Lost Town of Switez” wins at Palm Springs fest

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The Lost Town of Switez

The Lost Town of Switez

Palm Springs Inter­na­tional Short­Fest named a Polish-Canadian pro­duc­tion by Kamil Polak titled “The Lost Town of Switez” as the Best Ani­mated Short at the festival.

A spec­tac­u­larly ani­mated story about a trav­eler whose jour­ney is diverted when his car­riage dri­ver falls asleep, The Lost Town of Switez won First Place — along with $2,000. The film is an epic tale across wild lands and towns that glim­mer like jew­els, about a man who becomes a hero.

As the first-place win­ner in the cat­e­gory, The Lost Town of Switez is now eli­gi­ble for Acad­emy Awards consideration.

Win­ning Sec­ond Place and $500 was Inter­reg­num, directed by Nick Fox-Gieg of Canada. In 1944 Vichy France, an unlikely group finds a way to make thou­sands of peo­ple invis­i­ble at the same time.

A Jury Spe­cial Cita­tion in the ani­ma­tion cat­e­gory went to France’s The Cord-Woman (La Femme Á Cordes) for Best Sound Design. In this gor­geous jour­ney into the dark cor­ners of freak shows and under­ground bur­lesque, the pro­tag­o­nist devel­ops an uncon­trol­lable crush on a mis­treated per­former. Will he save her or destroy himself?

The Fan­tas­tic Fly­ing Books of Mr. Mor­ris Less­more, directed by William Joyce and Bran­don Old­en­burg, was named Audi­ence Favorite Ani­ma­tion Short at the fes­ti­val. A gor­geously ren­dered alle­gory about the cura­tive effects of story, this tale con­cerns a man who has built his whole life around his love of books.

Runner-up in the Audi­ence Favorite Ani­ma­tion Short cat­e­gory was Danny & Annie, by Dave Isay and Tim Rauch. A doc­u­men­tary offer­ing an unex­pected vision of what true love looks like, this inti­mate and heart­break­ing film was based on a tale from National Pub­lic Radio’s Sto­rycorps project.

The Birds Upstairs, by Christo­pher Cinq-Mars Jarvis, won First Place for Best Stu­dent Ani­ma­tion. Exquis­ite ani­ma­tion exposes a couple’s despair when, after years of try­ing, they at last have a child who, to their dis­may, doesn’t look any­thing like them. The short is a beau­ti­fully dis­turb­ing exam­i­na­tion of famil­ial expectations.

Sec­ond Place was assigned to Heavy Heads, by Helena Frank of Den­mark. It is an oddly intrigu­ing study on lone­li­ness, despair and alien­ation… and the unique ser­vices of a friendly fly.

The largest short film fes­ti­val and mar­ket in North Amer­ica, the Palm Springs Inter­na­tional Short­Fest awarded a total of $128,800 in prizes, includ­ing $14,000 in cash awards, in 18 categories.

Through­out the fes­ti­val, 331 short films were screened, along with over 3,000 film­maker sub­mis­sions avail­able in the film market.

The fes­ti­val saw a large rise in atten­dance this year on all fronts, includ­ing ticket buy­ers, film­mak­ers and film indus­try delegates.

It’s been a remark­able year for Short­Fest, with record atten­dance and a rap­tur­ous response to the pro­gram­ming by audi­ences, indus­try and film­mak­ers alike,” said fes­ti­val direc­tor Dar­ryl Mac­don­ald. “The Film Mar­ket and indus­try pro­grams were par­tic­u­lary active, adding hugely to the Festival’s suc­cess. I’m con­fi­dent a num­ber of major future film­mak­ers emerged here this year and will go on to enliven the fea­ture film world.”

Scene from Kamil Polak’s The Lost Town of Switez.

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About Paul Anderson

Paul is an old-timer here at BCDB- his contributions go back to before the site! Paul is widely regarded as a Disney historian, and is also on staff at the Disney Museum in San Francisco. Paul is also a contributing historian for D23, the Disney Club. Paul has published several books and magazine articles on Disney history, too. You are welcome to drop Paul a line here.

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