48 Hour Film Project Detroit

Photo Courtesy of 48 Hour Film Project.

Local Filmmakers Gear Up for a Reel Competition


Local filmmakers and film buffs will once again put their creativity up against the ultimate time crunch as the 48 Hour Film Project returns to Detroit this Friday, July 19. The competition, now in its 12th year, will run through Sunday as teams have just 48 hours to write, produce, shoot, edit and hand in a short film.

Each team will pick a genre at random ranging from comedy to horror to ‘fish out of water’ to even mockumentary. From these genres teams will have to incorporate one prop, one character, and one line of dialogue that will be given to them on the day of the event. The teams can take their film in whatever direction they want, as long as they have a four to seven minute long short ready in 48 hours.

The filmmaking teams will not only be competing for numerous awards, but the winning film will be shown at Filmapalooza 2020 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. All of the winning short films from the various 48 Hour Film Project events across the country will be shown, with up to 12-15 of them being selected to play at the Cannes Film Festival in France.

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Jennifer Gentner, producer for Detroit’s competition, is entering her second year of heading the event, but was actually a competitor herself for eight years. She said that the competition taught her how to think outside the box and prepare for any situation.

“It poses you to really think on your feet and really gives you an adrenaline rush. I think that’s why it appeals to so many people, not just filmmakers,” Gentner said.

Gentner added that it’s not exclusively filmmakers competing; many families, college friends, or high school groups get together to challenge themselves. The appeal the competition has on a wide amount of people causes a lot of unique and special stories to be told.

Detroit 48HFP Logo

Photo Courtesy of 48 Hour Film Project.

“I can’t get over the topics and stories people come up with in such a short amount of time,” Gentner said. “I was shocked last year at how high the quality was and how people always find a way to make their stories captivating.”

Even if you don’t compete and make a short film yourself, you can still enjoy the wide variety of short films. The competition will be hosting screenings of all of the short films on Wednesday, July 31 and Thursday, August 1 at 7:30 and 9 p.m. at Royal Oak’s Main Art Theater. It’s just $10 per showing and Gentner thinks people will be really blown away by the quality of the shorts.

“I think people will really enjoy these films and it’s a great way to support local filmmakers,” Gentner said. 

Regular registration, which runs $168 per team, ends on Tuesday, July 9, but you can register up until Friday, July 19 for $188 per team. More information on how to register can be found on the Detroit 48 Hour Film Project website. You can also find exciting announcements and information on various film events on 48 Hour Film Project: Detroit’s Facebook page.

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