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Film Flies

48 Hour Film Project challenges local teams to a weekend of filmmaking against the clock

I hate the cliché saying that “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” We know. If it's impossible by today's technology to build a city in a day, then it is easy to infer it couldn't be done 2,000 years ago. But apparently, today it is possible to produce a film in just two days, and Austin's 48 Hour Film Project proves it.

The 48 Hour Film Project kicks off on Friday, August 24 at 6:00 p.m. as chosen teams start scrambling to make their 48-hour (duh) deadline for the annual competition. They must also use the line of dialog provided by the the competition in their film, and all creative aspects of the film must be done in the allotted time (script writing, filming, rehearsing, costume design, editing, sound, rendering and outputting).

This is no “freestyle” endeavor for the teams participating: They must meet the two-day deadline down to the exact minute, or the film does not qualify for judging in the competition.

If this sounds like a can of corn, it isn’t. According to the producer of Austin’s 48 Hour Film Project, Noelle Schonefeld, “typically, one to two teams don’t make it in the race-to-the-finish.” Independence Brewery and Balcones Distillery will be on hand at the “pretty fun blow out” party after the "race-to-the-finish," which takes place Sunday at 7:30 p.m. at Vuka Co-Op.

Vuka Co-Op and 48 Hour Film Project are seemingly the perfect pairing. The brand new creative space off of South 1st St. houses one of the most beautiful interiors we have seen in this city. The 6,800 square foot warehouse is accented with low-light chandeliers and beautiful furniture, while still managing to steer clear of the upscale ambiance that is the antithesis of Austin style.

This year’s crop of 42 teams (six more than last year) consists of small groups of families to teams of 85 professionals working together to produce the most creative, insightful films in only 48 hours.

According to Schonefeld, 48 Hour is “more about the process of producing a great film rather than the film itself. Any filmmaker can benefit and learn no matter the experience level.”

Schonefeld and partner Christina Martell have worked night and day “as a salute to the film and arts community in Austin." When asked if their were any difficulties in organizing 48 Hour this year Schonefeld replied, “We haven’t had time to stop and think about difficulties, we have a great team with a lot of enthusiasm and we know it is going to be great.”


The kick off for 48 Film Festival on Friday evening on the Long Center Terrace. You can join in on the Drop Off party Sunday evening Vuka Co-Op to support the teams as they race to the finish. Check out the full schedule of times and the official rules here.

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