Aspen Film, a year-round film arts and education organization, announced today its program for the 28th Aspen Shortsfest, which will bring the top international filmmaking talent to Aspen’s Wheeler Opera House and Carbondale’s Crystal Theatre from April 2-7, 2019. The festival explores unique themes through a series of 12 programs that feature the newest and most innovative works of short-form cinema. The 2019 program includes 69 films from 26 countries; 41% of which are female-directed.

“Once again we’re excited to present a diverse and global lineup of films for our 28th Aspen Film Shortsfest. We had an unprecedented nearly 2600 submissions this year; our programming team worked tirelessly to craft a program that is depictive of today‘s world, showcasing film from all over of the planet, representing 26 distinct countries, ” says Aspen Film Executive Director Susan Wrubel. “In true Shortsfest fashion, this year’s lineup promises a ground-breaking array of documentary, animation, comedy and dramatic offerings.”
With a reputation as a premier North American festival, Aspen Shortsfest is Oscar®-qualifying in five categories of its international competition, which offers a diverse and exciting selection of drama, comedy, animation, and documentary—all at 40 minutes or less. Intimate in scale, attendees will also find creative inspiration in meeting guest filmmakers and industry experts at program Q&As, panels and receptions.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to present this program of extraordinary films from some of the most passionate filmmakers from around the world,” says Director of Programming Landon Zakheim. “The filmmaking prowess and storytelling skills on display throughout the entire lineup stunned our team and we can’t wait to share them with our enthusiastic audience.” Zakheim’s programming team includes Opal Bennett, Emily Doe, Angie Driscoll, and Sudeep Sharma.

Shortsfest will screen a feature film for the first time in festival history, with filmmaker Destin Creeton in-person to present a special presentation of his feature film adapted from his award-winning short film of the same name, SHORT TERM 12, an indie darling that helped launch and further the careers of Oscar® winner Brie Larson; Oscar® winner Rami Malek and award winner LaKeith Stanfield. 

For the second year, Aspen Film is proud to be able to present the Vimeo Staff Pick Award, a live iteration of the platform’s Staff Picks laurel. This is a prestigious honor from the creator-first platform. The winning film will be available for viewing worldwide on the Vimeo Staff Picks channel on April 8th, the day after the Closing Night Awards Dinner.

In Shortsfest tradition, a special Ellen Jury will once again present the Ellen Award to a filmmaker at the Awards Dinner. The Ellen Award honors Aspen Film’s founder and executive director Ellen Kohner Hunt, who retired in 1995.

The festival is an industry-recognized destination for discovering breakthrough talent. Damien Chazelle (La La Land), Jason Reitman (Up in the Air), Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club) and Sarah Polley (Stories We Tell) are among notable alumni whose short films first screened at Aspen Shortsfest before they became household names.