Early work from Martin Scorsese, David Lynch and Spike Jonze andshorts directed by or featuring well-known actors are among the biggest everline-up of titles in the upcoming 10th Palm Springs InternationalFestival Of Short Films.

A total of 308 short films, up 15% from last year andselected from more than 2,000 entries, have been corralled into 43 themedprogrammes of roughly 100 minutes each, covering such diverse topics as crimeand punishment, aboriginal peoples, pets, war, and games.

Famous Directors: Take One showcases the early shortfilmmaking forays of such luminaries of the silver screen as David Lynch withAmputee, Jane Campion's A Girl's Own Story, Spike Jonze's How They Get There,Francois Truffaut's Les Mistons, Martin Scorsese's The Big Shave, and TimBurton's Vincent.

Star Power offers a chance tosee Kathy Bates in The Ingrate, Julie Delpy in Notting Hill AnxietyFestival, and Darryl Hannah and Jeff Goldblum in Supermarket, directed byIlleana Douglas.

The opening night screening features award-winning live-action andanimated films such as Jonas Geirnaert's Flatlife, winner of the JuryGrand Prize at Cannes, and Andrea Arnold's Wasp, which was named BestLive Action Short at Toronto Worldwide Short Film Festival.

Five industry professionals will screen this year's short filmsselected for competition in nine categories including best animation, bestdocumentary, best live action, best of festival, and the future filmmakeraward.

First place winners will automatically qualify for considerationfor an Academy Award nomination.

Also included at the festival are seminars on various aspects offilmmaking and a masterclass on computer animation and high definitionfilmmaking with Zbigniew Rybczynski , whose animated short Tango won the Oscarin 1983.

In addition, the One On One programme offers filmmakers the chanceto engage agents, exhibitors, festival programmers and publicists in privateconversation.

"There was a staggering amount of exceptional worksubmitted this year," festival executive director Darryl Macdonald saidin a statement. "from the large number of comedies submitted, whichreflect the need to lighten up with the current political climate of thisworld, to the outstanding work submitted from film schools both here and abroadincluding the American Film Institute."

"The short film is still the entertainment format for thefuture of filmmakers around the world," director of short filmprogramming Helen du Toit added. "Short filmmakers have fewer commercialmotives, so it is easier for them to express and say what they want to say intheir films without having to be filtered or censored."

The festival runs from Aug31-Sept 6.