48Hours is a New Zealand film-making competition. It involves teams of various sizes competing to write, shoot, edit and score a short film, which must be between 1 and 5 minutes long (7 minutes before 2016), over a single 48-hour period. Developed from the US-based 48 Hour Film Project, which was run in Auckland in 2003, 48Hours has been running as a New Zealand-only event since 2004. with regional competitions organised in 8 cities around New Zealand: Auckland, Hamilton, Gisborne, Rotorua, Taranaki, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. The 2020 competition was scheduled to take place from May 22–24 but was postponed due to uncertainty surrounding the spread of COVID-19 in New Zealand.

48 hours 2017 logo.png
LocationNew Zealand
Hosted byAnt Timpson
Festival date2020 (TBD)

The event is organised by Anthony "Ant" Timpson. Teams attend a launch ceremony on a Friday night where each team is given a randomly selected genre within which to base their film's theme. They are also given three compulsory features which are common to all teams. These are a line of dialogue, a prop, a character, and since 2010, a "technical" element.

All creative work required to produce the film must be undertaken and completed within the 48 hours of the competition. This includes storylining, scriptwriting, filming, editing and audio mixing. Teams must deliver their finished film to the competition organisers by the Sunday evening to be eligible for prizes, although late deliveries will still be screened in the heats.

By 2011 the competition had grown to include more than 800 teams nationwide with at least 10,000 people believed to be involved.[citation needed]

Compulsory elementsEdit

Every year teams are given a number of compulsory elements to help ensure that film has been wholly created on the shoot weekend. The elements include a character with a gender-neutral name, a character trait, a line of dialogue, a prop, and as of 2010, a technical shot. As well as these, teams are randomly allocated a genre for their film.[1] 2017 saw the introduction of themes, different elements, and the ULTRA48 Challenge for teams that elect to do it for added difficulty.

Year Character Character trait Line of dialogue Prop Technical shot Shoot weekend Refs.
2003 Gnarly Watson[note 1] Rock 'n' roll legend "I didn't see that coming." Torch N/A [2]
2004 Jesse McCloud
(Auckland)[note 2]
Total has-been "Do you mind if I have the last one?" Ice N/A [3]
Terry Spears
(Wellington)[note 2]
Model "Just put that down nice and easy." Doll N/A [4]
2005 Bodil de Resny Animal lover "Please don't do that." Banana [a] N/A 13–15 May [5]
2006 Robin Slade Eternal optimist "That's what I'm talking about." Mirror N/A 26–28 May [6]
2007 Jerry Reed Hypochondriac "What do you call that?" Rope N/A 18–20 May [7]
2008 Kerry Post Perfectionist "Wait a minute." Brush N/A 16–18 May [8]
2009 Alex Puddle Exaggerator "It doesn't fit." Rock N/A 8–10 May [9]
2010 Sidney Manson Fabricator "When you look at it that way..." Broken toy Dolly zoom 16-18 Apr [10]
2011 Bobby Young Ex-bully "What have you got?" Bent wire Freeze-frame shot 20–22 May [11]
2012 Nicky Brick Unlucky person "I did that." Leaf Slow motion 18–20 May [12]
2013 Vic Meyer Insomniac "Did you hear that?" Card Point of view shot 24–26 May [13]
2014 Morgan Foster Liar "Not with that you're not." Ball Extreme close up/macro 4-6 Apr [14]
2015 Harper Harrison Thoughtless "Oh, really?" Bread Match cut/match dissolve 1–3 May [15]
2016 Charlie Flowers Thoughtful person "One more time" Wool Rack focus 16-18 Sep [16]
Year Character Physical Element Sound Effect Technical shot ULTRA48 Challenge Shoot weekend Refs.
2017 [b] A female Collision Wilhelm Scream Smash cut Create a sequel to any of your team's previous 48 shorts AND

include the required elements from that year.

25-27 Aug [17]
2018 Puddle Slamming door Shadow or silhouette Main characters must be children (defined as "under 18") and/or animals. 11–13 May [18]
2019 Wind Laughter Double-take, overhead shot Split-screen and break the 4th-wall. 14-16 Jun [19]
2020 (A)[c] A Photograph An Echo An Arc Shot N/A 17-19 Apr [20]
  1. ^ A bonus prop of "a red scarf" was to be included.
  2. ^ Each team had to choose one theme from this list: Redemption, Love, Transformation, Sacrifice, Vengeance, Friendship, Justice, Jealous, Ambition, Fate.
  3. ^ New Zealand was mid-lockdown during shoot weekend. There will likely be a second competition weekend.
  1. ^ The 2003 competition was part of the 48 Hour Film Project. "The Auckland 48 Hour Film Project". 48 Hour Film Project. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b In 2004 Auckland and Wellington were given different elements.

