By Humphrey Carter
THE second MFA Planet Europe short film festival got underway in Palma yesterday morning after a gala opening party at the Auditorium on Tuesday night.

Irish actor Colm Meaney presided over the opening party which was well attended, including some of last year's jury members such as the Bond director Guy Hamilton, many of this year's entrants, media and members of the local film and visual arts industries.

Yesterday it was down to work with the first of a series of Avid editing workshops at the Auditorium ahead of the first screenings of the films which have been short listed for the final.

A total of 78 short film makers from 18 different countries are competing for the top prize in each of the three categories: fiction, documentary and animation - and the festival grand prize of 6.000 euros and the Dragonera Trophy.

Over the past two nights, short films from Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Germany, Spain, Holland and as far away as Guatemala have been screened. Tonight is “Paddy's Night” to mark St. Patricks's Day with a screening this evening of “Green Shorts”, all from Ireland, which will be followed by a selection of shorts from Germany, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and Italy.

One to watch on Saturday is “Little Terrorist” from India which was nominated for Best Live Action Short Film Oscar this year, only to lose to “Wasp” by Andrea Arnold who won last year's MFA festival.

The “Avid Xpress Pro” editing workshops are being held every day in the Sala Mozart.
The two hour sessions are aimed at promoting the very latest developments in film and video editing to film students and film makers.
Also on the grand jury with Colm Meaney is the Majorcan actor Simon Andreu who has starred in a host of major films including James Bond Die Another Day and Bridget Jones's Diary.

Responsible for judging the documentaries is the award-winning British documentary maker Simon W. Davis while Majorcan Marcos Mateu, an animator with Dreamworks, is responsible for judging the animation shorts. Festival director Philip Rogan said yesterday that the opening night party had been a great success and that there has already been huge interest in the workshops and the screenings.

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