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Though it’s not holding a physical event, the Palm Springs International ShortFest will continue in a digital version, with 332 short films selected. The fest will also offer a selection of its programming to screen online for free beginning June 16 and running through June 22.
Tribeca, SXSW and several other festivals have taken similar initiatives to screen a variety of their festival programming for free via online platforms like Amazon and YouTube, after the coronavirus pandemic forced the fests to cancel or postpone their in-person programming.
“We’re proud to share all the work filmmakers have put into making their films and all of the work our staff has put into making ShortFest happen,” said artistic sirector Lili Rodriguez. “No one ever imagines launching a film festival during a pandemic, let alone launching one during such politically charged and urgent times. We remain firm believers that movies are empathy machines and stay committed to sharing cinema from different parts of the world, from different and diverse perspectives.”
“We are thrilled to be able to mount ShortFest virtually during these challenging times,” said ShortFest directors of programming Linton Melita and Sudeep Sharma. “Although it is a shame we cannot welcome audiences in person later this month, it is no small consolation to have the privilege to share the work of these incredible filmmakers in what we feel might be the best lineup the festival has ever had.”
Award winners from the fest’s official selection will be announced Sunday, June 21, with prizes including five Academy Award-qualifying awards. It was announced June 15 that the Oscars will be pushed back to April 25, with the eligibility period extended from Dec. 31, 2020, to Feb. 28, 2021.
Find the festival’s full line-up here.
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