March 14, 2024


New shorts starring Riz Ahmed, AnnaSophia Robb, Lauren Cohan, and Josh Brener

Films directed by Yann Mounir Demange, Alex Heller, and Robert Machoian,
and award-winners from the Sundance, Cannes, Toronto, and Locarno Film Festivals


Shortsfest by the numbers:

70 Short Films Selected from an Unprecedented 3,100 Submissions 

10 Programs

16 World Premieres

15 International, North American, and US Premieres 

24 Countries Represented

58% of the Films Directed or Co-Directed by Women Directors


ASPEN, Colo. Mar. 14, 2024. Aspen Film, the year-round film arts, and education organization, announced its program today for the 33rd Aspen Shortsfest, April 1-7, 2024, at the Wheeler Opera House and the Aspen Film Isis Theatre. Celebrating over three decades of presenting great shorts, Shortsfest is one of only four Oscar®-qualifying festivals in the US strictly dedicated to short films in the fields of animation, documentary, and live-action narrative. Featuring new works from over 24 countries, with ten programs, 70 short films, and 16 world premieres, each of the ten programs contains a variety of shorts, from comedies to dramas and documentaries to animation. This year’s Oscar®-qualifying competition will introduce viewers to a vast and exciting array of fast-rising filmmakers. 


“It’s such a privilege to see so much amazing new work by emerging talents and we were wowed by the incredible diversity of voices, perspectives, and styles we discovered,” says Jason Anderson, Shortsfest Director of Programming. “Having received over 3,100 submissions – the most ever for Shortsfest – we couldn’t help but feel like filmmakers are expressing a renewed urgency to share their stories as we all emerge from the pandemic. Whether they’re pouring that energy into powerful dramas, sharply written comedies, timely documentaries, or astonishing animations, they share the same drive to connect with viewers. Our team is thrilled to get to showcase some of the most remarkable, innovative, compelling, hilarious, and moving films we’ll see this year.”

We can’t wait for audiences to experience the stellar curation of our 2024 Shortsfest programming, along with the energy created by the filmmakers joining us from around the world. Sixteen of our films are world premieres, and we’re quite proud that 58% of our 70 titles are either directed or co-directed by women,” remarks Aspen Film Executive + Artistic Director, Susan Wrubel. “Shortsfest is also the festival where we offer our most robust FilmEducates program – filmmakers and industry guests share stories, insight, and lessons with students in the classroom and on the stage.” 


Audiences will be excited to see many familiar stars and other notable performers in films in this year’s Aspen Shortsfest. Emmy® Award winner and Academy Award® nominee Riz Ahmed stars alongside French screen legend Isabelle Adjani, and Souheila Yacoub of “Dune: Part Two” in “Dammi,” directed by Yann Mourir Demange, whose features include “White Boy Rick,” “’71,” and the upcoming “Blade.” AnnaSophia Robb (“Soul Surfer,” “Mercy Street,” “The Carrie Diaries”) co-stars with “Jury Duty” breakout David Brown in “Holiday House” by director Alex Heller, which makes its world premiere at Shortsfest. Brown also stars in “See Saw,” another of Shortsfest’s standout comedies. Josh Brener (“Silicon Valley,” “The Last of Us”) stars in Ethan Kuperberg’s “Paper Towels,” another film making its world premiere. Lauren Cohan of “The Walking Dead” and “The Walking Dead: Dead City” can also be seen in “I Can’t Be Sorry”, a new short by acclaimed director Robert Machoian (“The Killing of Two Lovers”). Zack Fox of “Abbott Elementary” also stars in “Deep Tish,” a hilarious new comedy by Dave Paige (“The Rehearsal,” “Nathan for You”). Shortsfest also presents the international premiere of “In Our Own Way,” a poignant new film by screenwriter and director Jason Headley (“Lightyear,” “Onward,” “A Bad Idea Gone Wrong”) starring Matt Jones (“Breaking Bad,” “Mom”) and Michael Mosely (“Ozark,” “The Calling”)


Among the prize-winning shorts in the selection are Alex Lora Cercos‘ “The Masterpiece,” the Short Film Grand Jury Prize winner at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and “Bob’s Funeral” by Jack Dunphy, which won the Sundance Short Film Jury’s non-fiction prize. The Palme d’Or winner for best short film in competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 2023, “27” by Hungary’s Flóra Anna Buda is also among the amazing array of new animated films at Shortsfest. The festival is also thrilled to present the North American premiere of “A Study of Empathy” by Denmark’s Hilke Rönnfeldt – winner of the Golden Leopard for Best International Short Film at the Locarno Film Festival in 2023 – and the international premiere of “Motherland” by Jasmin Mozafarri – winner of the Short Cuts Award for Best Canadian Short Film at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2023.


