The NXNW 48 Hour Film Challenge

Please review all of the details below.


Can you make a short film in 48 hours? Of course you can! It is such a fun time with your friends. It is a memory you’ll never forget and you could win $1000! Plus, the top selections will be shown at the NXNW Film Festival next November.




Step 1: Form a team. Find a few people who can work together to create a film within 48 hours. You’ll need an idea person who can dream up the script/story, technical people who can shoot and edit and actors. The primary person registering the team must be a high school student.

Step 2: Report to the KICKOFF EVENT either in person or online. Here you will receive the following items that must appear in your film:

  • A line of dialogue - For 2019, the line of dialog is: "You're going to need a bigger boat!"
  • A specific character - For 2019, the specific character is: "A Villain"
  • A specific prop - For 2019, the specific prop is: "Milk"
The Kickoff Event is Friday, March 29th at 6:00 pm at Elevate Coffee (2530 W Happy Valley Rd #1273, Phoenix, AZ 85085;

Step 3: Work with your team to create a film of any genre utilizing the required items at least once in the story. (This ensures that your film was created within the 48 hour time period).

  • The 48 Hour Film Challenge will occur between Friday at 6:00 pm and the following Sunday at 6:00 pm local time. This is the Official Time Period.
  • Each participating team must complete its film in time to upload it to the link provided below.
  • Only works that meet the deadline will be officially part of the competition.



All creativity must take place during the Official Time Period. Any creative work in advance of the competition weekend is prohibited. Creative work includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Writing the script
  2. Rehearsing
  3. Costume/Set Design
  4. Shooting
  5. Editing
  6. Sound Design
  7. Rendering

The only work to begin prior to the Official Time Period is:

  1. Organizing Crew
  2. Organizing Cast
  3. Securing Equipment
  4. Scouting/Securing Locations



All footage must be shot within the Official Time Period of the project. 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 Official Time Period. Still photographs are permitted, provided that the team has the rights to them. At the event, each group must submit a complete a Registration Form, signed by its team leader. A team may not participate without submitting this form. The required Character and Prop must be seen on-screen. The required Line of Dialogue must be used verbatim. It may be spoken, sung and/or written. The finished film must be a maximum of 3 minutes in duration. Before the finished film begins, the media should have... A title card with Team Name and Film Title. Films should be submitted in .mov or .mp4 format.

Content advisory:

  • No profanity
  • No sexually explicit content or imagery
  • No excessive portrayals of gratuitous violence (gunshots, gore)
  • No excessive horror (Monsters, demons, scary images)
  • No blasphemy (dishonoring the name of God or Jesus)
  • Keep in mind that this festival is attended by families with small children and if your film is too mature we will be forced to disqualify it.



As students you may use a certain amount of copyrighted material in the creation of your films: Copyright law allows for 10% of a copyrighted work to be used without obtaining permission. That's the equivalent of 30 seconds of music if a song is 5 minutes long.



  • Your film can be any genre: Comedy, Drama, Action, Thriller, or Animation (or other?)
  • We will award one “Best Picture” prize of $1,000 to the winner of the 48 Hour Film Challenge.
  • Finalists will be screened at the NXNW Film Festival Event in November.


To submit your film, use the following links:


To REGISTER for the 48 Hour Film Challenge please download the registration form, fill it out completely and send a scan or photo of it using the link above. To SUBMIT your film, use the link above to upload your completed .mov or .mp4 video file. You may also hand deliver your video file on a USB Stick. Use the “Ask a Question” Button above to request a drop off location.