About 48Hours

What is 48Hours?

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

Over 500 teams of filmmakers enter each year with just 48 hours to write, shoot and cut a film with a given genre and some random elements. Filmmakers compete for awards and the title of Grand National Champion, culminating in a Grand Final event.

Around 10,000 shorts have been produced for 48Hours over the years. This will be the Vista Foundation’s fifth year as the naming sponsor of the competition. The Vista Foundation, NZ Film Commission and the 48Hours kaupapa are aligned, with a shared vision of supporting filmmaking talent in Aotearoa. 

48Hours aims to create a dynamic event that provides opportunities for emerging and established filmmakers to make short films in an environment that encourages fast paced decisions, creative risk-taking and building long term collaborations. We also offer a screening opportunity and an enthusiastic inbuilt audience within the competition to showcase their talent.


How does it work?

It's very simple; filmmakers have just one weekend to make a short film.

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, these elements 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 Sir Peter Jackson's Wildcards, compete in a massive Grand Final event, with fabulous prizes and much glory.

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

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Make a short film in 48 hours?! You'd have to be mad. Fortunately, temporary insanity is one thing this competition isn't lacking. We've been attracting movie maniacs since year one.

Apart from being a bit loopy, other reasons to compete in 48Hours include, getting to see your creation on the big screen with an enthusiastic audience, meeting fellow movie freaks and of course the chance to win fabulous prizes. After the competition, you will have a completed film to add to your portfolio.