Short Film Fest long on pics, premieres

Toronto event kicks off June 10

TORONTO — The 14th Worldwide Short Film Festival, which runs June 10-15, will deliver 60 North American preems and shine the spotlight on Japanese animation, Thai mini-cine and emerging talent from Argentina.

Held in Toronto, it’s one of the biggest shorts film fests in North America alongside the major event in Palm Springs, Calif. The fest, mart and confab was acquired in 2000 by the Canadian Film Center — the country’s premiere film and TV training facility — and now offers C$80,000 ($81,300) in prizes.

Its companion event, the Short Films Big Ideas symposium (June 11-14), draws hundreds of international buyers, distribs and filmmakers to industry meets and seminars on the art and biz of shorts.

The fest features 268 films from 22 countries in 12 official selection competition programs, including dramas, docs and animation, and numerous specialty programs.

Kate Hudson’s 15-minute directorial bow “Cutlass,” starring Dakota Fanning, Virginia Madsen, Chevy Chase and Hudson’s stepdad Kurt Russell, highlights the popular Celebrity Shorts program.

Other notable celeb quickies include Lars von Trier’s Cannes players “Occupations” and U.K. animator Joe Tucker’s “For the Love of God” (voiced by Steven Coogan and Ian McKellen).

Jury awards include prizes for animated short, emerging Canadian short, documentary, Canadian short and cinematography in a Canadian short. The award for performance in a live-action short is new this year.

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