48 Hour Film Contest

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Event Description

Grab a camera, make a team, and compete for prizes by creating a short film from start to finish in under 48 hours! Each team will be given instructions at the beginning of the contest and then it’s up to you to make the best video you can before the clock runs out.

The contest will start on Friday evening (June 28th) at 6PM with an opening event hosted at ArtStart. Then, once the countdown begins, you have roughly two days to complete your film. Finished video files will be due by midnight on Sunday (June 30th).

Then, once all the films have been received and judged, join us again at ArtStart on Saturday, July 13th where all of the winning films will be showcased and prizes will be awarded.

The cost is $25 per team if you register by 12PM, June 23rd. Registration will be $35 after that and $45 if you register at the opening event on June 28th.

NOTE: The registration fees are non-refundable.


Event Details

Each team will be given instructions at the start of the contest (6PM, June 28th at ArtStart in Rhinelander) and then it is up to them to produce a 3-5 minute short film from start to finish. They will be responsible to write a script, direct actors, shoot, edit, score, and deliver the final product before the clock runs out.

Each team will receive 3 elements at the start of the contest that must be incorporated into their film which prevents any team from creating a film ahead of time and provides an interesting twist for each film being created.


Each team must incorporate 3 elements into their film in order to qualify for awards. 

Elements will be assigned the start of the contest for all teams to use and will consist of 1 character, 1 prop, 1 line of dialog. Elements must appear in the story of the film and any elements embedded into the credits DO NOT count. 

CHARACTER: The required character doesn’t need to be the main character for the film, but the character must be seen onscreen at some point. Examples: Mark or Megan Cash (Dentist), Bob or Barb Johnson (Teacher), etc.

PROP: The required prop must be seen on screen as more than just a background element. It must be used in some way. Examples: apple, water bottle, bumper sticker, etc.

LINE: The required line must be heard or seen in the film, though it can be written or in a foreign language as long as it is clear that it is the required line. If using a foreign language, subtitles may be required.  Examples: “You’re unbelievable!” “What if you’re wrong?” “Tell me where it hurts…” etc

Adherence to these requirements will impact your final standing in the contest.

Event Schedule

The contest will start on a Friday evening at 6PM with a opening event hosted at ArtStart. This is where all details will be given and rules will be explained. The opening event will end by 7PM at which point the countdown will begin and teams can start working on their films. 

All finished films must be submitted to the Contest Administrators by 11:59AM on Sunday night (June 30th). Late submissions will be considered, but may impact the film’s overall standing. 

A formal showing of the winning films will begin at 7PM on Saturday, July 13th at ArtStart and will be followed by an awards ceremony. Details for this event will follow.

The final film must be delivered as a file attachment to the Contest Administrators. Further details on where and how to do this will be provided for any teams who register.


Films will be judged based on Artist Merit (story, creativity, entertainment value, etc), Technical Merit (framing, lighting, cinematography, sound design, etc.) and Adherence with Requirements (created during the weekend, proper use of elements, etc.).

All participants will receive an official ArtStart Certificate of Participation. Awards may vary depending upon whether film was submitted on time. Additional awards will be given for some of the following categories: best film, best directing, best actor/actress, best writing, best cinematography, best editing, best soundtrack, best use (of character, dialog, prop, etc), audience choice award

Members for the judging panel will be chosen at the discretion of ArtStart. Any judge elected must not have any part in the production of any submitted films.

Prizes will be announced soon. 

Additional Rules

  1. Submitted films must not contain excessive harsh language, nudity, graphic violence, or extremely mature themes as this event is designed for community participation for any ages. If there are questions, please contact the contest administrator.
  2. Films must not incorporate copyright music unless permission has been granted by the artist and/or company who owns the copyright. Each team will be responsible to ensure their films are not breaching copyright laws. 
  3. Once the contest has ended and prizes have been awarded, each team will maintain the rights to their created content and are free to submit their work to any other contest, organization, or social media platform they desire. 


Participation in ArtStart’s 48 Hour Film Contest implies that you accept all of all the aforementioned regulations for participation. By completing the online registration form you and your team agree to the contest’s terms of the release as follows. “You/your” refers to any participant and/or team who registers and “we/us” refers to ArtStart and the contest administrators.

  1. You (and your team) have read, understood and agreed to be fully bound by these rules for the 2019 contest and you understand that any failure to follow and adhere to these rules will result in the disqualification of the film to the contest. 
  2. You hereby grant us permission to screen the film during the closing ceremony at ArtStart in Rhinelander, WI on July 13th, 2019.
  3. You are solely responsible to obtain any signed release forms your film as well as obtaining any copyright clearances for all music used in the film (if required).
  4. The film contains no material which is obscene or defamatory.
  5. You are solely responsible for any costs resulting from the submission of the film including but not limited to registration fees, purchase of equipment or props, and transportation costs associated with the production and display of the film.
  6. You are solely responsible for all claims, demands, costs, damages, expenses (including legal fees), proceedings and losses resulting from participation in the contest, the screening of the film on July 13th or from claims by any third parties.
  7. You hereby give ArtStart and the organizers of this contest a non-exclusive license to use your name, photograph/logo, and likeness or any portion of your film in connection with any and all publicity and promotional activities relating to future 48 hour film contests as put on by ArtStart.
  8. You understand that we are not obliged to maintain any copy or record of your film nor are we to accept any liability for the loss of a film. You are responsible to retain at least one other copy of the film
  9. You understand that there are no additional fees apart from registration associated with participation in the contest and that you will not be obligated to pay any additional sums to us.
  10. You agree to be bound by the final decision of the judges and understand that neither we nor the elected panel of judges are obligated to give you feedback with regards to your film.
  11. You can confirm that you or someone on your team are the author of the film and the exclusive owner of all rights contained within the film or have written consent for any material included that is not owned by you.
  12. You agree that any legal dispute that may arise between you and us will be dealt with according to the laws of the State of Wisconsin.


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