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The 12th annual Short Film and Video Festival will begin showing the best work of 73 national film and video artists beginning Wednesday, June 19.

Sponsored by the Utah Film & Video Center, the festival will consist of three programs to be shown Wednesday through Friday, at 7:30 each evening in the Salt Lake Art Center auditorium, 20 S. West Temple. On Saturday an awards program, screening and party will be held.Admission is $5 per evening for the screenings and $15 for Saturday's awards program; a pass for all four evenings is $29. Discounts are available to students, members and friends of the Film and Video Center.

A competition showcase for films and videos under 60 minutes in length, the festival may be the only opportunity for the general public to see many of these film and video pieces, created by a wide range of up-and-coming artists in documentary, narrative, animation and experimental categories.

There are more Utah entries than ever before and a record number in the Young Artists category, for those under 18, according to Mary Cranney, director of the Utah Film and Video Center.

Each evening's program, gleaned from the judges' picks that day, will run from 90 minutes to two hours. "These are selections hot off the judges' notesheets," Cranney said. "The programs will be mysteries to all of us until they are shown, but no one will be disappointed. These are some of the best films and videos in the country."

The festival has been steadily growing since going national two years ago, but Cranney said the most pleasing aspect is that the festival's reputation has grown as well. "We've really been impressed with the seriousness with which artists take this festival, and we hope the public will also take it seriously."

The judges for the competition are Michael Nash, media arts curator at the Long Beach Museum of Art, and Francine Marchetti, independent filmmaker and head of CinemaWorks in New York City. "I wanted out-of-town judges with experience with this kind of material, I wanted to represent male and female points of view and I wanted both a video emphasis and a film emphasis," Cranney said.

For more festival information or to arrange tickets, phone the Film and Video Center, 534-1158.