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South Florida filmmakers fight to the finish, screenings to follow

It started out as a healthy competition among friends. 12 years later, the 48 Hour Film Project is a head-to-head challenge where filmmakers race against the clock to create a film in one weekend. Miami is one of 124 cities to take part in the film competition. Cathleen Dean, a Hollywood, Fl. resident, produces the 48 Hour Film Project in Miami.

“I am thrilled about this year’s competition,” Dean says. Despite filmmakers having just 48 hours to complete a film, the resulting product is entertaining. “You can have the best equipment; you can have a $50,000 camera, a professional lighting kit, a crane and expensive gear, but it basically comes down to the storytelling in the end.”

39 teams will participate in this year’s local competition, which kicks off on Friday, May 10, at the News Bar and Lounge (5580 NE 4th Court, Miami, Fl) from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Teams will select out of a hat a genre such as a buddy film, comedy, crime/gangster, dark comedy, drama, fantasy, horror, mistaken identity, musical or western, romance, sci-fi, superhero, thriller/suspense, vacation or holiday film. Dean is happy to announce that this year, two additional genres have been added, Martial Arts and operetta. As a twist, the group is also give a character, a prop and a line of dialogue to include.

Residents can also get involved be attending 48 Hour Film screenings on May 17 and 18, at Hollywood Central Performing Arts Center, which is located at 1770 Monroe Street in Hollywood, Fl. When available, tickets to screenings can be purchased at this link.

Participants compete for a chance to win $3,000 in prizes. Then in March, the city winners are entered into Filmapalooza (to be held in either Hollywood, CA or New Orleans, LA) for a chance to win a grand prize of $5,000. The top 10 films are showcased at the Cannes Film Festival.

2012 winner Nicolas M. Morgan of Sunrise, FL, won Best Use of Line, Best Choreography for Birthday Punch, a dark comedy about two brothers who go on a killing spree as the memories of their parent’s death haunts them. Morgan, who directed the film, says the experience included high and low points like the time when, in the final hours, his team was hit by a domino-affect of obstacles as they tried to transport the film from Fort Lauderdale to Miami. But, he says, they worked together as a team, got it down and won a few awards, too.

“South Florida has a wealth of unrecognized talent when it comes to film and television production,” says Morgan, who believes that the 48 Hour Film Project gives local filmmakers a chance to connect with each other and the community. “By attending the 48 Hour Film Project screenings, residents can be entertained by up-and-coming production teams that started right in their own backyard.”

2010 winner, Erix Mercedes, believes that Miami is a film city that shouldn’t be taken lightly. “A lot of great projects and films come from Miami,” he said. The Midtown Miami resident took home the win for Almost Super Heroes, a film about average people who have just above average super powers. The main character can travel back in time for two minutes, another character can teleport five feet. Mercedes, who directed the film, believes Miami is a growing industry with a lot of promise. “So far it’s just music videos and commercials that are being shot, but sooner or later it will change, and when it does people will be flying in from all over the world to become movie stars, directors and producers.”

Take a look at these previous 48 Hour Film Projects winners from South Florida.


Hearing Huny by Beverly Boy Productions 

Awards:   Best Use of Prop, Best Special Effects, Audience Award Winner

Watch clip”


Almost Super Hereos by Wedge

Award: Audience Award Winner: Group C

Watch clip”


A Wish or Something by Liberty Lounge Films

Watch clip”


Birthday Punch by Let’s Get it Entertainment

Awards: Best Use of Line, Best Choreography

Watch clip”