 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:

June 20
10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
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.

Noon- 1:15 p.m.
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 – 3:00 p.m.
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.

3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
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?

June 21
10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
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.

Noon – 1:15 p.m.
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 – 3:00 p.m.
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.

3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
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.

June 22
10 – 11:00 a.m.
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.

11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
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.

1:15 – 2:15 p.m.
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.

2:45 – 3:45 p.m.
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 – 5 p.m.
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.

Palm Springs International ShortFest, June 18-24, at Camelot Theatres, 2300 E. Baristo Road, Palm Springs. For tickets and information, visit psfilmfest.org.