The Denver 48 Hour Film Project 2018

By Miranda Downey, WIFMCO Membership Chair

Friday Aug 3rd, at least 52 teams will be taking part in the weekend filmmaking challenge known as the 48 Hour Film Project in Denver. The 48HFP is an opportunity to challenge skills & engage with the local filmmaking community. The competition has grown globally and become increasingly more popular over the years, but if you have never heard of the 48HFP before, let me give you a quick run-down.

At the kickoff event, each team will pull two slips of paper out of a hat that will determine the genre of their film for the weekend. There is no trading. The team must go with one of the genres that they pulled. Some examples of the genres in 2018 include film de femme, silent film and musical. From there, all teams in each city will have required elements for a character, prop and line of dialog that must be included in the film. Los Angeles has their competition the same weekend as Denver, so it’s possible L.A. will have an entirely different character, prop, and line of dialog for their competition. The elements must be included in the film itself, not the credits. No creative work can be done ahead of time, the only things allowed to do before the competition begins is to gather your potential cast & crew and fill out piles of paperwork. Each team must write, shoot, edit, score and deliver their 4-7 minute long film in 48 hours. The films go on to be screened and judged in their respective city and can win accolades such as “Best Actress.” The winning film will go up against films from around the world at Filmapalooza 2019 for a chance at a grand prize and an opportunity to screen at the Cannes Film Festival 2019 Short Film Corner.

I’ve participated in eight 48 Hour film projects between Los Angeles and Denver. Every year, I have been pushed to grow as a creative contributor, producer, and actor. I have learned invaluable new skills, created a group of talented colleagues with which to work and have built friendships I am sure will last through my lifetime. Working your tail off for 48 hours straight, with little to no sleep, will bond you to the people you are working with to create your film. You will be falling asleep in each other’s laps in-between tasks, snacking any chance you get and laughing at ridiculous jokes that actually aren’t even funny, you’re just so exhausted you don’t know better anymore. Hopefully, healthy, happy bonds are created, but don’t be surprised if you never want to see the face of *that one person* ever again by the end of it all. I will say that my favorite 48HFP was also the hardest film, Beware the Moonlight, that I did with my team in L.A. It was a difficult shoot in nearly every way imaginable. In addition, it was excruciatingly cold that night and I was in a swimming pool, in a mermaid tail, without a monofin, trying to also serve as an AD, while (successfully) avoiding electrocution. I did end up exhaustedly walking through a screen door when I was sans tail, but we don’t talk about that anymore!

This year the competition will run from August 3-5th. Registration is open until August 3rd and will cost your team $188. The kickoff event will be held Friday, Aug 3, 2018, 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm at the Open Media Foundation, 700 Kalamath Street, Denver 80204. The drop off is Sunday, Aug 5, 2018, 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm (by 7:30 pm to be on time) at the Skylark Lounge, 140 South Broadway, Denver 80209. Premiere screenings are Sunday, Aug 12, 2018, at Sie FilmCenter, 2510 East Colfax Avenue, Denver 80206.

You can sign up and get a plethora of more information at
If you want to get involved, but can’t commit to leading your own team, you can register at in order to find a team. If you end up participating, let us know about your experience and if you are open to sharing it with the WiFMCO community in a guest blog post.

May the odds be ever in your favor!

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