48 Hour Films: A Short Festival

For the creative types: July 17th-20th is the weekend for you. If you’re one of the people who regularly reads my ramblings (hi, Mom), you already know that Creepy Fest is this weekend, packing over 40 bands across multiple venues from Thursday to Sunday. Accompanying that is a film screening, burlesque show, and zombie party.

flyerFor the creative types not into hardcore punk, zombies, and scantily clad dancers (is anyone even left?), The 48 Hour Film Project is also taking place this weekend. Born to answer a question of whether it’s possible to make a short film in 48 hours, the global festival is now in its 15th year and is going strong.

The festival takes place in over 120 cities throughout the year, with this weekend hosting the festival in New Orleans, Austin, Columbus, Detroit, Nashville, and Richmond. Filmmakers are given a 48 hour time limit starting on Friday night at 7pm and lasting til Sunday night at 7pm to complete their project. That means that writing, rehearsal, costume and set design, shooting, editing, etc. all have to be done within two days. Even a week is an extremely short timeline for this kind of project, so 48 hours really is a challenge.

Filmmakers are allowed to organize their cast, crew, and equipment and scout locations before the kickoff, but that doesn’t help much. At the kickoff event teams are assigned a prop, a character, a line of dialogue, and a genre they have to abide by to qualify for screenings and judging. Once you receive your assignment, participants must race to get it written and start shooting.

trophyScreenings will take place between July 24th-27th at the Solomon Victory Theater at the National WWII Museum. After the screenings and judging, an awards ceremony will take place on August 7th at the Little Gem Saloon. Citywide winning films are screened at Filmapalooza, and the top 10 chosen there will be screened at the Cannes Film Festival. Other mentions are given for various Academy Award like achievements such as best directing, writing, cinematography, and so on. However, judges also choose winners for the best use of the assigned genre, character, prop, and line.

Tickets will be available for the final screenings soon, so be on the lookout if you want to support some local filmmakers. Nearly 50 teams are participating in the New Orleans 48 Hour Film Festival, including one with yours truly. Come out and support us, and laugh/scream/cry (depending on the genre) along with us.

If you’d like to get involved now, the 48 Hour Film Project website is accepting audience suggestions for genre, prop, character, and line. Click here to share your idea with the powers at be.

About Eric

Eric is a New Orleans native and graduate of Loyola. He grew up in Kenner and is embarrassed to tell you that. He lives Uptown and frequents local watering holes to socialize with peers. His hobbies include writing, making bad jokes, and casually observing the day to day life of New Orleans.

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