Aspen fest cites 8 shorts

Eight short films have been selected to receive prizes in the second annual Aspen Filmfest Shortsfest, which unspools Feb. 25-27.

Grand prize will go to “The Season of the Lifterbees” by Eugene Jarecki and Joshua C. Klausner.

Prize is backed by Time Warner.

First prize for a professional film was voted to Matt Palmieri’s “Cruise Control.” First prize for a student film goes to Larry Travis’ “Liveshot.” The Colorado Award, for best regional short, will be awarded to Chris Graves and Trey Parker for “American History.”

Special jury citations will be awarded to Joan Gratz for “Mona Lisa Descending a Staircase,” Doug Kunin for “Twist of Fate,” Chris Gerolmo, Russ Smith and Jana Memel for “The Witness” and Bart Mallard for “Burnheads.”

Fest, which will take place in the Wheeler Opera House, received close to 350 entries. Judges for the competition were Lorenzo Semple Jr., Frank Perry, Dena Kaye, Steve Rothenberg and Merv Adelson.

Five of this year’s 10 Oscar-nominated short films will be screened at Aspen: “Cruise Control,” Sam Karmann’s “Omnibus,” Kenneth Branagh’s “Swan Song” and “The Lady in Waiting” from the live-action category, and “Mona Lisa Descending a Staircase” from the animated section.

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