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Calling on schools for fast film fest

Lights...

camera…

Action!

But hurry up about it because you only have 48 hours.

New Zealand's largest guerrilla filmmaking competition is back.

Each year hundreds of budding filmmakers grab their cameras and shake ideas from their brains with just 48 hours to script, shoot and edit a short film.

Some of them are great, some good, and some… Different.

Tom Paton has been organising the Gisborne event since 2015 and says it is a great opportunity for folks on the Coast to get involved with serious filmmaking.

“It's a chance for locals to flex creative muscles to an audience.

“It's the really the only thing you can do Gisborne, in terms of filmmaking, to get your name out there on a national stage.”

Filmmakers are not told what genre they will have to make a film about until the start of the competition. All creativity: writing, shooting, editing and adding a musical soundtrack, must occur within the 48-hour window beginning Friday at 7 pm and ending Sunday at 7 pm.

Sprinkled on top of the high-intensity madness are “random elements” which might be lines of dialogue, an extra prop or strange character.

The ethos of the festival by its nature is about placing constraints around teams to breed creativity into a short amount of time.

If 48 hours was not enough of a constraint, last year's festival had a special lockdown edition after the normal event was cancelled due to Covid-19.

With folk at home, the competition had its highest participation numbers ever with 1208 films entered.

Over the years over 6000 shorts have been produced for 48Hours.

Tom says there is a real push to get school teams involved, giving them a foot in the door of the filmmaking industry.

Schools even get a two for one discount for each team who signs up.

“From what I've seen, once a school team signs up they come back every year because they have so much fun, and for those who stay in Gisborne after their schooling most come back every year.”

Tom says the festival is a great way to dip your toes in the industry.

“There are so many opportunities in big cities it's great to have something for Gisborne.

“There are real high profile people who have come through the program, in 2006 when I first entered in Wellington Taika Waititi was in my heat, so there is some real talent that comes through this festival.”

And a lot of that Gisborne talent is coming from our schools.

“A couple of years ago a school team won the Gisborne regional final and actress from a school team was nominated for the national Best Actress award.”

The festival started in 2003 as a side gig to another film festival with just 44 teams from Auckland. Now the competition is in its 19th year and has teams spread over the nation.

“There nothing else like it nationally and even more so on a regional level,” said Tom.

The last day for teams to register is March 2.

Filmmakers, parents and teachers can go to 48hours.co.nz to sign up and search for 48Hours Gisborne to join the local group on Facebook.

GRAB YOUR CAMERA: Whether you have experience or you have none, grab some friends and get filming. You never know where a short film may take you. Picture supplied