Six award-winning shorts provided a wonderful mix of animation, live narrative, and documentary to open the 2016 Palm Springs International ShortFest, North America’s largest short film festival and market place.
Palm Springs Mayor Rob Moon opened the festivities, followed by Festival Chairman Harold Matzner, who graciously acknowledged Camelot Theatre owners Ric and Rozene Supple.
“This is a $500,000 educational endeavor by the Palm Springs International Film Society to benefit the international filmmakers of tomorrow,” Matzner said. “Emerging filmmakers get to compare their work with the best work of their generation.”
Matzner urged the filmmakers in the audience to attend every party, and network at every opportunity. After all, Academy Award nominated director Ava DuVernay is just one of the many top feature film directors whose work first screened at ShortFest.
More than 300 films from 54 countries will show, a fraction of those submitted. Luckily all 4,295 shorts can be seen at the Film Marketplace at the Renaissance Hotel, Palm Springs.
Development director Harriet Baron regaled the standing room only audience with her romantic tale that mentioned all ShortFest sponsors, including title sponsor City of Palm Springs, presenting sponsors The Desert Sun and Spencer’s Restaurant at the Mountain; and Platinum sponsors Panavision and Stampede.
Festival Director Helen DuToit introduced valiant programmers Penelope Bartlett, Laura Henneman, Lili Rodriguez, Clay Pruitt, Sudeep Sharma and programming coordinator/associate programmer Linton Melita. First-time director Ella Smith spoke about her short Mdudu Boy (UK/Kenya) shot in Kenya with mostly novice actors.
The other shorts shown were Pickle (USA), Spoetnik (Netherlands), Sunday Lunch/Le Repas Dominical (France), Talgar the Hunter (Kyrgyzstan/UK), and Thunder Road (USA).
Following the screening, ticket holders headed to Lulu California Bistro for the fun After Party.