The Palm Springs International ShortFest, hailed by its presenters as North America’s largest festival and market for short films, presented its best-of-festival award and a $2,000 prize Sunday night to the Peruvian “Behind the Mirrors,” a 16-minute crime story by Julio O. Ramos set in a brothel.
The film was among 324 live action, animated and documentary shorts screened at the festival, where more than 3,000 titles were available in an accompanying market.
The festival’s grand jury award was given to the 11-minute American short “Paulie,” a look at a seventh-grade genius who takes matters into his own hands when a classroom bully beats him in an essay contest. Director Andrew Nackman received a Panavision camera package valued at $60,000.
Rajinder Sawhney won the future filmmaker and $2,000 for the British short “Khaama,” an eight-minute look at a pregnant Muslim woman in London.
The live-action audience award was presented to Holland’s “A Curious Conjunction of Coincidences” by Joost Reijmers, while the audience award for animation went to Ireland’s “The Boy in the Bubble” by Kealan O’Rourke. The documentary audience award was given to “Mr. Christmas” by America’s Nick Palmer.
Darryl Macdonald, the festival’s programming and executive director, said in a statement: “All in all, we’ve achieved everything we set out to accomplish with this year’s festival. I’m confident we’ve provided a fitting springboard for the astonishingly accomplished young filmmakers who participated.”