48 Hour Film Challenge Rules


  1. The SCI-FI-LONDON 48 Hour Film Challenge ("the Challenge") is administered by the London International Festival of Science Fiction and Fantastic Film ("SFL").
  2. The Challenge is open to all filmmakers and/or creative people and entrants must be at least eighteen (18) years of age or must have a parent or legal guardian sign a Participant's Agreement for them (please request the form if you need one from 48hours@sci-fi-london.com).
  3. Anyone affiliated with SFL, or its sponsors, is welcome to participate in the Challenge but will not be eligible for judging.
  4. All members of the participating teams have to sign the relevant release forms to be eligible for the final competition. The signed forms should be enclosed with the finished movie.
  5. By entering the Challenge, the Entrant agrees to abide by all provisions in these rules and accept the decisions of SFL and the judges as final and binding in all respects. SFL reserves the right to disqualify any Entrant who fails to comply with the Rules, at its sole discretion. So be nice to us :)
  6. Team registration will take place on www.sci-fi-london.com and must be done by April 1 2008. All teams must have a team name, which SFL uses for identification. Teams can be as big or small as you want but we suggest a crew of at least five (which might include writer, director, camera/DoP, sound recorder, editor/effects, composer). The number of cast members is at the team's discretion.
  7. There is no fee or charge for entering the Challenge, but all costs for production and submission must be born by the Teams.
  8. The Challenge is to write, shoot and edit a short film in 48 hours based on the criteria presented to the teams at the Launch. The Launch will be at Apollo West End, Lower Regent Street, London SW1 at 10am on Saturday 5th April 2008.
  9. Only one member of the team is required to attend the briefing where they will be given a title and style or sub-genre for the movie (sf/horror, time travel, superhero, genetics etc). They will also be given a character, a prop (which may need to be sourced) and lines of dialogue that have to appear in the team's final movie. If the specified dialogue is said in a foreign or extraterrestrial language a translation, subtitle or babel fish must be supplied.  We do suggest you turn up with your full crew and cast but leave them hanging around in a coffee bar talking over the plan for the next 2 days!
  10. The 48 hours begins from when all teams have their brief (around Noon on April 5th) and all the creative work must take part in that time period. The only pre-production permissible is the organising of cast and crew (the Team), securing equipment and scouting for possible locations. Bear in mind that there are laws and regulations regarding filming in public locations and places that might be considered public. Make sure you have proper permissions in place. SFL takes no responsibility for infractions of local by-laws in this regard, which is detailed in the agreement to be signed by all participants.
  11. You are free to video and photograph your team during the course of the challenge. Please be aware that the Sci-Fi Channel will be officially covering the event and by registering to take part you give your consent to be included in the film. We cannot make any allowances for those who do not wish to be filmed.
  12. No stock footage or footage shot or created at another time may be used. Animation and special effects are permitted, but must be created during the 48 hour time period. Still photographs are permitted, provided that the team has the rights to them. The photos do not necessarily need to be created during the 48 hour time period, unless the whole film is made up of stills, like La Jetée.
  13. Any music used should be original and, where possible, created specifically for the movie during the challenge. Pre-recorded music, including royalty-free and library music, must be accompanied by the relevant signed clearance, or proof you have the rights to use it. Music created with loops in programmes such as GarageBand or Soundtrack is acceptable. The same rules apply to sound effects.
  14. We are indemnified from any action regarding a breach of copyright on the part of the participating teams.
  15. Overall content of the movie, beyond that specified at the Launch, is at the discretion of the participating teams. The organisers reserve the right to not screen any film that can be considered pornographic, or that depicts hardcore or graphic sex, or any material that would attract an 18 certificate.
  16. The finished film must be a minimum of three (3) minutes and a maximum of five (5) minutes in duration. Credits at the beginning and end of each film should total no more 30 seconds and make up part of the overall running time.
  17. The start of the film should have:
    • 5 seconds of bars and tone
    • 5 seconds of black
    • Title card with: team name, title/prop/dialogue etc that you were given
    • 2 seconds of black
  18. The total running time starts from the opening credits should contain the words:

    "Made for the SCI-FI-LONDON 48 Hour Film Challenge 2008 in association with The SciFi Channel" and the title of the film.

    You can include the name of the team in the opening credits if you wish.

    NOTE: The above words do not count towards your running time.

  19. The movie can be shot on any media or in any format but the finished film has to be delivered in the one of the following formats:
    • Standard Definition PAL
    • 16:9 or 4:3 (we cannot guarantee that anamorphic movies will screen correctly)
    • miniDV (not dvCam or Hd MiniDV)
    • A self-contained full DV resolution QuickTime file (.mov), with no proprietary codecs, on a single-sided data DVD that can read by Windows and Mac
    • Standard DVD (region 0)
  20. We recommend that each team submit a miniDV version and a QuickTime version, as the files will be uploaded to the internet. If your finished movie is in a format that is incompatible with our viewing equipment it will not be eligible for the competition.
  21. The final film, in the formats listed above, has to be delivered to the Apollo West End, Lower Regent Street, London SW1 by noon on Monday 7th April.
  22. Each entry has to be accompanied by all the relevant signed agreement and release forms. Films that arrive after the cut-off time will not be eligible for the competition. The use of a time machine to extend the shooting period or deadline will, depending on the judges' discretion, disqualify the team.
  23. The jury includes:
    • John Landis (legendary filmmaker)
    • Emily Booth (Zone Horror)
    • Ken Jones (SciFi Channel)
    • Philip Ilson (London Short Film Festival)
    • Dave Bradley (Editor, SFX Magazine)
  24. The judges' decision is final.
  25. The prizes for the competition, which includes a cash prize of £250, will be given at a ceremony at SCI-FI-LONDON Film Festival on Sunday May 4 2008. The winners and best entries will be shown on www.sci-fi-london.tv and the SciFi Channel's website.
  26. SCI-FI-LONDON and the SciFi Channel are granted NON-EXCLUSIVE WORLDWIDE rights, in perpetuity, to broadcast, distribute, screen and put on any medium including but not limited to DVD and the Internet. None of the submitted materials will be returned.