48hr Film Challenge rules 2021 – 2022

UPDATE: We have a lovely new venue: V and B Northampton (opposite the Guildhall and next to the Old Bank pub) AND we’re now combining the hand in of the 48hr films with some friendly networking so anyone is welcome to come along to watch the entries and meet other local filmmakers. But please RSVP.

We run a series of 48hr Film Challenges each year for the following Northampton Film Festival – all winners go into a Winner of Winners Category at the festival to win a huge trophy!

For the 2022 festival we have the following challenges all starting and ending at 6pm:

10th-12th December 2021 – complete!

28th-30th January 2022 – complete!

25th-27th February 2022 – complete!

25th-27th March 2022 – the theme will be announced 6pm on the Friday via social media and emailed to those that register ahead of the challenge by emailing fortyeight@northamptonfilmfestival.co.uk Then we’ll be at V and B’s Northampton from 5.30pm to accept your entries which must be with us by 6pm – part of the deal is you MUST attend BUT you can get the film to us by 6pm on a memory stick OR by uploading it to sharable platform like YouTube. If you upload it you could arrive a little after 6pm but we start watching the films straight away so you might miss yours if you aren’t quick. Our judges for this competition will be remote so please don’t make sure your film is not large if you arrive with it on a memory stick as we will be uploading it – therefore it is preferable if you can upload it yourself at home before traveling but please check that it works! We will find out the winner on the evening and we’ll get a chance to talk to our judges via a video call. Please feel the full rules below.

Our judges for this month’s competition are Urvisha Patel and Presh Williams:

Founded in 2015 by college friends, Urvisha Patel and Presh Williams, Big Picture Film Club is an online media platform for the everyday film lover who craves something deeper than just film. At our core, we value significant discussions about the world of film and the cultural impact it has on society. With a focus on original and meaningful content in news, reviews, editorials & interviews we strive to go beyond the mainstream to give you the bigger picture. Initially a pop up events company, we have since grown over the last 7 years, extending our events with partnerships including curating a monthly screening programme with Odeon cinemas and hosting for BirdBox, as well as our own branded pop up events. We create original media content, including working with indie filmmakers/distributors to develop marketing strategies and providing support for releases. Now evolving into the digital space with Cinnect, we have developed an end-to-end sales and acquisition platform that allows production companies and content owners to directly campaign-manage their entire global content licensing operation at scale in a cost effective manner

29th April – 1st May 2022 – as above but with a different judge!

13th – 15th May 2022 – as above but with a different judge!

If you win a challenge, good for you! Then you go into the Winner of Winners category at the 2022 festival where you may win our amazing 48hr Film Challenge trophy!


To take part in these free challenges you need at least 1 resident of Northamptonshire on your team and you must attend the final event on the Sunday.

You must make the whole film within the 48hr window and we recommend that you don’t try to shoehorn something you’ve already written into the theme we set for each challenge.

On the Friday we will announce the theme at 6pm so all you can do before this point is assemble a team (unless you want to work on your own which is equally fine!).

Then you’ve got 48hrs to write, shoot and edit a short film! It could be a drama, animation, documentary, video diary, stop motion, silent film, experimental art piece, anything! We are now limiting films to 5 minutes – we have had films that are 30 seconds long (and have won!) and in my opinion there’s no short film too short.

You should abide by any platform’s rules where you upload it – we’d recommend no unauthorised use of copyrighted material as is good practice anyway, so make everything original! Of course you’re welcome to put your films online, enter them into other festivals, re-edit them and enter them into our Main Competition, whatever – it’s your film!

Please make sure the film doesn’t contain anything offensive – we love humour and dark stuff but we’d like the broadest audience to feel comfortable entering the competition and watching all the entries. We do sometimes also have young people involved. If you have any questions about this please ask and if you think people need a warning before watching the film, such as something that might be a trigger to someone else, just let us know so we can advise.

We want people to have fun with this – don’t stress about never having made films before if you’re new, or not having professional equipment available. These challenges are just a great way to have a completed film in 48hrs – no real planning, no real pressure to get it right. Whatever happens, you will be a better filmmaker for it!

You can shoot your film on a phone or camera of any quality, or even just use your computer. We are not judging who has the best equipment but who is the best storyteller.

If you want help finding people to work with or actors, or even location suggestions, get in touch – we’re happy to help out in any way we can!

Blind Judging – we usually ask people not to put your names in the credits on the film, or at the start of the film. Credits for the actors is fine, but not the creators – then the judge will not know who had made which film during judging. However, we know it might be obvious from your YouTube name or you really want full credits on there so it’s up to you – if you don’t add credits to the film you can always add credits to the description after judging.

Get a good idea that is centred around the theme. A short film of 30 seconds that is bang on the money is better than a 5 min film you wrote beforehand (naughty) that doesn’t fit the brief.

Make sure you allow time for exporting and uploading. If you know you have bad wifi leave time or make sure your file isn’t huge for uploading. We can’t accept late entries (but you’re welcome to send them in still as we’d love to see them even if it hasn’t turned out as you planned!).

We are here to help – reach out if you’re stuck, need something or have a question.

Please don’t put any copyrighted (famous) music on your film. Please look for ‘Royalty Free Music’ on the internet. You could also make your own music if you’re a musician, or if your friend is part of a band who has their own original music, you can ask for their permission and use that. This also applies to footage and graphics – don’t steal anyone else’s without permission!

You don’t have to register with us first to take part so you can even decide to start on Saturday or even Sunday but I would recommend dropping us a line so we can keep you up to date with any last minute issues and tell you the rules for the next challenge. fortyeight@northamptonfilmfestival.co.uk

We publish the theme on social media at 6pm as well as emailing to those who have registered

To register email fortyeight@northamptonfilmfestival.co.uk and we’ll acknowledge receipt and can send any updates etc.

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