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Palm Springs ShortFest: Bryce Dallas Howard’s ‘Solemates,’ ‘Virunga’ Director’s Latest Added to Online Category

Select films will play on festival website, culminating in Online Audience Award on closing night in June

The Palm Springs International ShortFest and Short Film Market has announced the first 13 films that will comprise the 2015 ShortFest Online Film Festival.

“Solemates,” directed by “Jurassic World”‘s Bryce Dallas Howard, and “We Are Fire,” Orlando von Einsiedel’s follow-up to his Oscar-nominated Netflix documentary “Virunga,” lead the selection.

The films will play on the festival’s website beginning Tuesday, then open to online votes from June 9-20, culminating in a “ShortFest Online Audience Award” to be announced at the festival’s awards ceremony on closing night.

“The online world has become an increasingly important avenue for short filmmakers in terms of exposing their work to a wider audience. While the best way to appreciate a film – whether short or feature length – remains seeing it on a large screen with a rapt audience, our commitment to providing a launching pad for emerging filmmakers is not limited to theatrical screenings,” festival director Darryl Macdonald said.

The films selected for the ShortFest Online Film Festival include:

“Animator vs. Animation IV” (USA): A stick figure goes to war with his maker. Inventive and compulsively watchable, this is the continuation of a series that first went viral on the web in 2006. Director: Alan Becker.

“The Deadman” (Peru): A young man who everyone believes is dead returns to his parent’s house after seven years, followed shortly by two “detectives”… Director: Franco Finocchiaro. Cast: Miguel Iza, Hernan Romero, Ana Cecilia Natteri, Nicolas Galindo and Renato Rueda.

“Elgin Park” (USA): The story of the ban behind Elgin Park, a fictional 50s any town USA created entirely through miniatures and still photography. Director: Danny Yourd. Cast: Michael Paul Smith (as himself).

“Evil Mexican Child” (Mexico): The drawings of a seemingly sweet 4 year old Mexican boy wreak havoc on those depicted. When his mother realizes his father has a mistress, she suddenly is more supportive of his burgeoning talent. Director: Michael Noonan. Cast: Xochitl Hernàndez, Nyno Bernal, Anahi Davila and Max De La Rosa.

“The Evolution of an Artist” // “Thom Jones” (USA):  Thom Jones doesn’t describe himself as a “designer” (except once in a while when he’s drunk), but he’s most certainly an artist – with spray paint, with wood and with motorcycle parts. Director: Craig Brooks. Cast: Thom Jones.

“Milk!” (UK): Two lactose-craving brothers will stop at nothing to get their daily dose of milk… Director: Ben Mallaby. Cast: Toby Williams and Paul F Taylor.

“NYC Life: Narrated by Dorvid Attenborough” (USA): Special measures are called for when trying to find a mate in NYC… Director: Michael Slavens. Cast: David Friedlander, Marie Smith, Mike Rosengarten, Anna Elizabeth, Geoffrey Countryman, Shaun Ahuja, Tyler Jakes, Tiffany Marie Sparks, Kristen Dausch, Christina Toth, Alexandre F. Charlebois, Bianca Boragi, Timothy Hull and Jack and Milo Uhrmacher.

“Russian Roulette” (UK):  Lucy, lonely and lovelorn, meets a cosmonaut on Chat Roulette that may be the answer to her dreams… Director: Ben Aston. Cast: Bec Hill and Stewart Lockwood.

“Samuel-613” (UK): An angry young Hasidic man forgoes his controlling father in pursuit of a more seductive life in Eastern London. But the grass is not always greener on the other side of the cultural divide… Director: Billy Lumby. Cast: Theo Barklem-Biggs.

“solemates” (USA):  The story of love and family…as seen from a shoe’s perspective. Director: Bryce Dallas Howard. Cast: Seth Gabel, Theo Howard Gabel, Beatrice Howard, Bryce Dallas Howard, Judy Howard, Rance Howard.

“Somewhere in Palm Springs” (USA):  Shag-style animated tale about three gay men and their girl friend hanging out at a hotel pool, talking shit in Palm Springs. Director: Nate Clark. Cast: Nate Clark, Allen Loeb, Jennie Pierson, Drew Tarver and Jimmy Fowlie.

“This Dynamic Opportunity” (USA): A not very good salesman meets an equally odd client from the internet to sell his new toothpaste brand. Director: Matt Mays. Cast: Tony Lewellen and Mike Betette.

“We Are Fire” (India): Stunning documentary about a group of women (the ‘Gulabi Gang’) in red saris who join forces to help other women who have been oppressed or suffered wrongdoing in India. Director: Orlando Von Einsiedel. Cast: Champa Pal and Sampat Pal.