April 5-10, 2016

Aspen Shortsfest is recognized as one of the premier short film festivals in North America. This Oscar®-qualifying festival embraces diverse sensibilities and subjects that capture the zeitgeist of today’s short. Following in the tradition of Shortsfest official selections going on to Oscar® success, in 2016, Bear Story (Chile) won the Oscar® for Best Animated Short Film, and We Can’t Live Without Cosmos (Russian Federation) and Shok (Republic of Kosovo/UK) were nominated.


Congratulations to the 25th Aspen Shortsfest Award Winners!


The Jury recognized films with the following Oscar®-qualifying awards:

Best Animated Film ($2,500)
Deer Flower, directed by Kangmin Kim (USA/South Korea)

Best Comedy ($2,500)
Hounds, directed by Omer Tobi (Israel)

Best Drama ($2,500)
Thanks for Dancing, directed by Henrik Martin Dahlsbakken (Norway)

Best Documentary ($2,500)
Irregulars, directed by Fabio Palmieri (Italy)

Best Short Short ($1,000)
Mining Poems or Odes, directed by Callum Rice (Scotland/UK)

The Jury also awarded films in the following categories:

Best Student Short ($1,000)
Sea Breeze, directed by Chun-Yi Li (Taiwan/UK)

Special Recognitions:
I, Destini, directed by Nicholas Pilarski and Destini Riley (USA)

La Laguna, directed by Aaron Schock (USA)

Julia Pointner in Everything Will Okay, directed by Patrick Vollrathfor (Germany/Austria)

World Wide Woven Bodies, directed by Truls Krane Meby (Norway)


Audience Award ($500)
Thanks for Dancing, directed by Henrik Martin Dahlsbakken (Norway)

Audience Special Recognition
Pickle, directed by Amy Nicholson (USA)


The Ellen Award ($2,500)
Irregulars, directed by Fabio Palmieri (Italy)

SEED&SPARK Best Crowdfunded Film Award ($250)
Sea Breeze, directed by Chun-Yi Li (Taiwan/UK)

The Youth Jury Award ($500)
La Laguna, directed by Aaron Schock (USA)

About the Juries

The Aspen Shortsfest Jury is comprised of critic/programmer David Ansen, critic/writer Lisa Kennedy, and producer Danielle Renfrew Behrens.

The Ellen Award is named for Aspen Film’s Founder and former Executive Director, Ellen Kohner Hunt and originated from an endowment raised by the community to annually award a film that embodies the spirit of Aspen Film’s programming from 1976 to 1995. The 2016 Ellen Award Jury was comprised of Steve Alldredge, Linda Girvin, Gail Holstein, Ellen Kohner Hunt, and Lynda Palevsky.

The Youth Jury is comprised of students from Aspen High School and Aspen Middle School and is given to the one film they determine as the best in the program.

The inaugural Seed&Spark Best Crowdfunded Film Award is presented to one film that crowdfunded a portion of their budget by Aspen Film Shortsfest partner Seed&Spark — the film industry’s groundbreaking crowdfunding platform.

Welcome to Aspen Film – Independent by Nature.