After screening 333 short films, the 2018 Palm Springs International ShortFest, the largest short film festival and only short film market in North America, announced its Festival award winners on Sunday, June 24, 2018. More than $87,500 in prizes, including $27,000 in cash awards were awarded in 21 categories.
“The award winners truly capture the amazing pool of talent and the incredible range of films found at the festival,” said Festival Director Lili Rodriguez. “We’re honored to witness and share such a skilled level of filmmaking and can’t wait to do it again next year.”
2018 Palm Springs International ShortFest Award Winners
Jury Awards and awards in the non-student and student competition categories were selected by ShortFest jury members Penelope Bartlett (Programmer for the Criterion Collection), Marc-André Grondin (Actor), Brian Hu (Artistic Director of Pacific Arts Movement, Presenter of the San Diego Asian Film Festival, Assistant Professor of TV, Film, and New Media at San Diego State University), Missy Laney (Director of Development at Adult Swim) and Ina Pira (Curator at Vimeo).
BEST OF FESTIVAL AWARD
Winner received $5,000 cash prize courtesy of the Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau. The winner of this award may be eligible to submit their film to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for Oscar® consideration.
Fauve (Canada), Jérémy Comte
Set in a surface mine, two boys sink into a seemingly innocent power game with Mother Nature as the sole observer.
BEST INTERNATIONAL SHORT
Winner received a $2,000 cash prize. Awarded to the best short produced outside of the U.S. or Canada,
Coyote (Switzerland), Lorenz Wunderle
The film shows a tragic coyote, who loses his family during an attack by wolves.
BEST NORTH AMERICAN SHORT
Winner received $1,000 and the use of a camera package valued at $60,000 courtesy of Panavision. Awarded to the best short produced in the U.S. or Canada.
Caroline (USA), Logan George, Celine Held
When plans fall through, a six-year-old is faced with a big responsibility on a hot Texas day.
NON-STUDENT COMPETITION AWARDS
All first place winners in the non-student categories received a cash award of $2,000 and may be eligible to submit their film to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for Oscar® consideration.
BEST ANIMATED SHORT
Nevada (USA), Emily Ann Hoffman
In this stop-motion animated comedy, a young couple’s romantic weekend getaway is interrupted by a birth control mishap.
BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT OVER 15 MINUTES
Shadow Animals (Sweden), Jerry Carlsson
Marall follows her parents to a party and they want her to behave. As the evening progresses she finds the adults’ behavior increasingly strange.
BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT 15 MINUTES AND UNDER
Fence (Kosovo/France), Lendita Zeqiraj
A chaotic moment in a family gathering of a woman with children and an unexpected visitor with his dog.
Special Mention: Nursey Rhymes (Australia), Tom Noakes – On the side of a rural highway, a bizarre encounter with a Metalhead takes a profound turn.
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT
Dulce (Colombia/USA), Guille Isa, Angello Faccini
In coastal Colombia, a mother teaches her daughter how to swim so that she may go to the mangroves and harvest the piangua shellfish with the other women in the village.
Special Mention: After/Life (USA), Puck Lo – In an Arizona desert, a dystopic collective nightmare unfolds where US domestic and foreign policies collide.
STUDENT COMPETITION AWARDS
All first place winners in these categories received a $500 cash prize.
BEST STUDENT ANIMATION
Perfect Town (Switzerland), Anaïs Voirol
In search of perfection a whole city obeys to selection. A constant struggle. Trying and trying again. Where is the difference between endurance and madness?
BEST STUDENT LIVE ACTION SHORT OVER 15 MINUTES
Satán (Switzerland/Mexico), Carlos Tapia González
Everyday, Tiago goes into his garden to feed the crocodile that killed his brother.
BEST STUDENT LIVE ACTION SHORT 15 MINUTES AND UNDER
Kira Burning (USA), Laurel Parmet
Teenage Kira attempts to take revenge after a heartbreaking betrayal by her ex-best friend.
BEST STUDENT DOCUMENTARY SHORT
Palenque (Colombia/USA), Sebastián Pinzón Silva
Guided by motifs of life and death, Palenque is an ode to a small town that has greatly contributed to the collective memory of Colombia: San Basilio de Palenque, the first town in the Americas to have broken free from European domination.
ALEXIS AWARD FOR BEST EMERGING STUDENT FILMMAKER
The Alexis Award was created in honor of Alexis Echavarria, whose talent as a budding filmmaker and gift for inspiring excellence among his fellow students were cut short suddenly in 2005 at age 16. This year two films were selected to receive the award, which is a cash prize of $500 each.
