The 48 Film Challenge
History of The 48 Film Challenge
In 2001, Mark Ruppert and Liz Langston (based out of Washington D.C.), initiated the first, 48 Hour Film Project (48HFP) which is the world’s oldest and largest time-based filmmaking challenge in the world – working with over 130 different cities. Since its formation, new film challenges (not associated with the 48HFP) have spawned their own 24-48-and-72-hour flavours, which are practiced in hundreds of cities by thousands of filmmakers around the world each year. For example, there are two-dozen notable time-based challenges across Canada, each exclusive to its city and/or region, including a 48HFP that has been operating in Toronto for 14 years.
What distinguishes our effort?
The 48 Film Festival, is the first and only not-for-profit federally incorporated, time-based film challenge representing Canada exclusively. WE ARE NOT CONNECTED in any way to the 48HFP’s international program nor its partner in Toronto. Through our Canada-wide film festival, we aim to draw in aspiring and active film artists in as many provinces and territories as possible. We hope to foster a cross-fertilization of talent and interest across the vast expanse of Canada.
What is a 48-hour film challenge?
Some of you will be familiar with the basics of a 48-hour film challenges; others not so. This time-based challenge and numerous others have generally been conceived as incubators for those new and experienced in the filmmaking arts. For this specific challenge, the idea is to conceive, write, shoot, edit, score and produce a short film within only 48 hours. All experience levels, genre and filmmaking practice is acceptable: from live action to animation to experimental, we are all about the exhibition of the moving image and the celebration of new and rising voices. To ensure the integrity of this endeavour, some mandatory guidelines must be followed.
At the beginning of the 48-hour period, entrants will be provided a set of mandatory instructions known as “The Key”. The project can not begin until participants receive “The Key”. For example, you may be required to include a particular camera angle or editing technique or work to a common theme. Films will be limited to the same duration (TBD, but always under 5 minutes); all must be completed and submitted at the conclusion of the 48-hour period.
All teams that register and complete a project on time will be screened locally in each participating province or territory. The top films from each participating province or territory will next screen at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto.
We want to see all productions step it up!
We encourage you to involve trained and/or professional actors from your local community to enhance screen presence, and to tap local composers and musicians instead of relying on random generic music downloads. We are looking for improved audio quality with better and smarter use of sound recording, including but not limited to, the use of voice-over to compensate for poor sound quality. We wish to inspire thoughtful use of filmic techniques and editing fundamentals and will be offering pro tips, resources and instructions. We are here to help you with all of the above and more to ensure your film is as good as it can be.
There will be lots of prizes and awards to go around, but most important, you will create a new film to present to an audience, and have the opportunity to meet, work with and grow together with artists within and beyond your province or territory.
The barrier to enter The 48 is next to zero; we encourage all those interested to try out. However, The 48 is not an easy challenge. We take filmmaking seriously and expect you to BRING IT!!! Most of all, we want you to work hard, be productive, stay safe and have FUN!
Online or in-person — Covid-19
The Covid-19 pandemic has compelled us all to be innovative in using the online space as an alternative to in-person gatherings. How containment of the pandemic will play out over the next year is obviously not something we can answer. We aim to host in-person events for local screenings in the summer of 2022, but will have to assess the health and safety issues closer to that time, understanding that local screenings may need to be exclusively online. Our hope is that we can all celebrate coming together for an in-person event for the national screening in 2023 at the Canada-wide screening. For more on the projected timeline, go to How does The 48 work.