48 Hour Film Competition at Santa Fe College Kicks Off April 1

48 Hour Film Competition at Santa Fe College Kicks Off April 1

Amateur and professional filmmakers and videographers can test their chops at the 48 Hour Film Competition sponsored by the Digital Media department at Santa Fe College, April 1-3. Entrants will have just 48 hours to write, film, edit and record a 3- to 5-minute film. Contestants will work in  up to five-member teams.

“To basically start with nothing and then come up with a coherent, 5-minute film is pretty daunting, but the final reward is something that any filmmaker can be proud of,” said Marc Shahboz, associate professor of interactive media production at Santa Fe and an award-winning filmmaker. His work has been shown at film festivals nationwide and on network television.  

Santa Fe’s digital media, fine arts and English departments have collaborated this year to bring more film events to the college. Shahboz came up with the festival idea because he said he wanted to offer his students “a robust filmmaking experience.”

“This is a great catalyst for team building, and it’s a real-world experience, having a deadline and the pressure of working quickly,” he said.

Teams will be given a topic, a line of dialogue, and a prop at the start of the contest and then must create their film over the next 48 hours. The contest is open to all. Categories include High School ($20 team entry fee), College ($30) and Pro/General ($40).

Shahboz said there will be 25 possible topic choices ranging from action to tech/dystopia, mockumentary, romantic comedy, and even, zombie comedy — and everything in between.

“I’ve listed 20 of the topics on our website,,” Shahboz explained. “Five more will be added to the mix, but I am keeping them a secret. I’m inviting people to send in their wild-card topic suggestions.”

Contest schedule

The official 48-hour time period is 7 p.m. Friday, April 1 to 7 p.m. Sunday, April 3.

Friday, April 1: Teams will be given the topic, prop and dialogue reveal at 7 p.m. in the E Building Theatre at Santa Fe’s Northwest campus, 3000 NW 83rd St. (32606). (Doors open at 6:30 p.m.)

Sunday, April 3: Teams must turn in their work between 6:30 and 7 p.m. at Emiliano’s Café, 7 SE 1st Ave. (32601) in downtown Gainesville, and can go home to sleep or stay to meet and mingle afterward at the café. 7 p.m. is the absolute deadline for turning in work. Films that are shorter or longer than 3 to 5 minutes will not be judged.

Friday, April 8: Award Ceremony at 6:30 p.m. back at the E Building Auditorium


Get all the contest details in this PDF. Teams can register online at or at the kick-off event on April 1. Registration closes at 7 p.m. sharp on April 1. The contest is open to legal residents and guests of the Untied States. Employees of the Santa Fe College Digital Media department and those affiliated with judging are not eligible for the competition.

Competition categories

High School – Made up of currently enrolled middle or high school students, including home schooled and dual enrolled students. A faculty mentor may advise in the creation of the project, but may not directly work on the project. Participants under the age of 18 must have parental consent signed prior to the beginning of the event.

College College teams must be primarily made up of college students currently enrolled in a university, college or community college. Teams may include participants who are not currently enrolled, but the majority of the team must be made up of currently enrolled students. The team leader (director) must also be a college student.

Pro/General – Teams can be made up of anyone wanting to participate.

Follow the 48 Hour Film Festival on Twitter and Facebook, and contact Marc Shahboz for more information at 352-395-5347 or email to