'The Old Young Crow' and 'Way Better' win first prizes at the Palm Spring International ShortFest

‘The Old Young Crow’ and ‘Way Better’ win first prizes at the Palm Spring International ShortFest

The old young crow he took home the grand prize at the 2023 Palm Springs International Shortfest on Sunday. The Japanese-US short follows an elderly Persian man who recalls the lessons he learned from an elderly Japanese woman.

The award for the best animated short film went to Lithuania Much better, which centers on a man who expects the worst but hopes for the best from the results of his upcoming medical tests. He spends his time over the course of a week waiting in limbo to create him, fearing things that haven’t happened yet.

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Other major awards from the festival went to China’s You will watch me for the documentary short, France’s Lightning for the live-action short over 15 minutes and the Spanish one Mystical tiger for live-action shorts 15 minutes and under. The top five films can now submit their shorts to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for Oscar consideration.

Four other prizes were awarded to students for their projects, and nine short films received special jury awards for Best International Short Film, US Short Film, Comedy Short Film, LGBTQ Short Film, and Midnight Short Film, among others.

Winners also received $25,000 worth of cash prizes for being selected from 299 short films competing for awards during the festival which runs June 20-26.

See all winners below.

Academy Award Qualifier Awards

The best of the Festival
The old young crow (Japan/USA), directed by Liam LoPinto

Best Animated Short Film
Much better (Lithuania), directed by Skirmanta Jakaitė

Best Documentary Short
You will watch me (China), directed by Shuli Huang

Best Live-Action Short Over 15 Minutes
Seven blades (France), directed by Vincent Fontano

Best Live-Action Short 15 Minutes and Under
Mystical tiger (Spain), directed by Marc Martínez

Short prizes for students

Best Animated Short Film for StudentsT
The rainbow dung beetle (USA), directed by Ellen Moway and Cole Dupzyk

Best international short film for students
A dead marriage (Poland), directed by Michel Toczek

Best US Student Short Film
SULAM (scale) (USA), directed by Noam Argov

Documentary short film for students
In the light of Kaamos (Finland), directed by Niko Väistö

Special Jury Prizes

Best International Short Film
Night sun (Canada), directed by Fernando López and Maria Camila Arias

Best US Short Film
Closing dynasty (USA), directed by Lloyd Lee Choi

Best comedy short
Scourge (USA), directed by Ben Gauthier

Best LGBT+ short film
Blond night (Canada), directed by Gabrielle Demers

Best Midnight Short
Nian (USA), directed by Michelle Krusiec

Mozaik Bridging the Borders Award
Morgan girl (Germany/Syria), directed by Daood Alabdulaa

Local Jury Award
Under Do (USA), directed by Paula Eiselt

Young Filmmakers Award
We were meant to (USA), directed by Tari Wariebi

Children’s Choice Award
Canary (Canada), directed by Pierre-Hugues Dallaire and Benoit Therriault