“The Old Young Crow,” an American/Japanese short film directed by Liam LoPinto, took top honors at the Palm Springs International ShortFest, winning the Best of the Festival Award along with a cash prize of $5,000, the festival announced Sunday.
The win makes LoPinto’s film one of five at the festival that now qualify for the 2024 Academy Awards.
Other Oscars-qualifying short films from the Palm Springs ShortFest include: Lithuania’s “Way Better,” the Best Animated Short winner from director Skirmanta Jakaitė; China’s “Will You Look at Me,” director Shuli Huang’s Best Documentary Short winner; the French entry “Sèt Lam,” directed by Vincent Fontano, won Best Live Action Short over 15 minutes; and Spain’s “Mystic Tiger,” winner of Best Live Action Short under 15 minutes by director Marc Martínez.
The winners received a total of $25,000 in prizes in categories judged by industry luminaries, festival organizers and journalists. Read on for the complete list of winners.
Oscar Qualifying Awards
Best of the Festival Award – Winner received $5,000 cash prize courtesy of Harold Matzner, Palm Springs International Film Society’s Immediate Past Chairman
Jury: Angel An (VP of Acquisitions, Roadside Attractions); Kiva Reardon (Vice President of Film, PASTEL); Clay Pruitt (Head of Programming, Impact Distribution, Impact Distribution, Seed&Spark)
Winner: The Old Young Crow (Japan/USA), Directed by Liam LoPinto
Special Mention: 48 Hours (Iran), Directed by Azadeh MoussaviSpecial Mention: Away (Hungary/Belgium/Portugal), Directed by Ruslan Fedotow
Best Animated Short – Winner received a $1,000 cash prize.
Jury: Geoff Marslett (Animator/Director/Writer/Producer); Irene Soriano (Writer/Film Curator); Gabe Van Amburgh (Film Programmer and Senior Manager, SXSW)
Winner: Way Better (Lithuania), Directed by Skirmanta Jakaitė
Special Mention: Ashkaska (Spain/Argentina), Directed by Lara Maltz
Special Mention: Eeva (Croatia/Estonia), Directed by Lucija Mrzljak and Morten Tšinakov
Best Documentary Short – Winner received a $1,000 cash prize.
Jury: Eugene Yi (Director, “Free Chol Soo Lee”); Maria Santos (Funds Program Officer, International Documentary Association); Opal H. Bennett (Producer, American Documentary | POV Shorts)
Winner: Will You Look At Me (China), Directed by Shuli Huang
Special Mention: Birdsong (UK/Laos), Directed by Omi Zola Gupta and Sparsh Ahuja
Best Live-Action Short Over 15 Minutes – Winner received a $1,000 cash prize.
Jury: Colin West (Writer/Director, Linoleum); Kate Mason (Filmmaker); Rosa Morales (Artist Development Associate Manager: Narrative Programs, SFFilm)
Winner: Sèt Lam (France), Directed by Vincent Fontano
Special Mention for Performance: Brenda Cullerton in Endless Sea (USA), Directed by Sam Shainberg
Special Mention: The Newt Congress (Switzerland/Germany), Directed by Matthias Sahil and Immanuel Esser
Best Live-Action Short 15 Minutes and Under – Winner received a $1,000 cash prize.
Jury: Albert Lee (Motion Picture Literary Agent, CAA); Liz Cardenas (Producer / Filmmaker, Ten to the Six Pictures); Lizzie Shapiro (Producer, The Space Program)
Winner: Mystic Tiger (Spain), Directed by Marc Martínez
Special Mentions: I Have No Legs, and I Must Run (China), Directed by Yue Li
Student Short Awards:
Best Student Animated Short & Best Student International Short – Each winner received a $1,000 cash prize.
Jury: Christine Davila (Head of Development and Production, Ojalá); Florentina Almonte (Content Acquisitions Executive at Shorts TV International); Lauren Lopez de Victoria (Film Producer)
Student Animated Short
Winner: The Rainbow Dung Beetle (USA), Directed by Ellen Moway and Cole Dupzyk
Student International Short
Winner: A Dead Marriage (Poland), Directed by Michel Toczek
Special Mention: Between Her (Israel), Directed by Bar Cohen
Best Student U.S. Short & Best Student Documentary Short – Winner received a $1,000 cash prize.
