Two days to shoot: 48 Hour Film Project returns to GSO

Filmmakers in the region are gearing up for the 48 Hour Film Project, which comes to Greensboro the weekend of June 20-22.

Since its inception in 2001, the 48HFP has become the world’s biggest timed filmmaking competition and amassed a remarkable collection of more than 25,000 completed short films in its library. The first year the event was held in one city: Washington, DC. The next year, 2002, it was five cities: Philadelphia, Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta and Austin.

This year, some 130 cities around the world are participating: Paris, Cape Town, Taipei, Lima … and, yes, Greensboro, N.C. This is Greensboro’s 11 th year as a participating city in the 48HFP and Iris Carter’s fifth year as producer of the Greensboro event. Last year, 29 filmmaking teams participated in Greensboro. Thus far this year, 19 teams have already signed on.

“I’ve never been on a team before,” says Carter, “but in watching what goes on, I’d jump at the chance to be on a team if I weren’t already involved! I am honored to be able to bring the local film community together in a way that gives them the opportunity to grow and share their success.”

The name “48 Hour Film Project” speaks for itself: Filmmaking teams produce a short film over the course of a single weekend. Each film is to be four to seven minutes in length, and each team is assigned a specific character, prop, and line of dialogue that must somehow be incorporated into the narrative. As for genre, each team draws one out of a hat. Comedy, drama, musical, horror, scifi, spy movie … it’s the luck of the draw.

The winner of each city’s competition receives an invitation to attend Filmapalooza , which is the finale festival of the 48HFP, held in Hollywood each year. Last year’s Greensboro winner, Heart of the Dead, was indeed screened at the last Filmapalooza event.

The champion of that competition wins $5,000 and the chance to screen the winning film at the 2005 Cannes International Film Festival. (Long-time readers of YES! Weekly may recall something like that happening to the winning Greensboro film some years back …)

“Every team brings something fresh to the 48HFP which keeps the competition fresh and entertaining,” observes Carter. “We have people who create video projects as a full-time job, and we have others that jump in without any experience.

Even the experienced folks learn from the newbies, and the ones who are skilled are always willing to share what they know with anyone who is listening. My biggest thrill is when I see the community come together in the spirit of the project.”

The Greensboro kick-off will take place 6 pm-7 pm Friday, June 20 at The Worx (106 Barnhardt St., Greensboro), and drop-off is 6:30-8 pm on Sunday also at The Worx. Contestants are strongly advised to be there by 7:30 pm to absolutely be on time. In the past, some teams with a completed film have arrived literally moments too late to qualify. (Understandably, this is something the 48HFP and filmmakers would very much prefer to avoid.)

Premiere screenings will be held 7 pm and 9 pm Tuesday (June 24), Wednesday (June 25) and Thursday (June 27) at The Crown at Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Group A’s films will screen Monday, Group B’s films Tuesday, and Group C’s on Wednesday. There will be two screenings each night. Admission is $10 each or all three group screenings for $25.

On Friday, July 18, the “best-of screening” and awards ceremony will be held at the Carolina Theatre, followed by the official Greensboro 48HFP wrap party.

Registration is $160. After June 10, however, the rate goes up to $175. Teams will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. Once initial registration is completed, teams will be added to the waiting list. The number of teams is limited. !


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