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PBS Short Film Festival Announces 2024 Lineup Reflecting Authentic, Shared Life Experiences

13th Annual Event Showcases 15 Short-Form Independent Films, Streaming July 15–26 on All PBS Digital Platforms

Arlington, Va. – WEBWIRE
2024 PBS Short Film Festival Signature Image
2024 PBS Short Film Festival Signature Image PBS

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The Webby Award-winning PBS Short Film Festival returns this summer - Monday, July 15 – Friday, July 26 - to all PBS and station digital platforms, including PBS.orgYouTube and the PBS app. The 2024 festival, themed “Story Time,” celebrates the art of short-form storytelling and will feature 15 independent films selected for their impact and stories that reflect a variety of American cultures, families, and experiences. 

“This year’s PBS Short Film Festival offers authentic illuminating stories from communities that are rarely given the spotlight,” said Taryn Jackson, Director, Editorial and Brand Engagement at PBS. “The films include a musical, and an animated short, as well as documentaries and short stories that capture the rich diversity and shared experiences of all Americans.”

The PBS Short Film Festival continues to elevate the reach and visibility of independent films and filmmakers from across the country. For 12 years, the festival has showcased films about love, acceptance, family, strength, equality, friendship, loyalty, and much more.  

Starting Monday, July 15, audiences can watch and share all films. In addition, a panel of seven jury members will select their favorite film of the festival for the Juried Prize.

Jury members are respected professionals in independent film and public media and wereinvited by PBS to participate. This year’s jury members include Eric Gulliver, freelance producer and editor CRTLmedia; Simon Kilmurry, executive producer/producer, Drymen Pictures, LLC; Mike Sargent, senior production manager, The Futuro Media Group; Antonia Thornton, artist programs coordinator, Firelight Media; Adnaan Wassey, executive director, Rooftop Films; Wendy Llinas, senior director, general audience programming, PBS; and Judith Vecchione, senior editorial advisor, WORLD Channel.

Films featured in the PBS Short Film Festival have been selected and provided by 12 public media partners and PBS member stations. This year’s lineup includes films from  Black Public MediaCenter for Asian American Media (CAAM)Independent Television Service (ITVS)Latino Public BroadcastingPacific Islanders in Communications (PIC) and Reel South,  as well as PBS local member stations, Alabama Public Television (APTV)KLRU-TV Austin PBS (Texas), Illinois Public Media,  Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB), WMHT Public Media (New York’s Capital Region) and WQED (Pittsburgh, Pa.), 

Generating more than 14 million streams throughout the festival’s history, the PBS Short Film Festival continues to be an engaging annual digital event. In 2022, the PBS Short Film Festival won two Webby Awards and was nominated again for the following year. The festival’s past Juried Prize Winners to date also have notable accolades, such as:

  • The 2021 Juried Prize Winner “Ms. Diva Trucker” had the World Premiere at the 2021 Big Sky Documentary Festival among being showcased at several other film festivals.
  • The 2022 Juried Prize Winner “Chilly and Milly” was an Official Selection in the Short Film category at the Sundance Film Festival.
  • The 2023 Juried Prize Winner “WINN” won the Reel South Short Award and George Short Special Jury Mention at the Atlanta Film Festival.


The 2024 PBS Short Film Festival selections include a musical, an animated short, documentaries on sexual assault and missing persons, and stories that explore American families, environmental conservation, and history. Below is the full list of these short films separated into four presenting categories.


Pacific Islanders in Communications: “Sina ma Tinirau”
When a prince is cursed to become an eel and must win the love of a beautiful woman to become human again, he gifts her with his body in the form of a coconut palm tree in a seductive display.

Reel SouthBoca Chica”
Unrestricted access to beaches is a public right in Texas. But for the little-known, magical, and untamed stretch of beach called Boca Chica, that right is curtailed when SpaceX takes flight. Boca Chica uncovers the mesmerizing beauty of this fragile coastline and the fight for free access for its longtime visitors whose memories and spirituality are rooted deep among the sandy shorelines.


Austin PBS: “El Gato Feo”
Fleeing the violence of Pancho Villa’s revolution, a widow finds refuge with a unit of female freedom fighters known as soldaderas - only to discover her estranged sister among them.

Center for Asian American Media (CAAM): “Eid Mubarak”
A privileged six-year-old Pakistani girl embarks on a mission to save her beloved pet goat from being eaten on the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Azha, only to learn the meaning of sacrifice.

Center for Asian American Media (CAAM): “Take Me Home”
Anna is an adult with a cognitive disability living with her mother in Midland Florida. When her mother is unresponsive, she calls her sister for help, but without the language to be believed, Anna is brushed aside. Emily returns home and is immediately engulfed in a futile struggle for medical information, while Anna’s world is deconstructed. In this sadness, Anna sees the bigger picture and with a straightforward strength, Anna holds her own. The uncertainty for the sisters’ future independence remains but they are now a team against all odds.

Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB): “The Ballad of Mae Rose”
This creative musical portrays a serious story in new ways. After losing his first wife, Edwin Gray finds himself at the funeral of his child, Rose Mae, who despite suspicion, fell prey to a plague.

