Aniston, Howard chill in P.S.


Actresses Jennifer Aniston and Bryce Dallas Howard will show off their directing skills at the 2007 Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films & Short Film Market, set for Aug. 23-29 at the Camelot Theatres in Palm Springs.

Aniston's short film, "Room 10," and Howard's "Orchids" are scheduled to screen at the fest, which, in its 13th year, will present 332 films, selected from more than 2,500 worldwide entries.

Other familiar names who will appear in some of the shorts on display include James Gandolfini, Louis Gossett Jr., Joe Mantegna and Steven R. McQueen in "Club Soda"; Patrick Stewart and Joanna Lumley in "The Audition"; Ron Livingston in "Life Happens"; Margaret Cho and Jane Lynch in "Love Is Love"; David Morse in "A.W.O.L."; Ron Silver and JoBeth Williams in "Call It Fiction"; and Wendie Malick in "Waiting for Yvette."

The opening-night program Aug. 23 will include such award-winning live-action and animated films as "Contact/Raak" from the Netherlands and "Everything Will Be OK" from the U.S.

The festival will showcase 54 world premieres, 12 North American premieres and 20 U.S. premieres, screened as part of 50 themed programs.

A jury will award prizes in nine categories. The festival also will present two special prizes: the Alexis Award -- named in honor of Alexis Echavarria, who died suddenly upon returning from volunteer work in Thailand two years ago just as the festival had accepted his film -- and the Hard C Hi Five to Lo Fi Award for best low-budget short will be presented by director Jason Reitman's production company Hard C Prods.