The Sydney segment of the internationally acclaimed 48 Hour Film Project will be run from the Blue Mountains as a part of this year’s Footbeat Festival.

The weekend of 10-12 October promises to be a wild and sleepless weekend for the teams who are challenged to make a movie—write, shoot and edit it—in just 48 hours.

Filmmakers from Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong, Lithgow, Bathurst and the Blue Mountains are invited to compete in the world’s oldest and largest timed-film competition. The 48HFP takes place annually in over 70 cities around the world with more than 40,000 filmmakers competing to win the title of Best 48 Hour Film of 2008.

"Don’t be surprised if the next Peter Weir or Gillian Armstrong is lurking down the street or waiting around the corner," said project producer Ken Quinnell. "Nothing can prepare filmmakers for the reality of film production like this adrenaline-fuelled event. What’s called on is creativity and plenty of it. It’s a rare opportunity for filmmaker to see their work jump from celluloid to the big screen – almost instantly."

All films in the Sydney competition will be screened at The Edge Cinema in Katoomba in October when judges will select the winners in each category and the audience will select its favourite. The awards will be presented at a gala "best of" screening on 1 st November.

"We’re excited to be playing host to this event which comes to Sydney for the first time ever this year," said the Edge’s Business Development Manager, Zara Browne. "I’m sure it will not only be a keenly contested competition but great viewing entertainment as well."

The 48HFP is a partnership between the Footbeat (formerly known as Songlines) Festival and BLU FM 89.1 community radio.

"It’s going to be intense, I can promise you that," said Tom Papas, director of the Footbeat Festival. "If you have always talked about making films but never quite got around to it, then this competition if for you. This forces you to do it. And, although it is a competition, the emphasis is on having fun."

Ken Quinnell gave an example of how the 48HFP can help launch a filmmaking career. "Myles West", last year’s winner in Brisbane where the competition is in its fifth year, went on to win a swag of awards at the international competition in America, competing against the winners from 50 other cities. It was then screened in the Short Film Corner at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.

"Anyone of any age can compete, amateur or professional," says Ken. "We encourage school teams, senior’s teams, and the participation of those with a disability. Films can be in any language, as well. Each team receives a genre, a character, a prop, and a line of dialogue that they must work into their 3 – 7 minute film."

This year the number of cities competing has reached more than 70 with Melbourne also joining this year. The international sponsor is Panasonic. Sydney Water, Integral Energy, Festivals Australia, New South Wales Tourism, Metro Screen, Blue Mountains City Council, BLU FM 89.1 and The Edge Cinema sponsor the Footbeat Festival and the 48-Hour Film Project.

To learn more about the 48 Hour Film Project and register a team go to www.48hourfilm.com/sydney or phone Ken Quinnell on 0419 463 009 for further information. Entries are now open and will be accepted until 3rd October.

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