Palm Springs Film Society announced their plans for Palm Springs International Film Festival ShortFest 2020 taking place in June in a recent update from Artistic Director Lili Rodriguez and Managing Director Rhea Lewis-Woodson. Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, an in-person festival will not take place in June, however, official selected films will screen on the festival’s website for free from June 16 to 22, 2020.
In its continued support of independent filmmaking, the festival will still hand out awards and cash prizes worth $25,000 including five Academy Award® qualifying awards; and return all filmmaker submission fees.
Read the letter from Artistic Director Lili Rodriguez and Managing Director Rhea Lewis-Woodson:
Dear ShortFest Community,
For the last 25 years, we have come together under the Palm Springs sun to celebrate the world of short films, the filmmakers who work in the form, and the industry and audience who support them. It is a highlight in our organization’s year, an event we look forward to mounting again as soon as it wraps up.
As we face these challenging and unprecedented times caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic, our organization is fully committed to doing our part in flattening the curve by following the law and guidelines set by the CDC, State of California, Riverside County and the City of Palm Springs. Based on this, we will not host an in-person festival this June.
So much of the ShortFest experience is rooted in physically coming together and it is painful that we will not have a chance to do so this year. But that doesn’t mean we can’t come together to recognize the amazing film submissions we received for the festival. We firmly believe that the world needs art, and that we can and should provide a space to stay connected.
ShortFest 2020 will look different from previous editions. Here’s what we have planned:
1. In early June, we will announce an Official Selection, curated from the more than 6,000 submissions received this season. A selection of these films will be available for screening on our website for free from June 16-22, 2020 (the original dates of the festival).
2. Virtual classes and panels with industry guests will be available from June 16-22, 2020 as part of the ShortFest Forum.
3. In late June, we will announce the winners from our curated line-up presenting them with awards and cash prizes worth $25,000 including five Academy Award® qualifying awards.
4. We will be returning all submission fees to FilmFreeway who will issue full refunds or credit to filmmakers.
While it may look different, ShortFest remains dedicated to providing a space to facilitate connections between creators, industry, and our amazing audience. We look forward to engaging with you more in June.
Lili Rodriguez, Artistic Director and Rhea Lewis-Woodson, Managing Director