7th Annual CAC 48 Hour Film Competition!


Sky Room Café Fri, Aug 17, 2018 8:00 PM


Get ready for the ultimate filmmaking challenge. Do you have what it takes to make a movie in only 48 hours?!

Competition: Friday, August 17th at 8pm until Sunday, August 19th at 8pm.
Registration is $85-per-team
Screening of completed films:  Monday, September 17th at 7:30pm.

Simply put, filmmaking teams have just one weekend to make a short film. Filmmakers don’t know what genre they will be shooting until the start of the competition. All creativity: writing, shooting, editing and adding a musical soundtrack, must occur within the 48 hour window beginning Friday evening at 7pm. To add to the mayhem, they must also include some random elements that you find out about at the starting line. The CAC 48-Hour Film Competition is a filmmaking competition that just has to be experienced. Make a short film in 48 hours?! You’d have to be mad. Fortunately, temporary insanity is one thing this competition isn’t lacking. Reasons to compete include: getting to see your creation on the big screen at our culminating event on September 17th , adding a new film to your portfolio, and being in the running for a cash prize!

The winning team will receive $500 and the winning film will be shown for one week at the Cinema Arts Centre!

See all of the films at a special screening on September 17th, 7:30 pm, Admission $10

Special Thanks to Ant Timpson of the Rialto Channel 48Hours NZ

To Register please complete this Registration Form
Registration is $85-per-team (click the 'Buy Tickets' button on the top of this page to pay the registration fee, or visit the CAC box office)

You Must complete The Registration form.

The competition shoot weekend runs for 48 Hours from 8pm Friday, August 17 EST to 8pm Sunday, August 19. The entire content of the Short film must be shot within the 48 hours of the competition.

Teams must gather at the Cinema Arts Centre Sky Room Cafe on

to receive instructions, genre of film, and necessary elements.

The short film must include all the required elements as supplied at the launch, and the required line of dialog must appear in the film exactly as given to be eligible for judging.

The duration of the Short film will be between 1 minute, and 5 minutes, Including your Titles and all end Credits.

You need to include a Team Intro at the start of your film as part of your single submitted film file. This must be LESS than 30 seconds. You may create this before the shoot weekend, or simply group your team in front the camera during the shoot to introduce yourselves to the viewing audience. This is not counted as part of your film running time, but must be included for the entry to be valid.

Your Short film MUST include the Final closing credit: “This film was made as part of the Cinema Arts Centre 48-Hour Film Competition”

The Entry must be in an mp4 or mov File format, 16:9 Aspect Ratio, submitted on a USB memory stick. (USB sticks cannot be returned).

The file should be named with your Team Name (without spaces, punctuation or non alpha-numeric characters) followed by ’2016'. Under Score _ is acceptable as a replacement for a space separator.
Do not use your Film title – just the Team Name
e.g “Noise and Pictures” should have a file called noiseandpictures2015.mp4 or noiseandpictures2015.mov
e.g “Men swear like $#!+ ” should have a file called MenSwearLike2015.mp4 (or .mov)
If your team name has the word “Team” or “The” at the start, you must include that in the file name.
e.g “Team America, World Police” should have a file called TeamAmericaWorldPolice2015.mp4 (or .mov).

All teams must fill out the wrap sheet (when you drop off your film) before 7pm at the close of competition.

All participants must fill out and sign a release form (signed by Parent/Guardian if under 18) that is to be held by the Team leader, including property release forms for identifiable or private properties, business buildings, or managed spaces such as Shopping Malls, Airports, Museums, schools etc.

Original Music entries must be created specifically on the Shoot weekend. Composers and music contributors must fill out a release form and a music cue sheet.


Don’t be late. 48 Hours is the time allowed. Any entries submitted after 6:59pm EXACTLY are not eligible for entry into the competition.

Don’t include any unlicensed copyrighted material, or sound in your short. This includes images and sounds that may appear in the background such as TV, radio, or music.

Don’t change the required line of dialog. It must appear in the film as given.

Don’t submit Tapes, CD files or DVD’s of your film. They are not accepted.

Do not screen your short prior to the screening on September 17th. Not even to the cast and crew. Do not upload your short to any file sharing network or website such as youtube or vimeo until after the screening event on September 17th.

Don’t Cheat. Any team found to have cheated in some way will be disqualified from any awards, prizes and screenings. Please keep the spirit of the competition in the back of your mind throughout the process. And keep in mind how vindictive and small Long Island is! You’re supposed to be having fun, not trying to screw the system.

Please don’t leave it until Sunday night to input and output a film with your editing software and system.
Practice it, test it, and give yourself double the time to do it on the day. 95% of late entries are caused by editing-output issues.

Please don’t run around with guns or weapons in public.

Let neighbors or the public know if you are filming scenes that may be mistaken for people in trouble, before they call the Police on you. In other words, use common sense.

You may include a team logo AS PART of your Short Film running time, but try to keep it very short. (10 seconds here, compares to having a 3 minute logo on a feature film!)

Just don’t be late.

Need practice – Need to test your gear? You could shoot team members introducing their skills. Edit it. Output it correctly. Have a screening with your team. Discuss.

Rules are subject to change up to the Competition start-time. Any changes will be noted on this page.


NUMBER ONE WITH A BULLET: This is the #1 for a very good reason. And if you don’t follow it, chances are you won’t be handing a film in on time. So for the love of all things holy, test all your equipment and especially the pipeline from shoot > editing > file. Do it on the equipment you’ll be using as well. And please look at what we require in terms of delivery specifications. If you don’t submit what we ask for then we may not be able to screen your film.

PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE TEAM: Choose your team dynamics well. Think ahead. No drama queens onboard. There is nothing worse than someone bringing the mood of the whole team down during the weekend.

EXECUTIVE ACTION: It’s a team effort no doubt but it’s always best to make sure that you have one person who can make final executive decisions. Films have been ruined by too many cooks in the kitchen. Nothing hurts more than indecision under extreme deadlines.

THE GHOST WRITER: Try and complete your script late Friday so everyone wakes up to a completed script (plus shooting order and rough storyboards if you’re game) on Saturday at 6am.

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED: Think about how many shorts are going to be made the same weekend. Then think about trying something utterly unique or risky. We love Teams that risk it all and go for broke. Don’t play it safe and you might just end up in the finals.

FASTER PUSSYCAT EDIT EDIT: Begin editing as soon as you start shooting. You need every second in editing. Let your editor work in the zone and have something ready for you early, then discuss.

EAT DRINK MAN WOMAN: Organise some eats for your hardworking team. Nothing makes people more loyal than catering on film sets. Beg or borrow and pull favours from anyone who has access to making yummy grub.

PLAN 9 : Plan as much as you can in advance. Cast, crew, potential locations and props are just some of the things you should have locked down before the shoot weekend. Everything will probably go horribly wrong on the Sunday afternoon when you’re wanting to output your masterpiece to file. So make sure you know what to do (or who to contact) when your computer freezes.

THE ART OF NOISE: Sound. Sound. Sound. Record clean sound. There is nothing worse in all of the 48 than bad sound. We can forgive performances by your parents, cameras with lens caps on, nonsensical editing but judges and audiences cannot stand lousy in camera sound. Find, borrow, steal good external sound gear.

THE MOST FUN YOU CAN HAVE DYING: We like to remind everyone that the #1 reason they’re entering is to have a weekend of fun. Everything else is a bonus. It’s not going to be easy. In fact the chances are high that you’ll be tired and frustrated at times but the feeling you have at the finish line will make up for it. Even if you miss the deadline, you’ll never forget that moment. Enter for the experience.