The 2009 Palm Springs International Shortfest kicked off its 300+ film programme last night in the California desert resort town.

America’s largest short film festival will continue through June 29, presenting 315 films selected from more than 2,500 entries.

The 15th annual Palm Springs Shorfest will feature 76 world premieres, 43 North American premieres and 14 US premieres. The films, from 41 countries, will screen in 52 themed programmes.

A total of $94,000 in cash and production support will be awarded. The festival is an Oscar-qualifying festival and it also boasts a 2,500-film market.

The opening-night programme was Shortsplash: Short and Sweet Comedies, including James Wvinner’s Dead Bunny; Alyssa McClelland’s Emilia Eckle; Mark Nickelsburg’s Expiration; Marcel Hobi’s Eyelash (Wimper); Mike Goode’s Multiple Choice; Anton Beebe’s My New Toy; Thomas Perrier’s Stop Requested (Arret Demande); Lola Randl’s The Suffering Of Mr. Karpf - The Birthday (Die Leiden des Herrn Karpf - Der Geburtstag); Peter Besson’s True Beauty This Night; and Alban Mench’s The Williams (Les Williams).

Panel topics will include new media/digital delivery, moving into features, and “meet the programmers” with reprsentatives from festivals including Sundance, Tribeca, AFI Festival and Cleveland. Industry speakers will include Intelligent Life’s Ron Qurashi; SND’s Sydney Neter;’s Ian Friedman; Abramorama’s Richard Abramowitz; filmmaker Jon Reiss;’s Eric Appel and Jake Szymanski; SAGIndie’s Darrien Michele Gipson; Odd Lot’s Brian O’Shea; director Aric Avelino; casting director Scout Mastersonl and Summit’s Jill Jones.

Actors making their directorial debuts with shorts in the festival include Demi Moore with Streak; Courteney Cox-Arquette with The Monday Before Thanksgiving; Marianne Jean-Baptiste’s Ink; and Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Sparks.




Commenting on the Festival Darryl Macdonald, Programming and Executive Director said this year’s lineup of shorts “is a richer, more diverse and accomplished collection of work than I’ve ever seen, and heralds a wealth of great new talent to enrich the film world for years to come.”

The full list of screenings can be found at