PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -- Now in its 18th year, the Palm Springs International ShortFest is set to take over the desert town once again from June 19 – 25. Festival Director Darryl Macdonald said the festival gives a good overview of international film, and announced Gus Van Sant as this year’s official Spirit of Short Film Award winner.
“Gus Van Sant is coming to the festival for a special afternoon program,” Macdonald said. “We’ll be doing an intimate interview with him on stage and showing a number of his short films.” The Van Sant program, which Macdonald will moderate, is June 23. James Franco was last year’s honoree.
“It’s a breeding ground and launch pad for new talent,” Macdonald said of the festival, which compliments their International Film Festival in January. “I would hope that a lot of [the] filmmakers that the ShortFest helps to launch into a career in filmmaking, go on to become friends of the organization and return with future films.”
One example, Macdonald said, is British filmmaker Andrea Arnold. Arnold’s short film, “Wasp,” won Best of the Festival in Palm Springs in 2003 and later went on to win an Academy Award. Arnold has since returned to Palm Springs with two of her full-length feature films. Her latest feature is 2011’s “Wuthering Heights.”
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