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Palm Springs Shortfest finds Kiwi winner

Jessica Grace Smith’s Everybody Else Is Taken took the Palm Springs ShortFest’s Youth Jury Award at the festival’s closing ceremony on Monday (NZ time).

Smith’s short had its premiere at the New York International Children’s Film Festival in January. Smith raised over $13,000 on Kickstarter back in 2015 to make the short, which features Nathaniel Lees and Sarah Harpur. Toi Whakaari grad Smith herself has done a fair bit of time in front of the camera, on TV show Spartacus: Gods of the Arena and features Sione’s 2: Unfinished Business, The Devil’s Rock and Diagnosis: Death.

Palm Springs top gong, the Best of Festival Award, went to Jon-Erik Mack’s Swiss drama Facing Mecca. The film also took the Student Live-Action (15 minutes +) award.

The winner of the festival’s second prize also has a foot in Europe and also came away a double winner. Franck Dion’s The Head Vanishes took the Grand Jury and Animated Short gongs.

Other NZ titles selected for PS ShortFest this year were Roseanne Liang’s Do No Harm, Campbell Hooper & Joel Kefali’s Echoes, Eddie Fifield’s Happy Birthday, Robyn Grace’s A Woman’s Right to Shoes and Zoe McIntosh’s The World in Your Window.

Palm Springs ShortFest presented 338 titles, and closed June 26.

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