Palm Springs shorts fest feeling 'Soft'

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Simon Ellis' "Soft," a film about a father who encounters a group of teenage thugs, was presented the Best of Festival Award at the 2007 Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films & Short Film Market, which concluded Wednesday.

The winners, chosen from 322 short films that screened in competition, were announced Tuesday at the awards presentation at the Camelot Theatre in Palm Springs.

Jury awards also went to Dee Rees' "Pariah," winner of the Future Filmmaker Award, and Moon Molson's "Pop Foul," winner of the Panavision Grand Jury Award.

The Audience Awards winners were Stewart Schill's "I Hate Musicals," favorite live-action short; Cynthia Wade's "Freeheld," favorite documentary short; and Zeth Willie's "The Needful Head," favorite animation short.

The jury category award winners are:

Best live action under 15 minutes: Hanro Smitsman's "Contact/Raak," first place; and Erez Tadmor and Guy Nattiv's "Offside," second place.

Best live action over 15 minutes: Daniel Barber's "The Tonto Woman," first; John Arlotto's "Deface," second.

Best animation: Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski's "Madame Tutli-Putli," first; Miguel Anaya's "Love at First Sight," second.

Best documentary: Wade's "Freeheld," first; Tim Sternberg's "Salim Baba," second.

In the student categories, the winners were:

Best student live action under 15 minutes: Vineet Dewan's "Clear Cut, Simple," first; Amy Gebhardt's "Pleasance," second.

Best student live action over 15 minutes: Rees' "Pariah," first; Grant Greenberg's "Cricket Head," second.

Best student animation: Willie's "The Needful Head," first; Sarah Orenstein's "Windows Masks Doors," second.

Best student documentary: Peter Jordan and John Kane's "Left in Baghdad," first; J.J. Adler's "Unattached," second.

Kodak Award for best student cinematography: Andrew McLeod, "Pleasance," first; Carlos Davis Colin Calderon, "If Eyes Can't See," second.

The Alexis Award for Best Emerging Student Filmmaker went to Greenberg's "Cricket Head." The Hard C Hi Five to Lo-Fi Award for best low-budget short went to Jonah Bekhor and Zach Math's "Egg Love." The Cinema Without Borders Best International Film Award went to Michaela Kezele's "Milan."
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