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'Facing Mecca' triumphs at Palm Springs International Shortfest

California festival runs through June 26.

Jan-Eric Mack’s Facing Mecca from Switzerland was named best of fest as the Palm Springs International Shortfest awards were handed out on Sunday (25).

The film (pictured) received a $5,000 cash prize courtesy of the Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau and may be eligible for Oscar consideration.

The grand jury award went to The Head Vanishes (France-Canada) by Franck Dion Jacqueline, and the Panavision Best North American Short award and the use of a camera package valued at $60,000 courtesy of Panavision was presented to Reed Van Dyk’s Dekalb Elementary (USA).

In the non-student awards, whose winners may be eligible for Oscar consideration, The Head Vanishes took the animated award, while best documentary short was presented to Edith + Eddie (USA) by Laura Checkoway.

Retouch (Iran) by Kaveh Mazaheri prevailed in the best live action short over 15 minutes category, and the best live action short of 15 minutes and under award went to Robin Comisar’s Great Choice (USA).

In the audience award categories, Toma Waszarow’s Red Light (Bulgaria-Croatia) claimed best live honours, Nicholas Arioli’s Coin Operated took the animation prize, and the documentary award went to Kayayo (Norway) by Mari Bakke Riise.

“After spending a week in and out of theatres, and talking with filmmakers and audiences, we close out the festival with such a strong sense of community,” festival director Lili Rodriguez said. 

“Filmmakers are making movies about the changing world around them. I think our award winners showcase an understanding and compassion for people and it’s a great thing to see.”

All in all the festival screened 338 short films alongside more than 4,200 submissions that were available to view in the film market. The festival awarded more than $115,000 in prizes, including $20,000 in cash awards in 21 categories. 

The festival runs from June 20-26. Click here for the full list of winners.

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