Wed, May 09, 2012 - Page 13 News List

Film: Weekend shorts

Filmmaking teams across Taiwan will gather in Kaohsiung this weekend for the 48 Hour Film Project, in which participants produce a short film over two days

By David Chen  /  Staff reporter

Thirty-four filmmaking teams have signed up so far for the 48 Hour Film Project Kaohsiung, which takes place this weekend.

Photo courtesy of Don Quan

Itching to make your own film? One fast way of turning your silver screen dreams into reality would be to join the Kaohsiung edition of the 48 Hour Film Project, which takes place from Friday to Sunday.

All aspiring filmmakers, whether amateur or professional, are welcome to participate in this international contest, in which teams from around the world compete to produce the best short film, from start to finish, within just two days.

The 48 Hour Film Project, which is based in Washington, DC, says nearly 60,000 filmmakers made 4,000 films in more than 100 cities last year.

Kaohsiung organizer Don Quan (關奕威), who held Taiwan’s first edition of the competition last year, says 34 teams across the nation have signed up so far. Anyone can participate, but today is the last day for registration, which must be done online (visit www.48hourfilm.com/en/kaohsiung/). There are still spaces as of press time and registration costs NT$4,500 per team.

Last year’s Taiwanese winner, Fallen, was directed by Lee Jo-nung and stars Howard Lo (羅澔) as Hung Yu-lin (洪宇霖), a young journalist who struggles with his superpower ability to predict pending disasters (view the movie at bit.ly/IBpZm1).

If anything, the point of the competition is to test a filmmaker’s creative mettle with limited resources and a tight deadline.

Competing teams are given four elements that they must use in their films: a character, a prop and a line of dialogue, which are assigned by the US organizers, and a genre, which the participants are assigned in a random draw. Then the teams have 48 hours to write, shoot and edit a film.

The elements are assigned one hour before the contest starts, which is Friday at 7pm, so participants are forced to think on their feet from the get-go.

“The most interesting part was seeing how fast people worked — just the adrenaline,” Quan said of last year’s participants. “They were just so focused ... they didn’t have any time to waste, basically, so productivity was at an all-time high for these teams.”

Quan suggests that teams do what they can to prepare beforehand, which includes having actors and a crew ready to go — there’s no limit on the number of persons on a team — and deciding on locations for shooting. He also recommends “lots of energy drinks.”

If you participate and don’t finish your film by the deadline on Sunday at 7pm, dosn’t despair. Your film will still be shown at a public screening of all entries, which takes place at 7pm on May 20 at the Kaohsiung Film Support Center (高雄市文化局拍片支援中心), located at 1F, 261 Zhongzheng 4th Road, Greater Kaohsiung (高雄市中正四路261號1樓).

A panel of judges, including producer AJ Hsu (許宬瑋) and director Allen Chang (張國甫), will choose the winning film of the Kaohsiung contest, which will be announced in June. The winning film from Kaohsiung gets NT$20,000 and a chance for wider exposure, as it will be submitted to Filmapalooza, the official international contest and festival for the 48 Hour Film Project, which takes place in the US.

For more information and updates, visit www.48hourfilm.com/en/kaohsiung/search or search for “48 Hour Film Project Kaohsiung” (高雄48小時電影比賽計劃) on Facebook.

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