48 Hours Film Competition

Based in eight regions around the country, this national guerilla film competition generates between 400-500 short films in a weekend.


48Hours is NZ's largest guerrilla filmmaking competition! There is nothing quite like it.

Simply put, filmmakers have just one weekend to make a short film. Entry is open to anyone from first timers to professional filmmakers.

Filmmakers don't know what genre (thriller/romance etc.) they will be shooting until the start of the competition. All creativity: writing, shooting, editing and adding a musical soundtrack, must occur within the 48Hour window beginning Friday evening at 7 pm and ending Sunday at 7 pm. To add to the mayhem, they must also include some random elements.

In previous years, they have included lines of dialogue, props, characters and special camera moves. This year - who knows? A few days later, the completed films are all screened in heats to an eager audience. The best films are selected by judges to compete in the city finals. Then the judges select the best of the best and along with Peter Jackson's Wildcards, compete in a massive Grand Final offering fabulous prizes and glory.

48Hours is a serious challenge for both first-time filmmakers through to experienced directors.


48Hours takes place all around New Zealand based in main regional centres. Check out your City Info details for more information. If you don't live in one of the listed cities, check out Out of Towners in the Cities section to see how you too can compete.


How do you take part in 48Hours? You either need to register your own team, or join another team.

Here are the steps you need to complete

  1. Register a Team.
  2. You will get the Required Elements at the launch to make your film.
  3. Write - Create a story including all the elements you have been given.
  4. Shoot - Shoot your film, depending on writing and editing time, you'll have about a day to complete this.
  5. Cut - Edit the footage, add sounds or music and output the completed film.
  6. Survive - once your film is completed you must hand it in before the time is up.
  7. Watch your film on the big screen at the heats and have it judged by local and international Judges to win the prizes.
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