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‘Carry On’ Wins Top Prize at Palm Springs International ShortFest

The winners of the Palm Springs International ShortFest were announced Sunday, with Rafael Aidar’s “Carry On” taking home the best of festival award.

Other notable wins include Haider’s “Submarine,” which received the future filmmaker award, with Marc Fouchard’s “The Way of Tea,” David Darg’s “Body Team 12” and Gabriel Osorio’s “Bear Story” winning audience awards.

“It’s been a spectacular success on all fronts for ShortFest this year, with a uniformly ecstatic response from audience and filmmakers alike for the screenings, the panels and seminars and the special events the Festival mounted,” said festival director Darryl Macdonald in a statement. “With record numbers of attendees and filmmakers, the Festival lived up to its growing reputation as one of the most important events of its kind in the world.”

330 short films screened at the festival, which runs from June 16-22, along with more than 3,000 filmmaker submissions available in the film market. More than $115,000 in prizes were awards in 21 categories.

See the full list of winners below.


BEST OF FESTIVAL AWARD – Winner received $5,000 cash prize courtesy of the Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Final Cut Pro X courtesy of Apple Computer.  The winner of this award may be eligible to submit their film to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for Oscar consideration.

Carry On (Esel) (Austria), Rafael Aidar

This sublime tale focuses on an elderly couple who tend to what’s left of their once-thriving farm with the help of an aged donkey on its last legs. But when the time comes to face reality, can the farmer do what is called for?

GRAND JURY AWARD – Winner received $2,000 cash prize

Over (UK), Jörn Threlfall

What has happened in this quiet, suburban neighborhood? Has there been a murder, a hit-and-run, an accident? The reality is both profound and deeply unexpected, and unfolds in reverse in this quiet mystery that rewards the patient viewer.

FUTURE FILMMAKER AWARD – Winner received a $2,000 cash prize.

Submarine (Brazil), Rafael Aidar

Love and loneliness waltz in this slow reveal of a man whose connection to his lover keeps him finding new ways to re-ignite his past.

PANAVISION BEST NORTH AMERICAN SHORT – Camera package valued at $60,000 courtesy of Panavision.

Marta Rosa (USA/Mexico), Barbara Cigarroa

In the aftermath of a tragedy, a mother is forced to deal with her own internal grief as well as the harsh realities of the world around her.

BEST STUDENT FILM AWARD (From a US Film School) – $1,000 cash prize courtesy of KQED San Francisco and camera package valued at $10,000 courtesy of Radiant Images

It’s Better in Italian (USA/Italy), Jordan Ledy

A delightful look behind the scenes at the world of dubbing American movie stars in films for the Italian market.


Exceptional Performance by an ActressMiriam Zohar, Paris on the Water (Paris Al Amayim) (Israel)

Exceptional Cinematography – August (Poland), Tomek Slesicki



The Way of Tea (les frémissements du thé) (France), Marc Fouchard

Set in a small town in northern France, The Way of Tea explores the meeting of Alex, a young skinhead, and Malic, an Arab shopkeeper, who meet one fateful night that tests the mettle of both men. An eloquent statement about prejudice and stereotypes.

Runner-upContrapelo (Mexico/USA/UK), Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer


Body Team 12 (Liberia), David Darg

A glimpse into the work of a group of courageous people tasked with the removal and disposal of bodies during the Ebola outbreak in Liberia. Both gut wrenching and inspiring, the film focuses on the sole woman on the team, and her perspective on the crisis in her country.

Runner-upIt’s Better in Italian (USA/Italy), Jordan Ledy


Bear Story (Historia de un Oso) (Chile), Gabriel Osorio

Through the magical prism of a marionette theater, a world-weary bear tells his life story.

Runner-upSOAR (USA), Alyce Tzue


The Deadman (Peru), Franco Finocchiaro

A young man who everyone assumed was dead reappears at his parent’s house mysteriously after seven years, shortly followed by two detectives with more questions than answers.


Awards in the non-student and student categories were selected by ShortFest jury members David Ansen (Writer), Gregg Kilday (Film Editor at The Hollywood Reporter), Steve Greene (Assistant Editor of Indiewire’s Criticwire Network), Dan Ireland (Writer/Director/Producer), Roberta Munroe (Writer/Director/Producer), Barry Primus (actor),  Kim Waltrip (Independent Film Producer). All first place winners in the non-student categories received a cash award of $2,000.  First place winners in the non-student Animation and Live Action categories may be eligible for Academy Awards consideration.  Second place recipients received a $500 cash prize.