More remarkable shorts making their world premieres at this year’s Shortsfest include “Good Grief,” an ensemble comedy by director Megan Chumbley whose cast includes John Carroll Lynch; “Golden Child,” a comedy in which writer and director Hannah Levin co-stars with Seth Morris and Gillian Vigman; and “Love to the Max,” a powerful documentary portrait by directors Tanya Selvaratnam and Rose Bush of families fighting to protect the rights of transgender youth in Texas. 


Aspen Shortsfest is always proud to showcase stories and filmmakers from Colorado. This year’s edition includes the world premiere of “Dash, Age 92, Snowboarder” by director Cheryl Hess, a short documentary about one of Aspen’s most remarkable winter sports enthusiasts. The festival is also pleased to present the home state premieres of “SAR: Search and Rescue,” a true-life story of wilderness heroism by Colorado director Tristan Owen, and “The Dream Machine,” a mesmerizing documentary by Denver-bred musician, photographer, and filmmaker Andrew J. Segreti


The documentary slate at the 33rd annual Aspen Shortsfest also includes Emma D. Miller‘s “The School of Canine Massage,” a fascinating look at a special place for dogs and the people who love them, and two unforgettable stories from the world of music with Molly O’Brien‘s “The Only Girl in the Orchestra,” a portrait of the first woman hired by Leonard Bernstein to join the New York Philharmonic, and Celia Aniskovich‘s “Taking Back the Groove,” a tribute to undeservedly forgotten disco great Richie Weeks executive produced by Raekwon and Russell Peters.


Fans of international animation will also get their fill from such innovative and award-winning examples of the form as “Aphasia” by Canada’s Marielle Dalpe, “La Perra” by Colombia’s Carla Melo Gampert, “Nun or Never!” by Finland’s Heta Jäälinoja, “Beautiful Men” by Belgian director Nicolas Keppens, and “This Is TMI” by Subarna Dash and Vidushi Gupta of India. 



All of this year’s films will be competing for 9 prizes, awarded by three juries, including an Audience Award selected by our viewers. Shortsfest award winners will receive cash prizes of $1,250 or $2,500 in the following categories. 


Notable 2024 Shortsfest Jurors

Arvand Khosravi

As SVP and Head of Scripted Television Strategy, Arvand Khosravi oversees the team working with producers and distributors on all aspects of financing, packaging, sales, and distribution of scripted television series for global entertainment company Fifth Season. Notable TV titles include NORMAL PEOPLE (BBC/Hulu), CONVERSATIONS WITH FRIENDS (BBC/Hulu), WOMAN IN THE WALL (BBC/Showtime), HIS DARK MATERIALS (BBC/HBO), A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES (Sky/AMC), and ground-breaking and multiple Emmy®-winning short-form series STATE OF THE UNION (AMC). An Iranian born in Paris, France, and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Arvand was educated at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Washington D.C., and the Cardozo School of Law in New York City, where he currently resides. He started his entertainment career at WME.


Jannat Gargi

Jannat Gargi is an Emmy® and Peabody-winning producer and executive producer of the Academy Award® winning documentary SUMMER OF SOUL (…OR, WHEN THE REVOLUTION COULD NOT BE TELEVISED). As SVP of Documentaries for Westbrook Studios, Gargi established the documentary division with a premium slate of films, including COPA 71, with Executive Producers Serena and Venus Williams. Before joining Westbrook, Gargi served as VP of Documentaries for VICE Studios, overseeing development for a slate of premium documentaries and series, including three-time Academy Award®-nominated documentary FLEE (2022) and THE AMERICAN GLADIATORS for ESPN’s 30 For 30 series (2023). Gargi is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS), Producers Guild of America (PGA), serves on the Board of Directors for Washington FilmWorks, and is Co-Chair of The Redford Center Board of Directors, a non-profit that harnesses the power of media to engage people and galvanize environmental action.


