48 Hour Film Project: Best Of

“Best Of” Screening at the Bijou Theatre



Photograph: © MarsBars/istockphoto.com

What do a plastic surgeon, an ice cream cone, and the line “You’ve got to do it” have in common? Well, literally nothing, but it was up to the daring, sleep-deprived participants of New Haven’s 48 Hour Film Project to find a way to include all three in a four to seven-minute-long film on the weekend of July 25. Submissions were due on Sunday, July 27 at 7:30 p.m. sharp. Exactly one month later, the “Best Of” the short films will be screened at the Bijou Theatre in Bridgeport.

About 13 years ago, filmmaker Mark Ruppert wondered, “Would films made in only 48 hours even be watchable?” Instead of tossing the question away as a mere musing, Ruppert recruited his filmmaking partner Liz Langston as well as several other local filmmakers to get in on the experiment.

The “experiment” of conceptualizing, writing, casting, directing, performing, shooting, and editing a film in one weekend’s time has become a major filmmaking craze in over 50 cities in the United States, over 30 cities in Europe, over 15 cities in Asia, and in 8 cities in Africa. The challenge is always the same: create a film in only 48 hours, with no preparation or guidance - save for a required character, prop, line, and genre (the latter of which is randomly selected out of a hat). These elements are assigned at the contest’s kickoff event, which always takes place on the Friday night when the game begins.

Besides the glory of surviving a weekend of collaborating with friends (and strangers!) with zero sleep, prizes are awarded to the top entries. There is one ultimate winner for every city, and that team’s film will be screened at the Annual 48 Hour Film Project Awards Weekend (date and location TBA). The films screened at this event are eligible to take on the title of “Best 48 hour Film of the Year.” 

Following the 7 p.m. screening at the Bijou Theatre, local awards will be announced on the Red Carpet. 48HFP participants and regular attendees are encouraged to “dress to impress” as they witness the distribution of awards for Best Directing, Best Editing, Best Acting, Best Use of Prop, Best Use of Line, and many more.

In addition, there are the Audience Awards, in which all of the eligible local films are screened for an audience that votes on their favorite initial screenings. The Premiere Screenings for New Haven’s 48 Hour Film Project took place on July 30 at the Criterion BowTie Cinema 16. The victors of the Audience Awards were “Plastic Love” by BRAAINS and “Past Poets Now” by Good Natured Dog (GND) Productions.

GND is no stranger to the 48 Hour Film Project; in fact, “Past Poets Now” marks the team’s 10th entry. 

“Team GND can agree that we love the rush of having a 48-hour deadline; it's such an adrenaline rush,” said Team GND. “Not to mention that having your film showcased in a theater to a paying audience is both incredible and addictive.  We've been hooked ever since!”

"Aside from when our lead actor [in “Past Poets Now”], Steve Coutts, was waist deep in pond muck, my favorite part always is seeing everyone together after we finish filming: the look of accomplishment and tired joy on their faces,” said Ben Zidel, Producer of "Past Poets Now."

These films will be showcased for one night only at the Bijou Theatre on August 27. The other short films that will be screened include "Black" by Ben Radio Productions, 
"CHS 159" by Plan R Films, 
"Crooked" by Rushed Productions, "Do No Harm" by Everyone Leaves New Haven, 
"Little Hollandaise" by Classic Stanley
, "The Jhort Murders" by Parlor Head Films, "The Price You Pay" by Borrowed Time Media, and 
"Ties" by Dutch Elm Disease.

“The Best Of Screening at the 48 really is one of the best ways to support the local, filmmaking talent. Much too often the masses believe that if you have true film talent, you need to move to LA,” said Team GND. “So many incredibly talented filmmakers live right here, on the East coast, and every year Team GND is blown away by the competition and the high-quality films that are entered, on-time, to each 48 HFP. And, besides, where else can you see 10 films for $15?”

Be sure to purchase reserve your tickets, and best of luck to all of the 48HFP participants.

48 Hour Film Project: ‘Best Of’ New Haven

Bijou Theatre
275 Fairfield Avenue, Bridgeport
Tickets: $15.00

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