Aspen Film, a year-round film arts and education organization, announces the finalists invited to screen at its 24th annual Aspen Shortsfest, April 7-12, at the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen and the Crystal Theatre in Carbondale. A record number of submissions--more than 3,100 from over 100 countries--were considered. Seventy shorts representing nearly 30 countries were ultimately selected for this year's International Competition. With premieres making up over a third of the program (a dozen of which are world premieres) as well as critically acclaimed films and favorites from the festival circuit, the 2015 edition will showcase a vibrant array of stories and styles in comedy, drama, animation and documentary film.

The official Shortsfest program is now available on the Aspen Film website, Tickets to the general public will go on sale Friday, March 20 and are available through the Wheeler Opera House Box Office in Aspen and Boomerang Coffee in Carbondale, as well as

Aspen Shortsfest is widely recognized as a premier North American showcase for short film. Its centerpiece, the juried International Competition, offers a diverse slate of films running 2 to 40 minutes. A jury of esteemed film professionals will attend and determine this year's winners and cash prizes.

The festival brings the year's most imaginative films and storytellers to Aspen through this ground-breaking medium largely unavailable to general audiences. An Oscar®-recognized festival, Shortsfest qualifies award winners for future Academy Award® nomination.

"Our 2015 season explores an incredible array of characters, situations and subjects from around the world," says Aspen Film Co-Director George Eldred. "Through filmmaker innovation and heartfelt storytelling, these short films reveal a common thread about the universality of the human spirit, which we look forward to sharing with our audiences this spring."

Special Presentations and Program Highlights
On opening night, Shortsfest audiences can participate in an interactive performance and live film event called {THE AND} GAME, created by filmmakers Topaz Adizes and Nathan Phillips. Engaging both viewers and participants, {THE AND} explores what connects us to family, friends and lovers in a low-pressure environment. Through screenings at Sundance and performances in Los Angeles and Miami, {THE AND} has become a viral phenomenon, recently featured on CBS This Morning and in The Huffington Post and The New Yorker, among others.

Entering their fourth year of partnership, this spring Aspen Shortsfest and the Writers Guild Foundation present GENRE SMASH, a spirited and illuminating conversation with screenwriter, actress and producer Kay Cannon (Pitch Perfect, New Girl, 30 Rock). A "master class" designed to discover the connections between creator and creation, GENRE SMASH will explore the personal forces that drive this Second City-trained comedy writer to make the artistic choices she makes. This special presentation will take place Saturday, April 11, 12 noon at the Wheeler Opera House.

On Saturday, at 3:30pm, PLAYLIST: Jason Reitman in Conversation brings award-winning writer- director and passionate film buff Jason Reitman (Up in the Air; Men, Women & Children) back to the Wheeler to share insights and anecdotes about the movies he loves and how they've influenced his creative vision. Mr. Reitman will screen clips from a few of his all-time favorites (and maybe a couple from his own works) as he shares some of the lessons and epiphanies that have shaped his artistic process.

Shortsfest presents special opportunities to engage with nearly 50 attending filmmaker guests. Three free FILMMAKER TALK BACKS will be held at noon on Wednesday, April 8, Thursday, April 9, and Friday, April 10. And, on Saturday, April 11 and Sunday, April 12, a FAMILY FUN program will feature an international selection of animated and live action shorts from around the world for movie lovers age 8 and up.


Ticket Information
Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday, March 20. Tickets for all shows are available at the Wheeler Opera House Box Office in Aspen and via Crystal Theatre show tickets are also available at Boomerang Coffee in Carbondale. The full program is currently online at, and the official printed program guide is available in The Aspen Times daily edition March 18 and April 3, in the Aspen Times Weekly March 26 and in the Glenwood Post Independent April 3.

This 24th edition of Aspen Shortsfest is made possible through the generous support of presenting sponsor, The Aspen Times, and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Colorado Creative Industries, City of Aspen, Aspen Out, Les Dames d'Aspen, Thrift Shop of Aspen and the Towns of Basalt and Carbondale. Additional sponsors include KQED, Aspen Public Radio, Alpine Bank and Land + Shelter.

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 in every season, along with an extensive education program: Aspen Filmfest, Academy Screenings, Aspen Shortsfest and Film Educates. With a mission to enlighten, enrich, educate and entertain through film, Aspen Film stimulates thought, encourages dialogue and broadens understanding of our world and selves through the diverse spectrum of ideas presented by filmmakers worldwide. To learn more, visit