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More than 300 Films Vie for Four Oscar-Qualifying Spots at 20th Palm Springs Shortfest

Photo of Jacob Combs By Jacob Combs | Thompson on Hollywood June 5, 2014 at 1:25PM

The Palm Springs International Shortfest is a big deal: one of only 70 or so Oscar-qualifying festivals for shorts, it qualifies the first-place winners of its four competitions to compete for the Academy Award; only the sprawling Los Angeles Film Festival qualifies more for Oscar contention.
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A historic photo of the original 625-seat Camelot Theatre in Palm Springs.
A historic photo of the original 625-seat Camelot Theatre in Palm Springs.

The Palm Springs International Shortfest is a big deal: one of only 70 or so Oscar-qualifying festivals for shorts, it qualifies the first-place winners of its four competitions to compete for the Academy Award; only the sprawling Los Angeles Film Festival qualifies more for Oscar contention.

This year's 20th anniversary slate includes 330 films, among them 84 world premieres, 71 North American premieres and 22 U.S. premieres.  Fifty-four countries from around the globe will be represented at this year's Shortfest, which will take place at the Camelot Theatres from June 17-23.

"This 20th anniversary edition of Palm Springs ShortFest is the year of 'more'," Festival Director Kathleen McInnis said in a statement.  "We saw stronger work from all our submissions, as well as a shift in storytelling—away from the angst-ridden drama of the past few years, and more towards hopefulness and sheer fun. There are more high profile actors lending their weight to the short films in our program, which speaks directly to both the quality of filmmaker and filmmaking."

Some highlights of this year's lineup include stars such as Sally Hawkins, Jim Broadbent, Nick Offerman, Ioan Gruffudd, Sophia Loren, Oscar Isaac and Danny DeVito, and well as directing turns from Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rose McGowan, Michael Urie and Taylor Kitsch.  Entrants will be competing for more than $115,000 in prizes--and, of course, one of the four coveted spots for Oscar consideration.

The festival's complete line-up will be posted on its website on June 8, and tickets will go on sale June 10.

This article is related to: Palm Springs International Film Festival , Oscars, Shorts, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Taylor Kitsch, Oscar Isaac, Danny DeVito, Nick Offerman, Jim Broadbent, Sally Hawkins


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.