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The 48 Hour Film Project returns to Chicago

July 17, 2013|By JoVona Taylor | RedEye

The world’s largest timed filmmaking competition is back for its seventh year in Chicago, and all interested participates can register now up until the competition kickoff Aug. 9.

The 48 Hour Film Project, which will be held in more 100 cities in the world for its 12th annual year, challenges filmmakers of all skill levels to create a short film in 48 hours, but like any good competition, there is a twist.  The short film must also incorporate a movie genre, character, prop and line of dialogue assigned to each team on Day 1 of the competition.

After the 48 hours are up, each city will select one overall best film, which will then go on to Filmapalooza and compete for the 2013 Grand Prize of $5,000 cash, the grand prize trophy and a screening at the acclaimed Cannes International Film Festival in 2014.

This year’s competition could be Chicago’s time to reign, seeing that the city has yet to send on a grand prize winning film in the competition, according to Amanda Shapiro, the city producer for The 48 Hour Film Project and a 27-year-old Andersonville resident.

“We have a significant filmmaking community here,” she said. “The independent films that have been produced here have been great, and we’ve driven a lot of production work out of Chicago. We just need people to start representing, it’s not like we don’t have the talent.”

Shapiro noted that even without claiming the 48 Hour Film Project grand prize and a spot in the Cannes International Film Festival Short Film Corner, this year’s Chicago winner can still get some local exposure.

Music Box Theatre will host the 2013 premiere screenings for the city's film competition. The winning team’s short film will not only go on to Filmapalooza, but will also have a full-run as the opener to one of the feature films playing at the Music Box.

“The Music Box has a level of accreditation that if you have your film distributed there, it can move on to your filmmaking resume and immediately bring accreditation to your team and to your skill sets,” Shapiro said.

With this new prize raising the stakes of the city competition, Shapiro said interested competitors should register as soon as possible to avoid the chance of being waitlisted.

Regular registration for the 48 Hour Film Project is $160 and is available until July 30 at the Chicago 48 Hour Film Project website. Any registrations made after this date will cost $175.

Anyone interested in joining a team, acting, networking or just want to mingle are invited to attend the 48 Hour Film Project Chicago meet-and-greet on the rooftop of Joe’s Bar from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday. Actors are encouraged to bring headshots, and filmmakers should bring business cards.

The 2-day competition runs Aug. 9 to 11, and screenings will occur Aug. 14 and 15. The public is invited; tickets are $12.

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