Annual 48 Hour Film Project set to hit the big screen

The 48 Hour Film Project: Savannah (48HFP)  is set to take place the weekend of August 13-14. Filmmakers all across Savannah will compete to see who can produce the best film in just two days.

The 48HFP is an annual international project that began in 2001. Filmmakers from participating cities work to produce films from pre-production to post-production in just two days.

Anthony Paderewski is a local actor, photographer and is the local producer for Savannah’s 48HFP for around 10 years. He says for filmmakers in Savannah the project is a way to meet other talented creatives and to practice a popular craft.

“Anybody can come together on a weekend and make a movie. People look forward to this [48HFP] every year because it’s 48 hours of sleepless creativity and fun,” Paderewski beamed.

On top of being a fun event, Paderewski says that the project also exposes individuals within the community for the first time.

For the past two years The 48HFP was postponed and transitioned to an online format in the wake of COVID-19.

With things sharing a semblance of normalcy to a pre-pandemic world, the international project is back in-person, much to Paderewski’s excitement.

“It [being online] goes against what our event is in Savannah. It’s a community event, and for the community to be really involved they need to be there in person.” explained Paderewski. “It’s just like taking online school compared to going in-person, it’s two different beasts completely.

In previous years there have been between 20 - 24 teams that sign up to participate in the project. Many of whom are hobbyists, amateurs and professionals. Paderewski also explained that many filmmakers from outside of Savannah often travel to the city to participate in Savannah’s 48HFP.

Wherever participants may be in their filmmaking journey, the 48HFP offers a low- risk environment where individuals can make their first ever film, practice new techniques, meet other filmmakers or add to their existing reel.

To keep an even playing field, the Friday night before the project, representatives from each team will meet at McDonough’s Restaurant and Lounge, to be assigned a random genre for their film.

Genres can range from action and romance to more obscure types such as silent film.

Teams will also be given a list of required three elements that consist of a character, prop and line of dialogue. All three elements must appear in the film, to avoid disqualification.

With only two days to write, shoot and edit a film, Padereski notes that preparation and proper time management are major components to creating a successful piece of work.

Since many participants will be working in teams Padereski recommends divvying out roles and jobs, and to plan in ways that makes things easier on filmmakers.

“Don’t do every job, that makes it harder for yourself. Some people make their projects too big, but you only need a couple of locations. Don’t make it to where you’re running around everywhere,” said Paderewski.

The project all culminates in a team’s films being shown in front of an audience. This year’s films will be shown at the Tybee Post Theater, 48HFP: Savannah’s new permanent home.

Judges for The 48HFP will consist of individuals that have been a part of the film industry for years. Paderewski notes that judges work as cinematographers, directors, script writers and more.

The winning film and awards will be awarded on Aug.14.

The winning film will be selected to go to Filmapalooza 2023 in Los Angeles where their film will go up against other 48 hour films from across the world.

The winner of Filmapalooza 2023 will have the opportunity to screen their film at the Cannes Film Festival 2023 Short Film Corner in Cannes, France.

Additionally, the top three films from the Los Angeles Festival will be eligible for the soon-to-be-announced 48HFP “Yes We Cannes” challenge in December.

To register for The 48 Hour Film Project: Savannah and find out more information visit

Early registration for the 48HFP is open until Monday, July 18 and costs $148. Regular registration will remain open until Tuesday Aug. 2 costing $168, and late registration will be available until Friday, Aug. 12 costing $188.

About The Author

Alex Arango

Alex Arango is a multimedia journalist and Savannah local. He has a passion for quality community journalism, and is looking forward to serving the city that he has always called home.
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