48hr Film Challenges for Northampton Film Festival 2023 – and free networking night

We run a series of free 48hr Film Challenges every other month in the run up to our next Film Festival to help local filmmakers make a series of shorts without procrastination, without having to do lots of planning, and without having to have a budget or lots of equipment, so that by the next Film Festival in May you could have made SIX short films. You will learn loads about your filmmaking process with very little commitment!

We also combine it with a free networking event – even if you don’t make a film you can join us on the Sunday from 5pm upstairs at the bar.

On the Friday we announce the theme at 6pm on Screen Northants’ Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. (We aren’t emailing it out anymore and you don’t need to register ahead of time.) You have to deliver us an online viewer of your film by 6pm on the Sunday. We watch the films together (roughly between 6.30pm and 7.30pm) at V and B Northampton, 10 St Giles Square opposite the Guildhall, NN1 1DA. We’re there from 5pm for drinks upstairs. Read the rules below.

Event dates

24th – 26th June 2022 – in collaboration with the University of Northampton in recognition of Pride and Refugee Week. Guest judge TBA.

26th – 28th August 2022 – Guest judge TBA.

28th – 30th October 2022 – Guest judge TBA.

9th – 11th December 2022 – Guest judge TBA.

24th – 26th February 2023 – Guest judge TBA.

28th – 30th April 2023 – Guest judge TBA.

May 2023 – Northampton Film Festival!


At least one of your team has to be living or studying in Northamptonshire (could be director, composer, actor, whatever) and at least one of your team needs to attend the networking event on the Sunday (outsiders welcome too!!).

We have to have the link to your online film emailed to us by 6pm on the Sunday deadline to fortyeight@northamptonfilmfestival.co.uk The film can be sent via WeTransfer, Dropbox, YouTube or Vimeo. It can be Unlisted on YouTube or it can be password protected but make sure you send us the password!

Please make sure it is suitable for a 15 audience. Please make sure your film isn’t offensive and if you think the audience should be notified of any potential triggers please write this in your email when you submit.

Avoid copyrighted material you don’t have permission to use – this is good practice anyway! You should abide by any platform’s rules where you upload it.

Sometimes the judge will watch films remotely and join us via videolink.

You can work on your own or in a team (no limit!). 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.

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, although if it happens to be a bit longer you can still enter it.

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!

Have fun! No one expects a 48hr film to be perfect and we know you may not have access to your usual equipment etc.

If you want any help finding other crew members or actors please get in touch and feel free to post on our social media and we’ll share. Please also post us behind the scenes stuff while you are filming!

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