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.
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.