Gabriella Moses 

Gabriella A. Moses is an award-winning Dominican-Guyanese American writer and director who graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She has received support from the Sundance Institute’s Creative Producing Lab, Tribeca Film Institute’s All Access Lab, Creators Market, IFP (The Gotham) No Border’s Film Market, and the Los Cabos Gabriel Figueroa Film Fund programs. She participated in the Sundance Screenwriters Intensive, the NYWIFT “From Script to Pre-Production” Workshop, Tribeca and Chanel Through Her Lens, AT&T Untold Stories program, and the annual Blacklist Screenwriters Lab. She was selected for the Scripted Cannes Screenplay List, LALIFF & Netflix Inclusion Fellowship, and The Black List Latinx List. Her screenplay EL TIMBRE DE TU VOZ won Best Drama screenplay at the Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition, and her debut feature BOCA CHICA, premiered at the 2023 Tribeca Film Festival, where she won the prestigious 11th Annual Nora Ephron Award award.


The Ellen Jury will present its annual Ellen Award for artistic merit and originality to a distinguished filmmaker. This award honors the memory of Aspen Film’s founder and first executive director Ellen Kohner Hunt, who retired in 1995 and passed away in January 2021. 


The Youth Jury, which comprises middle and high school students, awards a student prize to the film that they feel best reflects the impressions, experiences, and thoughts of today’s youth. Filmmakers have said that winning this award is one of the highest honors at the festival.


The Shortsfest industry special guests for 2024 include six industry notables: Miranda Bailey, a Carbondale local, who is also an award-winning writer, director, and actress; Alden Dalia, a Motion Picture Executive at William Morris Endeavor whose focus is uncovering untapped potential and innovative storytelling; Inga Diev, General Manager of Ouat Media which specializes in distribution and worldwide sales of short films; Sabine Hoffman, ACE who has edited award-winning feature films for over 20 years; Sarah Lash, Senior Director, Acquisitions at Condé Nast, responsible for acquiring award-winning content for the company’s network of digital channels, and Diana Williams, CEO and co-founder of Kinetic Energy Entertainment, a multi-platform venture studio that partners with creators at the intersection of story and technology to develop and produce story-based IPs.


Aspen Shortsfest is recognized as one of North America’s premier short film festivals. Each April, enthusiastic audiences, filmmakers, and special guests from around the globe gather to participate in public screenings, panels, workshops, and other festivities that spotlight the art and craft of short-form cinema. Aspen Shortsfest has a long tradition of Oscar® success, which continued this year with “How We Get Free,” directed by Geeta Gandbhir and Samantha M. Knowles. This film had its World Premiere at Shortsfest 2023 and was shortlisted for Best Documentary Short at the 2024 Academy Awards. Before that, “The Martha Mitchell Effect,” directed by Anne Alvergue and Debra McClutchy, was screened at Shortsfest 2022, before going on to be nominated for Best Documentary Short at the 2023 Academy Awards. Other recent Shortsfest selections that have garnered Oscar® nominations include “Affairs of the Art” by Joanna Quinn and Les Mills, the jury prize winner for Comedy at Shortsfest in 2021; “Daughter” by Daria Kashcheeva; “Sister” by Siqi Song; “Brotherhood” by Meryam Joobeur, who was also a jury member at Shortsfest in 2020; and “Nefta Football Club” by Yves Piat.

The festival is an industry-recognized destination for discovering breakthrough talent. Reinaldo Marcus Green (“Bob Marley: One Love,” “King Richard”), Destin Daniel Cretton (“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” “Short Term 12”), Damien Chazelle  (“La La Land,” “Babylon”), Jason Reitman (“Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” “Up in the Air”), Sarah Polley (“Women Talking”), A.V. Rockwell (“A Thousand and One”) and the late Jean-Marc Vallée (“Dallas Buyers Club”) are among the notable alumni whose short films first screened at Shortsfest before they became household names.



