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The 48-hour Film Project is the BattleBots of Cinema – Prepare for battle

Jul 6, 2023 | Filmmaking, Indie Film, Louisiana Filmmakers

48 hour film project New Orleans

“Here they go!” shouts the over-aggressive announcer. “The quirky coming-of-age cancer drama from New Orleans is squaring off against the backwater horror suspense of Baton Rouge! Oh, New Orleans has got a buzzsaw and is going straight after Baton Rouge’s vulnerable spot – the jump-scare-in-the-mirror-reflection trope. Baton Rouge has got a spiked hammer and is going straight after New Orleans’ oversaturated indie folk soundtrack – Oh, it’s a bloodbath!”

This is not quite how the New Orleans 48-hour Film Project goes.

But, if you wanna get dramatic – yes, it’s a bloodbath…of friendly creative competition.

The New Orleans 48-hour Film Project is the local version of the 48-hour Film Project taking place in more than 100 cities across the U.S. this summer. The top films will move on to increased exposure at the international Filmapalooza Festival and the Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner spotlight.

The 48-hour Film Project concept:

Filmmakers gather into teams and pull a blind genre from a hat. They then must complete an entire film in a single weekend. Write it, shoot it, edit it – it’s all gotta be done by Sunday night. Every completed film screens at a local theater and films are awarded prizes in categories from Best Acting to the top prize of Best Film.

The logistics:

Film teams will draw a genre from one of 30 genres prepared by the Film Project. Read the Competition Rules for the fine print of entry. Judges will critique films based on artistic merit, technical merit, and adherence to the assignment. Each film will carry three requirements: a specific prop, a required line of dialogue, and a required character. The project will run from Friday at 7 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday. Allowable preparation work includes organizing cast and crew, scouting locations, and securing equipment. The entire creative process must take place during the 48-hour competition period.

48 hour film project

The 48-hour Film Project summer timeline: 

Thursday, July 13th, 6 p.m. – Interested filmmakers can meet at Turtle Bay on Decatur Street in New Orleans for the “Turtle Bay Networking Meet and Greet.” The meet-and-greet is open to anyone looking to join or fill a filmmaking team. 

Thursday, July 27th, 6 p.m. – Filmmakers who have not completed their team, or are looking to join a team late, will gather at the Morning Call Coffee Stand on Canal Boulevard for the “Final Networking Meet and Greet Before Kickoff.” 

Friday, August 4th, 6 p.m. – It’s kickoff time, or as the Film Project BattleBots announcer might say, “Time to rampage.” Participating film teams will gather at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Center to tremble in anticipation and pull their assigned genre for the weekend.

Sunday night by 7:30 p.m. – All films must be submitted virtually on the 48-hour Film Project website. 

Friday, August 18th, midnight – Participants gather for premiere screenings of their finished projects at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Center. Winners of the film prizes will be announced and listed on the 48-hour Film Project website.


Early bird registration carries on until July 10th for $158 per team. “Regular” registration will be available from July 11th to 25th for $178 per team. Late teams who enjoy living dangerously can register from July 26th to August 4th for $198. Register here.

The 48-hour Film Project will be a battle royale to the death. 

And by “battle royale to the death”, we mean, “a fun, exciting, and pressure-oriented competition between local filmmakers.”

Gather your team. Prepare for battle.

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