Some of our favourite 48Hours films of 2020.

48Hours is back for 2021 – and it’s happening soon!

Get a team together and prepare to spend the weekend of March 5-7 extremely under the pump – registrations for this year’s Vista Foundation 48Hours film competition are open now.

The Vista Foundation 48Hours filmmaking competition is built around a simple mantra, “restriction breeds creativity”. The main thing being restricted in this case just happens to be the most valuable commodity of them all: time. Teams get a mere 48 hours – from Friday night to Sunday evening – to write, film, edit an entire short film. 

If you drew a Venn diagram where one circle represents “extremely fun and rewarding” and the other “incredibly stressful and potentially a bit unhealthy”, 48Hours would probably sit squarely in the overlap. But it’s an addictive combo – this year’s will be the 19th edition, the competition having grown from a 44-team Auckland-only competition in 2003 to a nationwide juggernaut that even level four lockdown couldn’t stop last year.

As always, teams will be assigned a genre at the start of their 48 hours, and there’s a list of random elements each team has to include in their film. In previous years this has been things like lines of dialogue, props or character names. This year? Who knows.

The best thing about 48Hours is that anyone can take part, from experienced industry vets to those with little more than a phone camera and a dream. The most important thing is creativity and ingenuity. An expert panel of judges will select the best films to go through to regional finals, and the winners of those go through to the grand final. And like last year, we’ll be featuring five of our favourites here on The Spinoff too.

Check out all the prizes on offer this year here, and listen to feature film director Roseanne Liang’s reasons why you should give 48Hours a crack here:

For more information and to register your team, head to 48hours.co.nz. Registrations close March 2.




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