Palm Springs ShortFest Announces Programs, Participants, and Jury for 30th Edition

Short Summary:

The 30th Palm Springs International ShortFest, US, revealed its Forum programs, participants, and jury for 2024. The Forum will occur June 21-23 at the Renaissance Hotel Palm Springs, featuring panels and events with industry insiders. Screenings run June 18-24 at Regal Palm Springs. Juried awards will be announced on June 23.

The Palm Springs International ShortFest, now in its 30th year, has announced its extensive lineup of programs, participants, and jury members for the 2024 Forum. The festival, a significant event in the short film community, will take place from June 18 to June 24 at the Regal Palm Springs, with the Forum scheduled for June 21-23 at the Renaissance Hotel Palm Springs. The Forum, a staple of the festival, will feature a series of engaging panels, roundtables, and interactive events.

One of the highlight panels, "Short to Feature," scheduled for June 21 at 10:00 a.m., will provide insights from seasoned filmmakers on transitioning from short films to features. Panelists include Jack Begert, Laura Moss, Pablo Feldman, Sean Wang, and Sophia Sabella.

The "Ask Me Anything: Festivals" panel, a favorite among attendees, will follow at 11:30 a.m. This session will allow participants to engage directly with festival experts and programmers such as Derek Horne, Diana Cadavid, Gabe Van Amburgh, Jean Anne Lauer, and Katie Bignell.

In the afternoon, the "How to Build a Career in the Film Industry" panel will discuss the evolving landscape of the film industry. Notable speakers include Amman Abbasi, Ina Pira, Katie White, and Sam Bisbee, moderated by Variety's Katcy Stephan.

Another anticipated session is "Ask Me Anything: Financing Films," set for 2:30 p.m. This panel will feature Helena Sardinha, Monique Avila, Olivia Mascheroni, Sarah Winshall, and Sav Rodgers, who will share their expertise on securing funding for films.

On June 22, the "Pitch Perfect Masterclass" will provide aspiring filmmakers with essential tips for pitching their projects. Experts like Constanza Castro, Diego Najera, Domenica Castro, and Emily Korteweg will offer feedback on pre-submitted pitches.

The One-on-One sessions, exclusive to filmmakers, offer invaluable face-to-face meetings with industry executives and established filmmakers, providing personalized advice and mentorship.

The festival will culminate in the announcement of the juried award winners on June 23. The awards include Academy Award® qualifying honors and several special jury awards. This year’s jury members comprise a diverse group of industry professionals, including Monique Avila, Tracey Lincoln, Sudeep Sharma, David Ansen, Katie Bignell, and many others.

For those interested in attending, pre-registration for the Forum is required and open until June 13. This year's ShortFest promises to be a vital networking and learning opportunity for filmmakers at all stages of their careers.

For any questions regarding the Forum, participants can reach out via

List of Juried Award Categories and Jury Members:

  • Best of the Festival Award:
    • Monique Avila, Manager, Sundance Institute
    • Tracey Lincoln, VP, Community & Brand Partnerships at Imagine Entertainment
    • Sudeep Sharma, Programmer, Sundance Film Festival
  • Best Animated Short:
    • David Ansen, Film Critic/Lead Programmer
    • Katie Bignell, Founder, Festival Formula
    • Dea Vazquez, Associate Director, Fiction Programs
  • Best Documentary Short:
    • Sam Bisbee, Producer, Park Pictures
    • Larry Laboe, Co-Founder and Executive Director, NFMLA
    • Sav Rodgers, Marketing Director, Seed & Spark
  • Best Live-Action Short Over 15 Minutes:
    • Rachel Lambert, Director, Sometimes I Think About Dying
    • Peryn Reeves-Darby, Manager, Film Development & Production, Fifth Season
    • Katcy Stephan, Film Reporter, Variety
  • Best Live-Action Short 15 Minutes & Under:
    • Kate Chamuris, Producer
    • Branton Choi, Producer, AGBO Films
    • Olivia Mascheroni, Verve Ventures Agent, Verve Talent and Literary Agency
  • Best International Short:
    • Amman Abbasi, Director, Yasmeen’s Element
    • Satinder Chhokar, Finance and Sales, 2AM
    • Diego Nájera, Director, Narrative Film, Participant
  • Best U.S. Short:
    • Lamar Chase, SVP, Sony Pictures Television
    • Kara Durrett, President, Pinky Promise Films
    • Evan O'Brien, Company Coordinator, Neon
  • Best Comedy Short:
    • José Acevedo, Producer, Brooklyn Comedy Collective
    • Nicholas Ducassi, Audience Engagement Editor, Los Angeles Times
    • Ahbra Perry, Director, OTT Channels, Drafthouse Films/Giant Pictures
  • Best LGBTQ+ Short:
    • Jenna Dufton, Director of Festival Programming, Inside Out
    • Sam Intili, Head of Creative, Kindred Spirit
    • Nick McCarthy, Director of Programming, NewFest
  • Best Midnight Short:
    • Sujata Day, Director and Actress
    • Alison Foreman, Features Writer, IndieWire
    • Jean Anne Lauer, Director of Short Film Programming, Fantastic Fest
    • Laura Moss, Director, Birth/Rebirth
  • Best Student Animated Short & Best Student International Short:
    • Jack Begert, Director, Little Death
    • Doménica Castro, Co-Founder, 271 Films
    • Graciela Garcia, Exec, Mgmt, Cinetic Media
  • Best Student Documentary & Best Student U.S. Short:
    • Constanza Castro, Co-Founder, 271 Films
    • Shams Mohajerani, Manager/Producer, 75East
    • Helena Sardinha, Producer
  • Bridging the Borders Award:
    • Keely Badger, Executive Director, MOZAIK Philanthropy
    • Susan Morgan Cooper, Filmmaker
    • Alberto Di Mauro, Representative, ISSNAF
    • Vladek Juszkiewicz, Director, Polish Film Festival Los Angeles
    • Yegane Moghaddam, Filmmaker, Animator, and Illustrator
    • Chale Nafus, Board Member, Austin Film Society and OUTsider Fest
    • Rachel O'Meara, Actress
    • Bijan Tehrani, Editor in Chief, Cinema Without Borders and President, Cinema Without Borders Foundation