48 Hour Film Festival

Watch interview here

Jay Mafela

Most movies you see in the theater usually take months, even years to finish and make distribution-ready. But what if the movie had a much shorter production time? Like just two days? That is the premise of Jacksonville’s 48-Hour Film Project.

The 48-Hour Film Project is an annual competition with events across the U.S. and around the world. The Jacksonville 48-Hour Film Project is headed by local filmmakers Adam and Monique Madrid, who went from participating in the festival for 10 years (and winning in 2014) to coordinating the event.

“It’s been a rewarding experience because we understood what the filmmakers wanted because we competed,” said Adam. “That was the bonus for us because we had that experience of actually being a filmmaker, doing a film in 48 hours and knowing what it takes, the energy it takes, and then the reward of seeing it on the screen.”

On April 29, the teams meet at The Jessie for the genre drawing, which will determine the kind of film they will make: comedy, coming of age, drama, mockumentary, period piece, etc. They will also receive specific character details (a name and occupation), a line of dialogue and a prop that must be incorporated into their film.The kinds of required elements they could get are random, thus keeping teams from preparing their entry ahead of time. From there, the teams have to spend the next 48 hours writing, filming, editing and making sure to submit it by the deadline, May 1 at 7:30 p.m.. Once teams have the necessary information, the rest is up to them.

The competition invites filmmakers of all levels to participate from those in the industry to hobbyists to newbies.

“It doesn’t matter how professional or not professional you are,” said Monique. “The fact that you’re competing to do a film in 48 hours means you’re gonna instantly grow within that 48 hours. And every time you do it after that, it’s just gonna grow and grow and grow.”

The final submissions will be screened May 19-21 at WJCT Studios. The winning films will be shown again May 31 followed by an award ceremony. Teams earn recognition for the elements in their film including Best Film, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Story, even Best Use of Prop, Best Use of Character and Best Use of Dialogue.

Jacksonville’s winning film gets entered into the Filmapalooza Festival in Washington, D.C, where the winners compete against filmmakers from around the world. They can enjoy the festival, network with other people in the industry and have fun in the city. Their film will get screened there and be up to win awards there as well. The top 12 films of Filmapalooza also get screened at the Cannes Film Festival.

Registration for Jacksonville’s 48-Hour Film Project is open until April 29. For more information and to register, visit 48hourfilm.com/jacksonville.