BEST AnimatION short

First Place ($2,000) – Bear Story (Historia De Un Oso) (Chile), Gabriel Osorio

Through the magical prism of a marionette theater, a world-weary bear tells his life story.

Second Place ($500) – The Orchestra (Australia), Mikey Hill

BEST Live Action short over 15 minutes

First Place  ($2,000) – The Good Life-Over There (Det Gode Livet, Der Borte) (Norway), Izer Aliu

Sami, an Albanian immigrant to Norway, spends the day babysitting his boss’ spoiled adolescent son who teaches him a surprising lesson about the sacrifices he’s made for his family back home.

Second Place ($500) – Submarine (Brazil), Rafael Aidar

Special MentionBrothers (UK), Thordur Palsson

BEST Live Action short 15 MINUTES AND UNDER

First Place ($2,000) – August (Poland), Tomek Slesicki

A teenage boy hangs out with a pretty girl and a young boy and his dog in the fields. Over his shoulder is slung a bag with unknown contents, which will eventually prove the cost of first love.

Second Place ($500) – Over (United Kingdom), Jörn Threlfall

Special MentionAve Maria (Palestine/France/Germany), Basil Khalil

BEST Documentary short

First Place ($2,000) – Pink Boy (USA), Eric Rockey

This remarkable documentary introduces us to Jeffrey, a young, ‘gender non-conforming’ boy being raised by his lesbian moms in conservative rural Florida who provide him with exactly the kind of support and guidance he needs to make his way in a potentially hostile world.

Second Place ($500) –Pebbles At Your Door (Denmark), Vibeke Bryld


All first place winners in these categories received a 1-year download membership to Videoblocks, AudioBlocks or GraphicStock.


First PlaceSOAR (USA), Alyce Tuze

A precocious young girl makes a new friend when a tiny boy pilot drops out of the sky on a broken flying machine. Now she must race against time to return him home, before her new friend becomes stranded on Earth forever.

Second Place After the End (UK), Sam Southward

Honorable MentionThe Present (Germany), Jacob Frey

BEST STUDENT Live Action short over 15 minutes

First PlaceParis on the Water (Paris Al Amayim) (Israel), Hadas Ayalon

Bathya and Michel – both actors – have been married for 50 years, and while Michel has continued to have a successful career in a TV medical drama series, her once-thriving career has gone dormant. Then Bathya finds herself up for a potential key role in a new movie, bringing her hopes for a career revival, but on the morning of her audition, something happens that forces her to reassess her priorities in life.

Second PlaceThe Little Death (Den Lille Døden) (Norway), Simon Tillaas


First PlaceMarta Rosa (USA/Mexico), Barbara Cigarroa

In the aftermath of a tragedy, a mother is forced to deal with her own internal grief as well as the harsh realities of the world around her.

Second PlaceZelos (USA/Iceland), Thoranna Sigurdardottir


First PlaceIt’s Better in Italian (USA/Italy), Jordan Ledy

A delightful look behind the scenes at the world of dubbing American movie stars in films for the Italian market.

Second PlaceThe Tour Guide (Ha Madricha) (Israel/Germany), Amos Geva


ALEXIS AWARD FOR BEST EMERGING STUDENT FILMMAKER – The Alexis Award is selected by the Festival’s programming team and was created in honor of Alexis Echavarria, a young filmmaker, whose talent as a budding filmmaker and gift for inspiring excellence among his fellow students were cut short suddenly in 2005 at age 16.  The recipient received Final Cut Pro X courtesy of Apple Computer.

First PlaceZelos (USA), Thoranna Sigurdardottir

As a modern woman you have an endless to-do list. Between your family, your career, and your hobbies, you want to do it all, and do it all well. With Zelos, YOU CAN…

HP BRIDGING THE BORDERS AWARD PRESENTED BY CINEMA WITHOUT BORDERS – The winner received the award’s diploma and an HP ZBook Mobile Workstation with a color critical HP DreamColor display and Thunderbolt™ 2, an approximately $3000 value.  The runner received a certificate for an upcoming Method Acting Intensive Workshop provided by The Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute with a value of $2000

First Place Ave Maria (Palestine/France/Germany), Basil Khalil

A Jewish family’s car breaks down outside a nunnery during Shabat, inadvertently knocking off the head of the Virgin Mary. The driver’s mother and wife are eager to return home. After exhausting all options they turn to the nuns for help.

Special Jury PrizeRangan 99 (Iran), Tiyam Yabandeh

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