Imfura (Switzerland/Rwanda), Samuel Ishimwe
How can one get an idea of the issues connected with the ruined home of a family who is a victim of the Rwandan genocide? A young man returns to the village where his deceased mother was born. He seeks to adopt a bruised collective recollection. Intoned chants all represent voices of possible reconciliation.
Cross My Heart (USA/Jamaica), Sontenish Myers
An American teenage girl visits her family in Jamaica and uncovers a secret that changes the way she sees the people she loves. This film explores the culture of silence amongst women, the kinds of secrets we keep and who they’re actually protecting.
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT
Beneath the Ink (USA), Cy Dodson
In a time when society’s belief systems are seemingly changing, or even reverting back in time. One Ohio artist Billy Joe White is challenging his Appalachian region by saying: “bring me your mistakes”. Inspired by recent events, White and his tattoo shop are promoting a simple concept: ERASE THE HATE. Beneath the Ink is a timely look at hatred and racism in one Appalachian community and reveals heartfelt stories of change and redemption.
LIVE ACTION SHORT
Trois Pages (Canada), Roger Gariépy
An unassuming middle-aged accountant learns he has only weeks to live. Rather than tell everyone, Martin determines to learn the three pages of a Bach adagio for piano he’d abandoned as a child. That accomplished, he performs the piece for his wife and friends, completing his life and thanking those who brightened it along the way.
BEST ANIMATION SHORT
Bilby (USA), Pierre Perifel, Liron Topaz, JP Sans
In the deadly desert of Australia, a lonesome Bilby finds himself tied with a helpless baby bird.
BEST STUDENT SHORT
Untitled Short Film About White People (USA), Nicholas Colia
A Drumpf-era comedy about a female yuppie who overcompensates for her white guilt by aggressively trying to befriend the Indian woman who works at her local Brooklyn bodega. It doesn’t go great.
FUTURE FILMMAKER AWARD
Winner received a $2,000 cash prize. Awarded to a filmmaker whose work and vision point ot a bright and prospective career in cinema.
Mamartuile (Mexico), Alejandro Saevich
The president of Mexico spends his final days in office making plans for his future. Everything looks in order until an international conflict interrupts his pleasant rest.
Special Mention: Falling (France), Benjamin Vu – In the winter of 1994 in the French suburbs, Léo and Baptiste, two polar opposite students, meet up one evening to work on a school presentation.
VIMEO STAFF PICK AWARD
Films featured in competition are eligible for the Vimeo Staff Pick Award, which includes a $4,000 cash prize. The winning film will be released on Vimeo June 25, 2018.
Rewind Forward (Switzerland), Justin Stoneham
Reliving the past is sometimes the only way to move forward.
BRIDGING THE BORDERS AWARD PRESENTED BY CINEMA WITHOUT BORDERS
$2,500 courtesy of Go Energistics; Awarded by the Cinema Without Borders jury to the short that is most successful in bridging and connecting the people of our world closer together.
Mon Amour, Mon Ami (Italy/France), Adriano Valerio
Is it possible to stage a wedding with someone who really loves you?
The Last Refugees (USA/Jordan), Tanaz Eshaghian – This cinema vérité style documentary follows the Kalajis—originally from the besieged city of Aleppo —allowing for a peek into the lives of those who seek a new life in America. The viewer becomes immersed in this family’s journey as they travel from Jordan to their new home of Philadelphia.
Scaffold (Canada), Kazik Radwanksi – Recent immigrants to Canada, working on scaffolding break the routine of their job by observing the people in the the neighbourhood from a unique, precarious and ephemeral vantage point.
YOUTH JURY AWARD
Awarded by ShortFest youth juries composed of local students interested in cinema and the arts. Each winner received a $250 cash prize.
Kids’ Choice (Ages 13 and under) – $250
One Small Step (USA/China), Bobby Pontillas, Andrew Chesworth
Luna, a young Chinese American girl, dreams of becoming an astronaut. Supported by her humble father, Luna endeavors to make her dreams come true.
Young Cineastes (Ages 14-17) – $250
Sin Cielo (USA), Jianna Maarten
A modern day Romeo and Juliet story of two star crossed lovers along Mexico’s northern border where Dollars rule and girl’s bodies turn up mysteriously in the river or never at all.