Post Image

Nigerians who aspire to make a career in filmmaking have a unique opportunity to participate in a global short film competition. This competition will provide film enthusiasts around the world the chance to network with other individuals and organizations in the industry. With a lucky break, a winning participant can have their work screened at Canes and other international film festivals.

Tagged the 48 Hour Film Project, the initiative, which was started in 2001 by an American, Mark Ruppert, aims to advance filmmaking and promote filmmakers through festivals and competitions.

The competition debuted in Nigeria last year and was won by team Oddity with their film titled “The Truth about B.A.E”.  Three members of the winning team led by Xavier Ighorodje were facilitated by Lagos city producer Ike Nnaebue to Atlanta USA where they represented Nigeria at the international level of the contest.

Announcing the registration kick-off for the 2016 competition in Lagos Nigeria, Nigerian Producer, of the project and franchise owner, Ike Nnaebue emphasized on the tight deadline of 48 hours, as the hanger that puts the focus squarely on the filmmakers—emphasizing on creativity and teamwork.

“While the time limit places an unusual restriction on the filmmakers, it is also liberating by putting an emphasis on doing instead of talking,” he said.

According to Ike, the filmmakers are at liberty to choose their themes, but each team must select the genre for its movie in a random picking 15 minutes before the beginning of the competition. However, he stated that the teams are each given a character, a prop and a line of dialogue that must appear in their film.

The credibility of the project resides with the judges, who consist of various prestigious professionals in the industry. These judges who are required to be fair and impartial have a wealth of experience in the industry. They will be in charge of judging the participants and in addition to determining the winner, they will also select a number of other awards that will be handed out. The judges on the national/international level have included actors such as Julianne Moore, directors such as Simon West (Con Air), and editors such as Thelma Schoonmaker (Raging Bull, The Departed).

The 48 Hour Film Project is open to all filmmakers, pro and novice alike, and all who would appreciate the exposure provided and the opportunity to learn from professionals in the industry are urged to participate. The rules state that all team members (crew and cast) must be volunteers; most teams consist of film and video professionals, and teams have attracted some top talent on both sides of the camera. Martin Freeman, Penn of Penn and Teller, Dennis Farina, and Nick Clooney have all appeared in 48HFP films.

On the choice of short films for the project, Mr. Nnaebue said, not only are shorter films tighter and usually more interesting, they are also more marketable. The films are expected to be a minimum of 5 minutes and a maximum of 15 minutes long.

It was also stated that there were over 4,000 entries in 2012 out of which more than 1,130 contestants bagged awards. There were 113 city winners…and only one grand prize.

“The 48 Hour Film Project is a wild and sleepless weekend in which you and a team make a movie – write, shoot, edit and score it – in just 48 hours. No creative work is allowed prior to the official filmmaking period.

“On Friday night, the team receives a character, a prop, a line of dialogue and a genre, all to include in the participant’s movie. 48 hours later, the movie must be complete. Then screened at a local theater.

On the achievements of the project so far:

  • The 2015 winning team successfully represented Nigeria in the USA
  • More than 900 competitions have taken place around the world
  • More than 25,000 short films made
  • More than 325,000 filmmakers have taken part
  • Nine special screenings at the Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner
  • More than $800,000 in cash and prizes awarded to filmmakers
  • And 14 Filmapaloozas to date

This year, the 48HFP is expected to visit more than 130 cities where more than 60,000 people will make short films.

Criteria for judging and considerations for Best Film will include

  • Artistic merit (story, creativity, entertainment, etc.) – 45%
  • Technical merit – 30%
  • Adherence to the assignment – 25%

An international panel of judges will select the Best Film of 2015 from among the best film of each city. The winner will be announced at our Awards Ceremony at Filmapalooza 2016 and will receive the Grand Prize Trophy and a cash prize of USD5000. In addition, the top 10 films of the year from around the world will be screened at the Short Film Corner at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in 2016.

Winner of Best Film of 2015 in each city also enjoys the Filmapalooza Screening during the official 48HFP Awards Weekend. In addition, a trophy will be presented to them at Filmapalooza, plus a Movie Magic Screenwriter Software 6: The premier screenwriting software and the choice of Hollywood (worth $250 in value).

Other awards may include Best Acting, Best Cinematography, Best Directing, Best Editing, Best Musical Score, Best Sound Design, Best Special Effects, Best Use of Character, Best Use of Prop, Best Use of Line, and Best Writing.

For more information on the project, please visit  and participate in this window of opportunity.

You might also like:
This article was first published on 9th October 2016

Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *