Posted on August 26, 2018

This summer, our shorts programmers, Brennan Tilley and Karilynn Thompson, visited the Palms Springs Shortsfest to see some of the best up-and-coming short films and filmmakers from around the world. Here they recount their experience, just in time for the release of our shorts lineup


Visiting the largest North American film festival dedicated to short film was an incredible experience!  Featuring over 300 films, Palm Springs ShortFest holds industry workshops specific to short film, and provides a genuine and open environment for filmmakers to promote their craft. 

Palm Springs is located just two hours from LA, making it a great place for filmmakers to connect with Hollywood industry. With a daily temperature of 45C, the festival is also a great place to slip away to a dark air-conditioned movie theatre. 

While 75% of the short films programmed at Calgary’s festival this year are from paid submissions, traveling to festivals allows festival programmers to watch films, meet filmmakers and other programmers, and spread the word about Calgary’s festival.

We are showcasing some of our finds from PS at the 2018 festival, including gems from new filmmakers like MY EX-GIRLFRIEND IS A SHOVEL (playing in the Heaven Knows I’m Awkward Now package), and THE CRAFTSMAN (in A Light That Never Goes Out).  


Other films like ONE SMALL STEP (in Animators of the World Unite) submitted independently to Calgary Film as a part of their festival circuit, but we fell in love with them at PS. Brennan had the chance to meet Bobby Pontillas, a former Disney animator who worked on Frozen and Moana, of ONE SMALL STEP in person, and we consistently heard about his stellar film from other filmmakers at the fest.


Watching a film on screen with a great audience can also sway programming choices. Films like MAUDE (in Stretch Out and Laugh) and TWO PUDDLES (Heaven Knows I’m Awkward Now) had such a great audience reaction that we couldn’t help but program them!


Attending PS was an incredible experience; it was fantastic to see short films have the spotlight that they deserve, and to make so many true connections through the festival.  We can’t wait to attend next year, and especially encourage any filmmakers reading to think about applying or attending this diverse festival. For Calgary shorts fans, we’re so excited to showcase some of the best from Palm Springs and beyond for you, see them all in our shorts packages screening during this year's festival, Sept 19 - 30, 2018.

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