Jury: Parker Hill (Writer/Director, Cusp); Francis Román (Senior Film & TV Festival Programming Manager and Leads, Shorts Programming at SXSW); Lauren Shelton (Ley Line Film Group)
Student U.S. Short
Winner: SULAM (Ladder) (USA), Directed by Noam Argov
Special Mention: Invasive Species (USA), Directed by Annie Ning
Student Documentary Short
Winner: Kaamoksen Valossa (Finland), Directed by Niko Väistö
Special Mention: Still Waters (USA), Directed by Aurora Brachman
Special Jury Awards:
Best International Short – Winner received a $1,000 cash prize.
Jury: Matthew Takata (Assistant Director, Feature Film Program’s international work at the Sundance Institute); Valerie Castillo-Martinez (Filmmaker); Ugo Obioha (Agent, UTA)
Winner: Soleil de nuit (Canada), Directed by Fernando López and Maria Camila Arias
Special Mention: Infantry (Spain), Directed by Marc Martínez
Special Mention: Nocturnal Burger (India/USA), Directed by Reema Maya
Best U.S. Short – Winner received a $1,000 cash prize.
Jury: Aitch Alberto (Writer/Director and NYT Best-Selling Author); Arbi Pedrossian (VP, 20th Digital Studio); Kristen Lopez (Film Editor, The Wrap)
Winner: Closing Dynasty (USA), Directed by Lloyd Lee Choi
Best Comedy Short – Winner received a $1,000 cash prize.
Jury: Fawzia Mirza (Filmmaker, Signature Move); Katie White (Producer, Best Summer Ever); Kyle Jaeger (Manager, 2AM)
Winner: Flail (USA), Directed by Ben Gauthier
Special Mention: Pennies From Heaven (USA), Directed by Sandy Hong
Best LGBT+ Short – Winners each received a $500 cash prize.
Jury: Apoorva Charan (Producer, Joyland); Andrew Carlberg (Producer, Skin); Sam Feder (Filmmaker)
Winner: Blond Night (Canada), Directed by Gabrielle Demers
Winner: Burial of Life as a Young Girl (France), Directed by Maïté Sonnet
Special Mention: An Avocado Pit (Portugal), Directed by Ary Zara
Best Midnight Short – Winner received a $1,000 cash prize.
Jury: Nick Romano (Creative Executive, 18hz); Sarah Lash (Senior Director, Acquisitions at Condé Nast Entertainment); Coral Wright (Director for The Spectacle TV Team at Netflix)
Winner: Nian (USA), Directed by Michelle Krusiec
Special Mention: Animal Transport (Argentina), Directed by Iván Bustinduy
Special Mention for Performance: Raphaël Quenard in Meantime (France), Directed by Guillaume Scaillet
Mozaik Bridging the Borders Award – Winner received a $1,500 cash prize.
Jury: Keely Badger; Arameh Etemadi; Vladek Juszkiewicz; Deborah Kolar; Vera Mijojlić; Chale Nafus; Ramin Niami; Bijan Tehrani.
Winner: Fata Morgana (Germany/Syria), Directed by Daood Alabdulaa
Special Mention: Border Conversations (Germany), Directed by Jonathan Brunner
Special Mention: I See Them Bloom (Spain), Directed by Nikita Gibalenko
Special Mention: The Kidnapping of the Bride (Germany), Directed by Sophia Mocorrea
Local Jury Award – Winner received a $1,000 cash prize.
Jury: Diana Acosta; Marcos Garcia; Joan Heeter; Athalie LaPamuk; Kathy Kaye Retardo
Winner: Under G-d (USA), Directed by Paula Eiselt
Special Mention: Teacups (Australia/Ireland), Directed by Alec Green and Finbar Watson
Young Cineastes Award – Winner received a $1,000 cash prize.
Winner: We Were Meant To (USA), Directed by Tari Wariebi
Special Mention: Amara and Ry’Shauna (USA), Directed by Kate Cohen and A.D. Freese
Special Mention: Ivalu (Greenland/Denmark), Directed by Anders Walter and Pipaluk K Jørgensen
Kids’ Choice Award – Winners each received a $500 cash prize.
Winner: Canary (Canada), Directed by Pierre-Hugues Dallaire and Benoit Therriault
Winner: Mushka (USA), Directed by Andreas Deja