At Shortsfest, Aspen Film’s FilmEducates provides educational opportunities to schools throughout Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley and beyond. Programs are offered at no charge and aim to engage students and educators in conversations around a selection of age-appropriate films. This year’s Voices in Film Youth Forum incorporates a wide variety of youth-focused programming and events during Shortsfest. The forum is an umbrella over key educational programs: Making Movies Matter, Filmmakers to the Classroom, Young Filmmaker Labs, Students to the Festival, and Youth Jury. The week kicks off with a special in-school event at Glenwood High School featuring a selection of festival films and a film made by a young Colorado filmmaker from the Youth Documentary Academy. The interactive program is hosted by youth with a filmmaker Q&A. The event is broadcast live so students and teachers who cannot attend in person may participate remotely. 



Please visit

To purchase tickets, visit, or visit the Wheeler Opera House Box Office: 320 East Hyman Ave, Aspen, or call: 970-920-5770

How To Fest

On-sale ticket dates: 

March 13 AF Members

March 20 General Public


Festival Pass – $220. Available exclusively at, Festival Passes include

access to screenings and select events (membership not included).



$25 General Admission; $20 Aspen Film Members

FREE* for Roaring Fork Valley Students + Teachers

*Complimentary student tickets are secured by showing a current student ID at the box office. Teachers with student groups must reserve tickets by emailing


Industry + Panel Conversations – Open to Filmmakers, Industry Guests, Passholders



WED APRIL 3 | 2:30 PM

ASPEN FILM ISIS THEATRE 406 E Hopkins Ave, Aspen



THUR APRIL 4 | 2:30 PM

ASPEN FILM ISIS THEATRE 406 E Hopkins Ave, Aspen



FRI APRIL 5 | 2:30 PM

ASPEN FILM ISIS THEATRE 406 E Hopkins Ave, Aspen




ASPEN FILM ISIS THEATRE 406 E Hopkins Ave, Aspen


Nightly Après Screenings

Tuesday, April 2, 9 PM, Wednesday–Saturday, April 3-6, 10 PM

Open to Filmmakers, Industry Guests, Pass + Ticket holders

After each night’s final film program, the party moves from the Wheeler to a different hot spot

around town for drinks and dialogue with the Aspen Film visiting programming team, filmmakers, and industry guests. Drink specials for all Shortsfest ticket holders and pass holders.

TUESDAY –  HOOCH | 301 E Hopkins Ave, Aspen

WEDNESDAY – BUCK | 508 E Cooper Ave, Aspen

THURSDAY – THE MOLLIE | 111 S Garmisch St, Aspen

FRIDAY – MI CHOLA | 411 E Main St, Aspen

SATURDAY – SILVER CITY | 210 S Galena St, Aspen



Who: Aspen Film

What: 33rd Annual Shortsfest, Oscar®-qualifying short film festival

When: April 1-7, 2024, Monday through Sunday 

Where: Wheeler Opera House + Aspen Film Isis Theatre, Aspen, CO 



The 33rd Aspen Shortsfest is made possible by the generous support of Annabelle Inn, Aspen Daily News, Mountain Chalet, Roaring Fork Express, Roots RX, W Aspen, and Woody Creek Distillers. 


Aspen Shortsfest is charitably underwritten by grants from The Addy Foundation, Alpine Bank, Aspen Public Radio, Aspen OUT, Aspen Thrift Shop, Basalt Public Arts Commission, City of Aspen, Colorado Creative Industries, Colorado Office of Film, Television, and Media, Les Dames d’Aspen, Rotary Club of Aspen.


Social Media:

Like: on Facebook

Follow: @AspenFilm on Twitter and Instagram

Hashtag(s): #aspenfilm #independentbynature #shortsfest2024 #shortaf 


For easier viewing with images, please use the links below to see the programs/films/schedule:




About Aspen Film

Established in 1979, Aspen Film is one of Colorado’s most active film arts organizations, presenting dynamic programs and featured guest artists throughout the year. Internationally recognized, Aspen Film organizes a major film event every season, along with an extensive education program: Aspen Filmfest (September 17-22, 2024), Academy Screenings, Aspen Shortsfest, and FilmEducates. With a mission to enlighten, enrich, educate, and entertain through film, Aspen Film stimulates thought, encourages dialogue, and broadens our understanding of our world and selves through the diverse spectrum of ideas presented by filmmakers worldwide. To learn more, visit


Press Contact:

Lea Tucker

303-641-4370 •

Working to Enlighten, Enrich, Educate, and Entertain Through Film