Gay Shorts, Summer Fun :: Palm Springs ShortFest 2012
More than 400 filmmakers from around the world will converge on the desert cities of the Coachella Valley for the 2013 Palm Springs International ShortFest. A landmark artistic gathering that has gained a reputation as an important industry marker.
Palm Springs International Film Society Executive Director Darryl MacDonald explains some of the key factors that make ShortFest so successful: "Inevitably the 25,000 attendees who go to ShortFest - 60 percent from Palm Springs and 40 percent from other cities all over the U.S. - say they're fans of the Palm Springs International Film Festival, our big January gig, but that their favorite event is June's Palm Springs ShortFest."
ShortFest is for real film aficionados MacDonald continues. "The sense of discovery that ShortFest engenders and the sheer sense of joy, passion and love for the art form of film emanating from so many young filmmakers attending the festival, creates an atmosphere that is truly celebratory in every sense of the word."
He added a warning that there's a risk of catching the short, independent film bug, courtesy of the event's upbeat mood. "It's incredibly infectious and it defines why ShortFest is so special and so different from most other film festivals."
Does the festival's director have any favorite, must-sees for members of the gay community? As he puts it, there are "a ton of them." In the LGBT category, MacDonald recommends "A Family Like Mine," "Gorilla," "Hazel," "Headlong," "I'm not gay," "On Suffocation," "Standup," "Stay," "The Swimming Trunks," "Toeing the Line," "Wannabe," and "A World for Raul," which he points out, just won a student academy award nomination.
The Rage Monthly was lucky enough to have the opportunity to ask a few questions of ShortFest's Film Entrant and Director Nick Corporon. His film is called "Barbie Boy" and it's 13 minutes of masterful transitions and visual poignancy - the film does what a good pop song should do: It leaves you wanting more from its creator.
What is it about film that draws you as a medium?
Film is everything to me; breakfast, lunch and dinner. It's the best of the art forms rolled into one, acting, photography, music - which draws out its finest quality - collaboration. What other art form is able to cull the strengths and flourishes of dozens of artists?
Why did you make this particular film?
I know we're not supposed to use "coming of age" when describing things, but I wanted to make a different kind of coming-of-age movie, one that dealt with shame and the feeling that you're different.
Bobby, our main character, feels shame for the first time when his father tells him that dolls are for girls. He also feels different for the first time in
I was very interested in exploring that, by hanging that on a gender thing. Bobby plays with dolls and all of a sudden, he feels different about himself and the film is really about how he deals with that.
What kinds of commendations and feedback have you received regarding this film?
We've gotten very good feedback, especially on our lead actor, Trent Carlton, and his performance. He was ten years old when we shot! He really demonstrated incredible range, especially in the quiet moments where he's just thinking, contemplating, stewing and weighing his options. "You don't catch him acting" is a note I've gotten a lot, and it's true.
We've gotten a lot of excellent feedback on our cinematography (director of photography is Collin Brazie). Our script has very little dialogue, so Collin and I set out with specific goals in mind to visualize our story (controlled camera, no handheld work). We also devised a color palette for our 13-minute movie that starts very bright and colorful and moves to nearly black and white by end credits. It's not something viewers notice the first time, but it's there.
What's next for you?
I'm on the third draft of a feature film that looks at the assimilation and domestication of the gay male into modern society and that loss of identity that we've suffered as a community.
What would you like to add?
Our film was crowd-funded by Kickstarter.com and our campaign got a big boost when actor Ian McKellen ("X-Men," "Lord of the Rings"), tweeted and posted on facebook about it. He's an old penpal of mine (it's a long story) and he was so sweet to help us go viral. I also sent him a copy and his review was very short. "The film looks spiffing. Trent is perfect." I'll take it!!
Palm Springs ShortFest happens Tuesday, June 18 through Monday, June 24. Hint: Be sure to check out ShortFest Gay!La, an after party following the screening of LGBT film entries. For more information visit psfilmfest.org