Palm Springs International ShortFest Goes Virtual

Taylor Martinez

PALM SPRINGS (CNS) – The Palm Springs International ShortFest will be held virtually this year due to health concerns stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, organizers announced Thursday.

ShortFest, which is the largest film festival for short films in the United States, will still run from June 16-22, but with some modifications.

“So much of the ShortFest experience is rooted in physically coming together and it is painful that we will not have a chance to do so this year. But that doesn’t mean we can’t come together to recognize the amazing film submissions we received for the festival,” read a statement from organizers. “We firmly believe that the world needs art, and that we can and should provide a space to stay connected.”

ShortFest is a qualifying festival for the Academy Awards, Goya Awards and British Academy Film Awards, screening more than 300 films, which can run up to 40 minutes long in a variety of genres.

In the statement, the Palm Springs International Film Society, which organizes both ShortFest and the Palm Springs International Film Festival, cited efforts of “flattening the curve” by following health recommendations both at the local, county, state and federal levels aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus.

In early June, organizers plan to announce an official selection of films chosen from more than 6,000 submissions to be included in the festival. Some of those films will be available on the festival’s website for free viewing from June 16-22. During those same dates, film industry insiders will participate in virtual classes and panels, the film society said.

In late June, the winning films will be announced.

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