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The 13th Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films

The 13th Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films & Market Report
Aug. 23rd – 29th Palm Spring, U.S.A
Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia
Programming Manager
Eri Taguchi

“Love & War”

This was my third consecutive year attending the Palm Springs International Short Film Festival. I have brought back this report from the middle of the desert and I am still wrapped in an air of excitement from the festival.

The festival kicked off with a screening of short films that won awards at various festivals around the world. This is when a brief reunion took place. Within one of the programs was a Swedish film called “Love and War”, a film we screened at SSFF&ASIA 2007 which received rave reviews from the audience. (A heartwarming love story about a rabbit and a bear torn apart by war. Won the Best Animated Short Award at LA Film Festival). I also got to meet the director, which was an unexpected surprise! I met a lot of filmmakers and it’s a moment like this that makes me think, “I’m so glad I work at a film festival.”

Opening Party

This year’s programs were packed with a variety of themes-strange couples, small small world and many others. These amusing themes made up the 332 films that were screened. The way in which the programs were divided by themes was very unique, even compared to many of the other festivals I’ve attended. For example, at SSFF & ASIA we try to balance each program according to genre, country of production and running time. It is always a challenge for the programming team to decide how to arrange the films within the programs.

Audiences waiting for the screening

During the weekend the venue was extremely packed. Tickets were all sold out which annoyed some audience members. After the screening, the attending filmmakers participated in a Q&A session, answering questions from the eager and curious audience. An impressive number of filmmakers attended the festival with at least three filmmakers in each program-needless to say the Q&A sessions were a great success!

Panel discussions

One of the reasons why so many filmmakers are drawn to Palm Springs International Short Film Festival is because of the daily workshops and seminars they host. The topics ranged from “How to Advertise for Your Film”, “Short Film Business Opportunities with I-Tunes, Cell Phones and Internet”, “What Film Festival Organizers from Around the World Look For ” and other panels that focus on current businesses. Many of the workshops were directed towards creators and had many attending filmmakers in awe.


Another main feature of this film festival was a film market. This was where distributors and film festival programmers gathered hoping to find excellent short films. Over 5000 films, which were submitted to the festival, were showcased at the booths in addition to those that were screened. Filmmakers were also able to promote their films with postcards and posters in the venue.

Filmmakers brought their promotional postcards.

Every year, the locals come out to support this festival, and this is without a doubt its main driving force. In addition, what makes Palm Springs International Short Film Festival so special is the presence filmmakers who gather from all over the world. “A festival formed by filmmakers with filmmakers playing a leading role”...this phrase perfectly sums up this festival. I wonder what kind of festival the filmmakers will unfold next year...I can’t wait to find out!