Palm Springs short film festival turns lens on Coachella Valley

Of the 300 or so short films screening at this year’s international “Short Fest” in Palm Springs, there are several that turn their lenses on the Coachella Valley. KPCC’s Steven Cuevas has a preview.

Steven Cuevas: The rugged desert backdrop seems to attract a certain kind of film – like a road trip gone wrong. That’s “Bottled Up.” It’s a modern film noir about a married couple, Charles and Myra, who head to the Valley for a weekend getaway. Charles stops to help out a pair of stranded desert rats. Bad idea.

Man: Better be careful, man. The desert heat will sneak up on ya, take ya down for the count.

Cuevas: several other films explore real life issues in the Coachella Valley. “Purepecha: Poorest of the Poor” documents life at “Duroville,” the Valley’s notorious shantytown that’s home to several thousand migrant farm workers.

Palm Springs folk artist Jack Elias is the focus of a nine-minute short called “Jack Elias: Life of a Sephardic Artist.”

[Jack Elias playing harmonica]

Cuevas: The 87-year-old artist and harmonica player talks about his life and his colorful abstract creations that often resemble intricate pieces of stained glass.

Jack Elias: I was compelled to make them from something within myself. And that’s it. That’s my idea of art.

Cuevas: More than 300 short films will screen at the International “Short Fest” through next week at the Camelot Theatre in Palm Springs.

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