‘Tool’ tapped as top short

Gayle Thomas’ “The Beauty of the Common Tool” took the top film prize at the third annual Palm Springs Intl. Short Film Festival, the biggest short film fest in North America and one of the few fests recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences as a qualifier for Oscar contention.

Some 190 short pics were screened this year, with 147 in competition.

Second prize for film went to Simon LeLouch’s “We Are All Angels.” In the animation category, Giorgio Valentini took first place for “DNA,” while Vuk Jevremovic’s “The Wind Subsides” took the second-place prize.

Jennifer Kaufman’s “Chalice of Repose” topped in the video category, with Caryn West’s “Here Dies Another Day” the runner-up.

In the student film sweepstakes, USC student David Birdsell’s “Blue City” took the crown, with Canadian Film Center’s Andrew Ainsworth taking second prize for “Cleveland Wood’s Last Day on Earth.”

Top two pics in each category, plus honorable mentions, will be forwarded to the Academy for nomination consideration.

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