Palm Springs Intl. ShortFest has announced a slate of 332 films in its official selection that will be eligible for jury award consideration, including “I Lost My Mother’s Ashes,” starring Mandy Moore; Kevin Dunn in “Josiah”; and Maya Rudolph, Jay Ellis and LaRoyce Hawkins in “Thirsty.”
ShortFest will screen a portion of the selected films beginning June 16 and will be available to stream on its website for free through June 22.
“We’re proud to share all the work filmmakers have put into making their films and all of the work our staff has put into making ShortFest happen,” said artistic director Lili Rodriguez. “No one ever imagines launching a film festival during a pandemic, let alone launching one during such politically charged and urgent times. We remain firm believers that movies are empathy machines and stay committed to sharing cinema from different parts of the world, from different and diverse perspectives.”
Other short films selected featuring high-profile film and TV actors include Melora Walters in “Adeline, the Great”; Danny Pudi and Karan Soni in “Coffee Shop Names”; Will McCormack and Michael Govier direct “If Anything Happens I Love You” produced by Laura Dern; Gayle Rankin in “Jane;” Oscar Isaac and Alia Shawkat in “The Letter Room”; Lily Gladstone in “Little Chief”; Rachel Dratch in “Marcy Learns Something New”; John Gemberling in “Uprising”; Nicholas Braun in “Victor in Paradise”; and Sarah Steele in “We Want Our Money Back.”
The festival will announce the winners from the curated line-up on June 21. The winners will be presented with awards and cash prizes worth $25,000, including five Academy Award qualifying awards.
The ShortFest Forum will also take place from June 16-22 with virtual classes and panels featuring representatives from Variety, Rotten Tomatoes, Sundance Film Festival, among other actors and directors in the industry. This year’s panels will cover a wide range of topics including animation, budgeting, commercials, co-productions, documentary filmmaking, entertainment law, episodics, festival programming, festival strategy, financing, music, pitching, writing, as well as working with actors, agents, managers, press and publicists.
“We are thrilled to be able to mount ShortFest virtually during these challenging times,” said Linton Melita and Sudeep Sharma, ShortFest directors of programming. “Although it is a shame we cannot welcome audiences in person later this month, it is no small consolation to have the privilege to share the work of these incredible filmmakers in what we feel might be the best lineup the festival has ever had.”
A list of the complete line-up is available at www.psfilmfest.org. Four of the panels will be available for the general public, with pre-registration that started June 13 on the website.