Palm Springs ShortFest Names 40 Films for Oscar-Qualifying Animation Competition

The 27th annual Palm Springs International ShortFest returns to hold all of its screenings in-theater at the Camelot Theatres (Palm Springs Cultural Center) from June 22-28. The festival will screen 49 curated programs showcasing 295 films, including 32 World Premieres, 13 International Premieres, 46 North American Premieres and 22 U.S. Premieres. More than 5,500 short films from 104 countries were submitted.

“As we collectively move toward this next stage together, we feel a strong sense of gratitude to share the 2021 edition of ShortFest in person,” said Artistic Director Lili Rodriguez. “At the center of our plans has been a commitment to this great community of storytellers and moviegoers, and we’re excited to make our return to the silver screen a safe and enjoyable one.”

Highlights of the Animation selection include buzzy new works like Joanna Quinn’s Affairs of the Art, Claude Cloutier’s Bad Seeds, Reza Riahi’s Navozande, the Musician or Them, a thesis film by up and coming Swiss animator Sunitha Sangaré making its international premiere at Palm Springs, as well as international award-winning pieces like Jean-François Lévesque’s I, Barnabé, Kristian Mercado Figueroa’s Nuevo Rico, Bastien Dubois’ Souvenir, Souvenir and Daria Kopiec’s Your Own Bullshit.

ShortFest Co-Directors of Programming Linton Melita and Sudeep Sharma said, “The entire programming team was blown away by the quality and quantity of amazing films made and submitted during these unprecedented times. We think this program represents the very best work of exciting, bold, and talented filmmakers from all over the world, and we can’t wait to celebrate them by sharing their films in a theater with an in-person audience!”

Juried award winners will be announced on Sunday, June 27 from the official selection, presenting them with awards and cash prizes worth $25,000 including five Academy Award qualifying awards (among them, Best Animated Short). Over the course of 26 years, the festival has presented over 100 films that have gone on to receive Academy Award nominations. The festival also features a Best Student Animated Short category.


This year’s Animation selections are:

  • À La Mode (France) Director: Jean Lecointre
  • Affairs of the Art (U.K./Canada) Director: Joanna Quinn
  • After-life Service (France) Directors: Coline César, Florent Chaput, Steven Lecomte, Claire Maury, Emilie Milcent, Sophie Payan
  • All Those Sensations in My Belly (Croatia/Portugal) Director: Marko Dješka (Documentary)
  • Are You Still Watching? (Australia) Directors: Tali Polichtuk, Alex Cardy, Kitty Chrystal
  • Bad Seeds (Canada) Director: Claude Cloutier (U.S. Premiere)
Bad Seeds
Bad Seeds
  • Bearly (U.S.A.) Director: Cherry Zhou
  • BoxBalet (Russia) Director: Anton Dyakov
  • Cockpera (Croatia) Director: Kata Gugić
  • Colorful (South Korea) Directors: Jae Hyeon Cha, Byeong Hyeon Hwang
  • Friend of a Friend (France) Director: Zachary Zezima
  • Ghost Dogs (U.S.A.) Director: Joe Cappa
  • Good Night Little Tomato (France) Director: Cyprien Nozières (North American Premiere)
Good Night Little Tomato
Good Night Little Tomato
  • Heart of Gold (France) Director: Simon Filliot
  • Horacio (France) Director: Caroline Cherrier
  • I, Barnabé (Canada) Director: Jean-François Lévesque
  • I’m Here (Poland) Director: Julia Orlik
  • It’s All the Salt’s Fault (Colombia) Director: María Cristina Pérez González (U.S. Premiere)
  • Love Is Just a Death Away (Czech Republic) Director: Bára Anna Stejskalová
  • Millennial Prince (U.S.A.) Director: Julie Fliegenspan
  • Misery Loves Company (South Korea/U.S.A.) Director: Sasha Lee
  • Navozande, the Musician (France) Director: Reza Riahi
  • Night Bus (Taiwan) Director: Joe Chan (U.S. Premiere)
  • Nuevo Rico (U.S.A.) Director: Kristian Mercado Figueroa
  • Our Bed Is Green (U.S.A.) Director: Maggie Brennan
  • Our Mine (U.S.A.) Director: Shayna Strype (California Premiere)
  • Pigeon (South Korea/U.S.A.) Director: Sang Joon Kim (North American Premiere)
  • Polka-Dot Boy (France) Director: Sarina Nihei
  • Postpartum (Germany) Director: Henriette Rietz
  • Self Scratch (France) Director: Chenghua Yang (North American Premiere)
  • Souvenir Souvenir (France) Director: Bastien Dubois (Documentary)
  • Step into the River (China/France) Director: Weijia Ma
  • A Stone in the Shoe (France/Switzerland) Director: Eric Montchaud (North American Premiere)
  • Them (Switzerland) Director: Sunitha Sangaré (International Premiere)
  • The Train Driver (Germany) Directors: Christian Wittmoser, Zuniel Kim (Documentary, North American Premiere)
The Train Driver
The Train Driver
  • Tulip (U.S.A.) Director: Andrea Love, Phoebe Wahl
  • The Walk (Canada) Director: Yoakim Bélanger (U.S. Premiere)
  • We Have One Heart (Poland) Director: Katarzyna Warzecha (Documentary)
  • What Resonates in Silence (France) Director: Marine Blin
  • Your Own Bullshit (Poland) Director: Daria Kopiec

The ShortFest Forum will also take place from June 22-28, with virtual classes and panels featuring industry representatives, filmmakers and additional guests. ShortFest remains dedicated to providing a space to facilitate connections between creators, industry, and festival audiences. This year’s panels will cover a wide range of topics including building an inclusive set, co-productions and international collaborations, shorts distribution, the documentary landscape, feature distribution, festival strategy, feature film financing, festival programming, pitching, social change and impact filmmaking, transitioning from shorts to features, working with actors, and private roundtables with agents, managers and labs, grants and artist development. A list of industry participants will be announced closer to the event. ShortFest filmmakers will have priority access to the ShortFest Forum. Seven of the panels will be available for the general public, with pre-registration required. Registrations open today.

The complete film line-up and schedule is available at

Self Scratch
Self Scratch


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