2017 Palm Springs International Shortfest Winners Unveiled

Palm Springs, CA  – Now in its 23rd year, Palm Springs International ShortFest  showcased 338 films including 46 World Premieres, 12 International Premieres, 42 North American Premieres and 16 U.S. Premieres.  The selection of films for screening and competition features star-studded casts and award-winning films from 60 countries around the world.  There are 55 curated programs, which  screened  June 20-26, at the Camelot Theatres in Palm Springs.  More than 4,200 of the festival submissions are  available in the Film Market for industry attendees to view.

Johnson Cheng

“Each year, the quality of films we watch for ShortFest keeps getting stronger,” said Festival Director Lili Rodriguez. “It makes our job of narrowing down the final selection that much harder, but also incredibly rewarding. There are so many unique and strong voices and we’re really proud to champion these films at the festival.”

This year’s star-studded shorts feature Academy Award® winners and nominees, as well as film and television stars including Summer Phoenix in Across My Land (USA/France); Thomas Lennon and Lennon Parham in All Exchanges Final (USA); Tatiana Maslany in Apart From Everything (Canada); The Dark of Night (USA) directed by Robin Wright and starring Leslie Bibb and Sam Rockwell; Sir Ian McKellen in Edmund the Magnificent (UK); Toby Jones in The Entertainer (UK); Julian Sands in The Escape (UK); Idris Elba in Five by Five (UK); Rick Fox in Game (USA); Carrie Coon in Great Choice (USA) etc.

Among the winning list , a columbia graduate student Johnson Cheng won the Best student Live Action Short 15 minutes and under:

Iron Hands (USA/China), Johnson Cheng

A 12-year old girl tries out for the traditionally all-boys’ Chinese youth Olympic weightlifting team. And makes an unlikely connection with the weightlifting gym’s reclusive groundskeeper.

ShortFest jurors include: David Ansen (film critic/PSIFF Lead Programmer), Lindsey Bahr (Associated Press), Kate Bosworth (actress/producer), Ian Durkin (Vimeo), Sam Lansky (Time Magazine) and Heidi Zwicker (Sundance). Over $115,000 in prizes, including $20,000 in cash awards, were  given out in 21 categories to this year’s short films in competition.  The Panavision Best North American Short Award winner received the use of a camera package valued at $60,000.  First place winners in five categories  automatically become eligible for consideration by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS®) for a possible Academy Award® nomination.  Over the course of 22 years, the Festival has presented 101 films that have gone on to receive Academy Award® nominations.  Winners will be announced on Sunday, June 25 at a Closing Night screening and reception.

In addition to ShortFest’s award-winning short films, each year the Festival also welcomes a long guest list of filmmakers and industry attendees for the ShortFest Forums of panels and roundtables.  Other prominent industry figures from AMPAS®, Anonymous Content, CAA, Cartoon Network, FX Networks, ICM Partners, NASA, Preferred Content, Seed&Spark, UTA, Vimeo and other organizations will participate in three days of ShortFest Forums covering a wide range of emerging trends and new practices in the global film community.


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