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The weekend warriors of The 48 Hour Film Project 

The 48 Hour Film Project gives filmmakers of all levels a set of rules and a tight deadline. The rest is up to them.

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48 Hour Film Project premiere
Thursday, September 27, 6:30pm
Paul O'Regan Hall, Halifax Central Library
5440 Spring Garden Road
$10
tickethalifax.com

The character: Liam or Lily, professional musician. The prop: An alarm clock. The line: "What a small world!" Then: Pick one of two genres.

Those were the restrictions placed on the 11 teams competing in the 48 Hour Film Project, an international event now in its third year locally. The teams had from 7pm on August 31 to 7:30pm on September 2 to conceive, shoot, edit and submit their shorts—seven minutes max (eight with credits).

"We had one team who missed the deadline by one minute," says producer Blerina Berberi. "The file was very large so it was taking too much time."

It was Berberi who brought the event—which occurs all over the US, in Rome, Prague, Dubai and Edinburgh, among more than 100 other cities—to the city in 2016. "It's an opportunity to promote talent," she says. "In comparison to other film festivals, this one is about filmmaking." The winning film—the jury this year is Cory Bowles, Shelley Fashan and Doug Karr—screens at the travelling Filmapalooza festival, happening in Orlando in March, and an up-and-coming festival in France called Cannes.

"Our genres were family vacation or horror," says Gil Anderson, who made Hope with Koumbie, Taylor Olson, Tim Mombourquette and Keelin Jack. (They picked family vacation.) "We added all these variables ourselves," she adds, including "a child, a fire" and a location (Seabright) that added travel time, not to mention the actors' respective rehearsals for plays they're currently part of, which meant they only had one shoot day. "Keelin was the superhero, she edited the whole thing in a day," says Anderson. The team submitted "with 12 minutes to spare."

"With 11 short films, 75 people were involved," says Berberi. "In 48 hours, 75 people were going crazy."

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