Four jury prize winners qualify for Academy consideration.

Aspen Shortfest

Top brass at Aspen Film handed out more than $15,000 in prizes as the 26th Aspen Shortsfest concluded on Sunday evening.

Amar Kaushik’s Aaba (Grandfather) from India won best drama and Martha Gregory’s US entry Three Red Sweaters prevailed in the documentary competition.

Fabio Friedli’s Swiss selection In A Nutshell won best animation and the best comedy award went to Carlo Francisco Manatad’s Fatima Maria Torres And The Invasion Of Space Shuttle Pinas 25 from the Philippines.

Call Of Cuteness (Germany) by Brenda Lien won best short short. The animation, comedy, drama and short shorts winners are all eligible for Oscar consideration.

Schoolyard Blues (Sweden) by Maria Eriksson was named best student short.

The top five audience award winners in order of most votes were: Eyes Of Exodus (Greece-USA) by Alexandria Liveris; In a Nutshell by Fabio Friedli; Get Up, Kinshasa! (France) by Sébastien Maitre; and Nothing Ever Really Ends (Norway) by Jakob Rørvik; and Make A Wish (Sweden) by Jonathan Etzel.

In additional awards, The End Of Time (Cuba-USA) by Milcho Manchevksi took The Ellen Award, and Eriksson’s Schoolyard Blues claimed The Youth Jury Award.

“It’s been an honor and a pleasure to welcome Aspen Film’s new Shortsfest program director Kathleen McInnis,” said Aspen Film executive director John Thew (pictured at left with Linda Girvin and McInnis at right.)

“Kathleen has helped to cement Shortsfest as the premiere short film festival in North America; a place for industry to scout new talent, filmmakers to make important connections, and audiences to celebrate this important art form.”

“The 26th Aspen Shortsfest has been an extraordinary and rewarding convergence of filmmakers, industry and audience,” director of programming Kathleen McInnis said.

“Filmmakers premiered their films for Aspen’s discerning audience and connected with global industry representatives, who were here to mentor and scout new talent. It is our honor to be a part of these filmmakers’ journeys – and it’s clear that Aspen is the perfect place to celebrate creative inspiration.”

All in all the festival screened 64 films from 31 countries over April 4-9.