ASU Film Association hosts annual 48 Hour Film Challenge

'Most students are encouraged to work on films over a semester or longer process, but we find value in creating something on a whim'

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. As minutes pass by, students scramble to piece together the perfect film— and they only have 48 hours to do so.

“Most students are encouraged to work on films over a semester or longer process, but we find value in creating something on a whim and allowing mistakes, so we continue to host these types of festivals,” said Allorie Feekes, a senior studying film and the senior adviser of the ASU Film Association.

With just a prop and a line of dialogue as inspiration, students participating in the 48 Hour Film Challenge will start filming and editing at midnight on Feb. 22. Filmmakers will then submit their final creation to the AFA by 11:59 p.m. on the 23rd. 

Perhaps what creates the intriguing and unusual end products comes from who participates in the competition. Film students do participate each year, but the event is not exclusive. 

“This event opens to the public, not just film students," said Xavier Sanchez, a junior film major and the president of the AFA. "This is a community of filmmakers and we will help those with less experience if they need it.”

Signups are open until Feb. 21. The only requirements are a five dollar fee, a team name and an email address. There is no minimum or maximum amount of contributors in a group, either.

“Theoretically, a single person could write, produce, shoot — static shots, of course — direct, act and edit the whole thing,” Feekes said.

Screenwriters, pre-production planners and countless other creators are all encouraged to sign up to be part of the process.

AFA member and freshman film major Tobias Dalcin is trying his hand at the competition this year. 

"There is only so much time to spend on pre-production and production itself," he said. "It's a bit challenging and stressful given the short time period, along with the idea that anything could go wrong within the 48 hours, so it's important to have a well prepared crew and make sure to expect the unexpected."

While Dalcin is still a rookie, Sanchez is the exact opposite, having competed for the last two years. This year, however, he takes on the new role of executive producer, where he will resolve any problems that arise on set and aid struggling participants. 

While sleep-deprived conflicts and hangry arguments are always a risk within groups, the lifelong friendships and trust built along the way make it all worthwhile — not to mention getting to display their masterpieces for all to see, Sanchez said.

Come Feb. 25, the AFA will host a public screening of the 3 to 5 minute short film submissions at North Design 60 on the Tempe campus from 8-9:30 p.m. That night, participants will also be awarded for their efforts.

“It's beautiful for these filmmakers to have something that they can share with people on a large screen, and not often do they get the opportunity to do so outside of class,” Feekes said. “What is more beautiful than the individual films themselves is the variety of films that come in ... it's incredibly interesting to see them all back to back.”

Starting 13 years ago, the AFA is ASU’s longest standing film organization. Feekes said that in her three years involved in the club, she has always looked forward to the madness that is the 48 hour challenge.

Attendance to the viewing party is free and snacks will be provided.

Reach the reporter at and follow @SaraWindom on Twitter. 

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