Filmmaking Competition Returns To Town

by David Brensilver | May 30, 2012 4:00 pm

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For the second consecutive year, aspiring and ascendant local filmmakers will have an opportunity to create work that could potentially be screened at the celebrated Cannes Film Festival. The catch: participants’ films have to be conceived and created in the course of 48 hours.

As the New Haven Independent indicated prior to last year’s local competition, participants will “receive the three ‘elements’ that must be included in all 48 Hour Film Project submissions, which, completed, should be five to seven minutes in duration.”

The 48 Hour Film Project website explains that “in each city, at the Kickoff Event, we will draw a character, a prop and a line of dialogue out of a hat. These elements must appear in your film in some way. All teams will have the same required elements.”

According to a 48 Hour Film Project press release, “New Haven will be one of a record almost 125 cities worldwide—from Beijing to Lisbon—competing in the 48 Hour Film Project” this year.

The local competition will take place July 27-July 29, with screenings of submitted films scheduled for August 2 at the Whitney Humanities Center.

“The best films,” the above-mentioned press release indicates, “will screen again at the Dreamland International Film Festival in New Haven, October 18-20, 2012. The winners will then be in the running for top honors at Filmapalooza, the 48 Hour Film Project’s annual awards.”

The 48 Hour Film Project website explains that “10 of the best films of the 2012 Tour will be screened at the Cannes Film Festival’s Short Film Corner in 2013.”

Patricia Clark, who produces the local competition for the 48 Hour Film Project, said in an e-mail that “in 2011, nearly 40,000 filmmakers made 3,000 films in over 100 cities on five continents.”

Last year, Michal Trzaska won the 48 Hour Film Project’s New Haven competition for Objects of Time, which Clark said, in a telephone conversation, was “definitely a high-quality short ... film” that did not seem like it had been conceived and created in a weekend. Trzaska’s film, which he put together with a team called Clear Lens, went on to be screened at the 2012 Taos Short Filmz Fest, where Filmapalooza 2012 was held.

Filmapalooza 2013, at which the winning films from the 2012 48 Hour Film Project will be screened, will take place in Hollywood, Calif., Clark said.

The 48 Hour Film Project, Clark said, offers aspiring and ascendant filmmakers “exposure to some of these film festivals that (they) would (otherwise) never be able” to get into.

Now in its 12th year, the Washington, D.C.-based 48 Hour Film Project has expanded in scope and with regard to discipline. The 48 Hour Music Video Project is now in its second year.

As of Wednesday, Clark said one local team had already registered to participate in this year’s 48 Hour Film Project. Last year, she said, nine teams of filmmakers—five of which were groups of area residents—participated in New Haven.

The kickoff event for this year’s competition will be held on July 27 at the Outer Space in Hamden, which is also where participating filmmakers will submit their work on July 29.

Interested individuals should visit the 48 Hour Film Project website to learn how to enter by joining or forming a team. They can also contact Clark, via e-mail, at

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