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Palm Springs ShortFest announces star-studded line-up

Work featuring Cate Blanchett, Elle Fanning, Ian McKellen, Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson and Hugo Weaving will be on show at the 2013 Palm Springs International ShortFest & Short Film Market, set to run from Jun 18-24.

Now in its 19th year, ShortFest will showcase 330 films including 70 world premieres, 55 North American premieres and 14 US premieres as films arrive from 49 countries.

The line-up includes Jason Ritter in Boats Against The Current (USA), the voice of Rachel Griffiths in Butterflies (Australia), the voice of Cate Blanchett in the North American premiere of A Cautionary Tale (Australia), Ian McKellen in the world premiere of The Egg Trick (UK), Christopher Eccleston and Felicity Jones in the world premiere of Emily (UK) and Gerard Depardieu in Frank-Etienne (France).

Anticipated highlights include the voice of Bill Nighy in the North American premiere of The Hungry Corpse (UK), Missi Pyle in Killing Vivian (USA), Brenda Blethyn and Tom Jones in the world premiere of King Of The Teds (UK), Elle Fanning in Likeness (USA), Nick Cassavetes in the world premiere of Love And Skin (USA), Hugo Weaving in No Budget (Australia) and Camilla Belle in Zero Hour (Mexico-USA).

SND Films founder Sydney Netter, Missi Pyle and Los Angeles Times film critic Betsy Sharkey will serve on the ShortFest jury. A total of $110,000 in prizes, including $16,000 in cash awards, will be given out in 19 categories to this year’s short films in competition.

The Panavision Grand Jury Award winner will receive a digital or film camera package valued at $60,000. First place winners in four categories will automatically become eligible for consideration by the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences.

Eleven films have been chosen to represent the ShortFest Online Film Festival, and will play on a special section of the festival website starting a week prior to the festival. Online voting for these films will continue throughout the festival and the ShortFest Online Audience Award will be announced at the closing night awards.

“A wealth of newly emerging talent and new storytelling trends are the big news from this year’s ShortFest line-up,” said festival director Darryl Macdonald. “While the US, Australia, the UK, France and Spain remain at the forefront of the international short film renaissance, we’re seeing a wellspring of exciting new talents emerge from Scandinavia, Latin America, the Benelux countries and Africa. The work itself is more adventuresome, too, eschewing standard genre-based filmmaking in favour of character-driven stories and genre-bending formats. It makes for a much richer cinema.”

Kathleen McInnis, ShortFest film curator and director of industry programming said: “We are so delighted to present new works at ShortFest from so many unique new countries this year, especially the African countries of Burundi, Mali and Burkina Fasso. It means a great deal to us to be supportive of emerging filmmakers from across the globe, and to bring their dynamic stories to our ShortFest audience. And it tells us that visual storytelling thrives, no matter the geographical, political or socio-economic environment.”  

The complete line-up will be posted on Jun 11 on the official website.

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