“Once More Unto the Breech!” The 48 Hour Film Project Calls its Banners

Just like Robb Stark of Winterfell in George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones, who calls the loyal banners to rally to war against the evil Lannisters who beheaded Winterfell’s Lord Eddard Stark and usurped the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms from its rightful heir, Stannis Baratheon, so too does the 48 Hour Film Project — but in a far less violent way!

The empty bottles of Red Bull and cups of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee reek of insomnia, and the bleary-eyed women and men scurry around like caffeinated zombies. But none of that matters, for a film is being made, and made fast. 48 hours fast!

It’s time for the famous (or infamous, depending on whom you ask) 48 Hour Film Project. The 48 is a national filmmaking competition that including PVD’s most resilient creatives pushing the boundaries of what can humanly be done in so short a time.

For months these teams been getting ready, and then the day comes; they get their assignment: a genre, a prop, a line of dialogue, and a character. Now they’ve got just 48 hours to make a movie. And it’s going to be an intense, sleepless, caffeine-driven madhouse of creativity and chaos!

Not unlike the Battle of Whispering Wood, hard choices need to be made; a filmmaker’s mettle will be tested in a brutal trial by combat. But that’s what makes The 48 so awesome!

For Melinda Rainsberger, city producer for PVD, it’s both a passion and a challenge that she has loved for the last nine years. “It’s the most intense 48 hours of my life every year,” she once told me over a beer at PVD’s Wild Colonial Tavern.

For the 10th straight year the Rhode Island Film Collaborative (RIFC) is running PVD’s chapter of this internationally renowned film competition. RIFC President, Anthony Ambrosino, remarked about the virtues and the challenges of The 48. “The amount of hard work and creativity that goes into one 48-hour period is staggering. The RIFC is very proud that we can continue to give local filmmakers this opportunity to showcase their talents in the spirit of friendly artistic competition.”

This is no rinky-dink filmmaking contest; this is the granddaddy of them all! The 48 spans 130 cities on six continents, from San Diego to Taipei. Over 60 teams will compete in PVD alone! Winners of the local contests get to compete for the international title of Best Film of the 2015 48 Hour Film Project.

The competition runs Jul 17 – 19, with registration open ’til Jul 7. Local winners will have their films screened at the RISD Auditorium on Jul 24, 25 and 26 at 7pm and 9pm. Cash prizes and bragging rights are also awarded. The world champion will get $5,000 and a screening of their film at Cannes. Local winners will receive $300 plus a Best Use of Providence prize package sponsored by the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The stories of valor and heroism that will arise from enduring such a gauntlet will be sung throughout the kingdoms of PVD, the fields of Agincourt, and possibly as far as Westeros as well!

“Valar Morghulis!”

Well … maybe not to that extent. But it is a great way to launch a filmmaking career. One New England team won first place over five times becoming one of the most winning-est teams ever, and two of PVD’s youngest award winners in 2015 were 9 and 12 years old!

“When you’re spontaneous, it really shows how creative you can be,” Melinda says, “especially under such a super tight deadline.”

Visit 48hourfilm.com/providence/ for all The 48 details and registration information.

“For he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother…that fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.”

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