Genres by yearEdit

Year Staple Genres Common Genres Rarer Genres
& anti-
Bro, Bechdel
Sex ed.
based on true story, coming of age, mokumentary, war, pretentious art film, puppet
grindhouse, western, war, unnecessary sequel, coming of age
animal film, juvenile delinquent, drama, pretentious art film
2009 parallel world, religious, real-time, nature runs amok, conspiracy, politically incorrect
2010 sports film, femme fatale film, bio pic, road movie
2011 one room, body switch, quest, fad, road movie
2012 end of world, inspirational, one-shot, found footage, erotic thriller, based on an urban legend
2013 non-dialogue, obsessive relationship, race against clock, robot/cyborg/android, immobilized, converging story-line, reunion
2014 against the odds, film within a film, race against clock
2015 cat & mouse, last person on Earth, black comedy, other dimension
2016 cat & mouse, comedy of errors, dystopian, lovers on the run, one location, punk, puppet, real-time
2017 ✓✓ alien, at night, bad seed, Christmas, survival, thriller, z-grade
2018 ✓✓✓ ✓✓ ✓✓ high school, fish-out-of-water, last day on Earth, spans more than 10 years
2019 ✓✓ coming-of-age, generation gap, gross-out or cringe, holiday, nature runs amok, opposites attract, wrong-place-wrong-time, real-time
2020 (A) ✓✓ Unwanted Guest

Regional and national winnersEdit

After initially being held in Auckland in 2003 as part of the international 48 Hour Film Project, the independent 48Hours began in 2004 with teams in Auckland and Wellington. At its peak in 2011, it was represented in eight cities.[24]

  1. ^ The 2003 competition was part of the 48 Hour Film Project. "The Auckland 48 Hour Film Project". 48 Hour Film Project. Retrieved 21 November 2013.


  1. ^ "48Hours: The top 14 go to battle". NZ Herald. 4 July 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  2. ^ "Taken Out". YouTube. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  3. ^ "Shameless Self Promotion". B Roll. Archived from the original on 10 June 2015. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  4. ^ "Forbidden Fury - 48 Hour Film 2004". YouTube. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  5. ^ "Team MITCIT, 2005, 5 min". MIT. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  6. ^ "Robin Slade: The Actor's Actor". Film Archive. Retrieved 21 November 2013.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Henrietta - 48Hours 2007". YouTube. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  8. ^ "The Heist - Daimonds in the Desert". Joe Bleakley. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  9. ^ ""PostHumourous" - 48 Hours". YouTube. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  10. ^ "Elements 2010". 48Hours. Archived from the original on 27 May 2010. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
  11. ^ "Elements 2011". 48Hours. Archived from the original on 28 June 2011. Retrieved 28 Jun 2011.
  12. ^ "Elements 2012". 48Hours. Archived from the original on 29 May 2012. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  13. ^ "Elements 2013". 48Hours. Archived from the original on 14 June 2013. Retrieved 14 Jun 2013.
  14. ^ "Elements 2014". 48Hours. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  15. ^ "Elements 2015". 48Hours. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
  16. ^ "Elements 2016 - there is not really much point. This site is fleeting". 48Hours. Archived from the original on 16 September 2016. Retrieved 20 Sep 2016.
  17. ^ "Elements 2017 - This site is fleeting". 48Hours. Archived from the original on 16 September 2017. Retrieved 16 Sep 2017.
  18. ^ "Elements 2018 - This site is fleeting". 48Hours. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  19. ^ "Elements 2019 - This site is fleeting". 48Hours. Retrieved 17 Jun 2019.
  20. ^ "VF48Hours Lockdown - It's on!".
  21. ^ "Genres 2006". 48Hours. Archived from the original on 27 May 2006. Retrieved 27 May 2006.
  22. ^ "Genres 2007". 48Hours. Archived from the original on 25 June 2007. Retrieved 25 Jun 2007.
  23. ^ "Genres 2008". 48Hours. Archived from the original on 14 October 2008. Retrieved 14 Oct 2008.
  24. ^ "48Hours Screening Room". 48 Hours. Retrieved 21 November 2013.

External linksEdit