June in the desert is a time and a place we treasure, as we pack up our swimsuits and decamp to California’s Coachella Valley for The Palm Springs International ShortFest. As a “double agent” who programs for both S/W and the festival, I am naturally biased, but qualitatively, with over 300 films from all over the world in the program, ShortFest is a truly comprehensive view of the current short film world—collecting hits from the festival circuit, over-looked gems, premieres, and a host of student work as well.

The Covid-19 crisis has put a dent in those plans this year, making it impossible for the short film community to gather by the many pools of Palm Springs, but it did not stop the festival from celebrating the short form with the announcement of a full program and the promise of all its accompanying awards (including five Oscar® qualifying). On four of these Oscar-qualifying juries sit Short of the Week alums: Siqi Song (Sister) for Best Animated Short, Sandra Winther (Lowland Kids) for Best Documentary Short, Farida Zahran (Youth) for Best Live-Action Short under 15 minutes, and Berthold Wahjudi (Summer Hit) for Best Live-Action short over 15 minutes. Congrats to them, and to Jim Cummings (The Robbery, Thunder Road) who sits on the Best Comedy Short jury and Victoria Rivera (Night Swim, Verde) who is part of the Best Student US Short jury as well. 

Sticking to its original dates of June 16-22 the festival is also helping mitigate the lack of live screenings by making it easy to view a portion of the program from home. Filmmakers were offered the opportunity to add streaming versions of their films to the official website, where they will be freely available to audiences without signup from June 16th at 9am PDT through June 22nd. All you’ll have to do is head to the festival website and click on the films you’d like to see, those that will be available will say “watch now”.

Of the official program, 12 are already available on Short of the Week, one being currently offline, and more will join them in the upcoming weeks. You will find them below, and if you want more you can head to our new Palm Springs ShortFest channel that also includes S/W films that were selected at previous editions of the festival. Happy viewing!

Comedy Bridget Moloney


An existential comedy about the mother of two young children who begins to spontaneously vomit plastic toy blocks.

Sci-Fi Nate Milton


A true story based on the filmmaker's experiences within the realms of High Strangeness, Magical Thinking and Manic Delusion.

Drama Andrew T. Betzer

Important Police Shit

A group of police cadets, sixteen men and one woman, are mercilessly hazed as they suffer through the worst day of their training, their hell day.

Experimental Hue&Cry

Into the Flame

As Floyd sits trying to process the disappearance of his cult obsessed wife, a moth burrows his way into his ear, setting off a series of visions and the adventure of his life. Pushed over the edge and past his breaking point, he’s compelled to run headlong into the unknown.

Comedy Terri Timely (Corey Creasey & Ian Kibbey)

Lazy Susan

An irreverent alt-history of of a classic dining tool, and how one lazy lazy woman changed the restaurant industry forever.

Drama Gosha Shapiro


A 9-year-old girl plays translator during a parent-teacher conference between her Russian dad and her American teacher.

Documentary Paul Hairston

Lions in the Corner

In the rural mountains of Virginia, "Scarface" starts a fight club in his backyard to end gang violence. He calls it Streetbeefs. Part of our "SXSW Shorts Week" coverage #SXSWshorts

Drama Alexander Hankoff


A meditative character study focusing on Paul Harper, a desperate father whose exhaustive search for his lost son has led him down a path of unintended exile.

Documentary Andrew Moir

Take Me To Prom

Featuring intimate, charming interviews with queer people ranging in age from 88 to 17, 'Take Me To Prom' invites audiences to revisit an iconic adolescent milestone, while telling a story of social change that spans more than 70 years.

Dramedy Kim Tran

Zoe and Hanh

A young woman is caught in a lie by her suspicious mom. With tensions already high from recently losing a loved one, their relationship unhinges. Part of our SXSW Shorts Week coverage. #SXSWshorts

Dark Comedy Dylan Holmes Williams

The Devil's Harmony

**CURRENTLY OFFLINE** - A bullied teenage girl leads an a cappella club on a trail of destruction against her high school enemies.