WMHT Public Media “Ghosts”
“Ghosts” tells the story of three Kiowa boys’ daring escape from a government boarding school in Anadarko, Okla., in 1891, to attend a ghost dance ceremony at a distant Kiowa encampment. After being whipped for insubordination and feeling defeated, Charles, a rebellious teenager, plans to escape with an unlikely group of partners; the spiritual Zeph, who has visions of his grandfather and an upcoming ghost dance, which is sweeping across Indian Territory promising the resurrection of their ancestors; and Judah, a trickster, who seizes the opportunity to join them and help them flee. “Ghosts” is an oral history of tribal alliance, resistance, and survival from the degradation of forced assimilation.


Illinois Public Media “Saving Super Man”
In a small suburb outside of Chicago lives Jonathan, a 57-year-old man with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is also known as Superman” for his heroic actions. Jonathan’s a revered member of the Glen Ellyn community and has been a staple in the 4th of July Parade for 30 years. When his living circumstances were threatened by a new development, the town decided to spring into action after his best friend Julie started a fundraiser to save his home.

Pacific Islanders in Communications: “Tradewinds”
“Tradewinds” is an intimate portrait and examination of the life of CHamoru jazz pianist, Patrick Palomo, whose musical style has combined CHamoru lyrics with the sounds and melodies of contemporary and classic jazz music. Although his music career has spanned decades and continues to influence the Guam music scene, the film explores how his legacy has paved the way for younger artists to follow in his path. Together with rising local talents, Shannon McManus, John Glaser, and Andrew Gumataotao, they form the group, “Tradewinds.” Together the group produces music highly influenced in the jazz style with lyrics in the CHamoru language. “Tradewinds” is a film that highlights the importance of language preservation and explores the definition of indigenous art.

WQED: “VOICES -The Missing”
When artist Tonee Turner went missing on New Year’s Eve in 2019, family, friends and community members began searching for the talented person who had brightened the lives of the people around her. Years later, Tonee’s whereabouts are still unknown, and questions remain. In this short film we ask: When a person of color goes missing, are they given the same consideration as missing people of other races? And how do we change the perception of what it means to be missing? “The Missing” is one episode in our documentary short series “VOICES” which focus on the stories of marginalized communities.


Alabama Public Television (APTV): “Paul Rogers”
Meet Paul Rogers, Alabama Public Television alum. In 2023, Rogers clinched an Academy Award for his editing on the celebrated film “Everything Everywhere All at Once” directed by Daniels. From “Journey Proud” to “Turn Down For What,” Paul Rogers has always followed the call to creative adventure. Go behind the scenes on a remarkable story from Homewood to Hollywood, exploring his insights on the value of collaboration and the core of outstanding work.

Black Public Media: “The Forgotten Ones”
Willie “Billy Brown” Smith, a spry, 75-year-old Black man has intermittently lived on the streets of Hollywood for nearly forty years. Having recovered from decades of hard drug use and alcohol abuse, he starts piecing his life back together.

Independent Television Service (ITVS): “Underground”
The hustle and bustle of New York City subways provides a veil of anonymity, making invasions of personal space inevitable. There are innocuous interactions, but also violations that cross the line. Vividly shot in New York subways and stations, Underground emboldens the survivors of these incidents to share their stories in hopes of changing the stigma surrounding public violations.

Latino Public Broadcasting:El Paisa”
After being rescued by a charismatic vaquero on the streets of East L.A., gay goth skater Santiago must put an end to closeted young love, leading to personal transformation and a newfound connection to familia.

For more information and updates on the PBS Short Film Festival, visit Viewers are also encouraged to engage in online conversation by tagging @PBS and using #PBSFilmFest on Facebook, TikTok and Instagram.

About PBS Short Film Festival 
Since its inception in 2012, the PBS Short Film Festival, formerly called the PBS Online Film Festival, has showcased independent films of all genres. The festival, now in its thirteenth year, features short films created by PBS member stations, ITVS, POV and a wide variety of public television producers. Each year the films highlight topics like social injustice, religion, addiction, public policy, love and other subjects inspiring to the filmmakers. Throughout the festival, viewers can watch, love and share their favorite films on a variety of platforms. At the close of the festival, a prize is awarded to the film chosen by the hand-picked jury. The 2024 PBS Short Film Festival represents a celebration of independent films and filmmaking, and a love for the art of storytelling. For more information, visit 

About PBS
PBS, with more than 330 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches over 36 million adults on linear primetime television, more than 16 million users on PBS-owned streaming platforms, 53 million viewers on YouTube, and 60 million people view PBS content on social media, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature, and public affairs and to take front-row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’s broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS LearningMedia for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. As the number one educational media brand, PBS KIDS helps children 2-8 build critical skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality content on TV — including a PBS KIDS channel — and streaming free on and the PBS KIDS Video app, games on the PBS KIDS Games app, and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, Facebook, Instagram, or through our apps for mobile and connected devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at or by following PBS Communications on X.

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