Participating in the 48 Hour Film Fest

This event is open to anyone aged 18 years and older who will be in the Las Vegas area the weekend of the festival, November 10-12, 2022. Each participant (or team) will have 48 hours to write, shoot, and edit a film of no less than one minute and no more than five minutes thirty seconds in length, including all credits.

All contest participants should meet on Thursday, November 10th at 7:00 pm in FDH 109 on UNLV's main campus. Filmmaking begins promptly at 8:00 p.m. that evening, and concludes exactly 48 hours later, at 8:00 pm on November 12th. Films will be screened publicly on Thursday, November 17th at 7:00 pm in FDH 109. (Doors will open at 6:30 pm.)

All participants should submit an official application. Participants may apply as individuals or teams.

filmstrip poster of 48 hour film fest

Contest Rules

Overview, Fees, and Deadlines

The UNLV Department of Film is hosting the annual 48 Hour Film Fest. All participants must submit an official application by the deadline of 6:00 pm on November 10th, using the "ONLINE APPLICATION" button. The completed film should be submitted by 8:00 pm on November 12th via the "SUBMIT FINISHED FILM" button.

A submitted application constitutes the agreement of the participant(s) to be bound by these contest rules and any other rules posted on the website or announced at the start of the contest. Failure to abide by these rules may result in disqualification from the contest in the sole discretion of the contest director, Heather Addison. Participants must inform the contest director if the participant, or any cast or crew-member, is related to any of the judges. At the option of the contest director, late entries may be submitted up to the start of the competition.

Format of Competition

The objective of the contest is to create the best short film of no less than one (1) minute, and no more than 5 minutes 30 seconds (5.5 mins) in duration, including all credits, solely within a 48-hour period, which will include writing a script, casting, filming (at any legal location), editing, and scoring (subject to copyright restrictions), based generally on, but not limited to:

  • a genre
  • character
  • a prop
  • a line of dialogue

The film must be an original work created entirely in this 48-hour period, except that participants may record original music, or obtain permission to use the copyrighted music of others, in advance of the contest.

The film should be submitted online, via Vimeo, YouTube, or Google drive link. All submitted films must include a title, give credit to “UNLV FILM -- 48 HOUR FILM FEST,” and list all participants' name(s) and function(s).

Selection of Winning Entries

A panel of experts will judge the films, and decision of the judges will be announced immediately following the public screening. The decision of the judges is final.

If participants have any question as to whether the subject matter or content of their film is appropriate for an all-ages public screening, they must notify Heather Addison ( at the time the film is submitted.

Use of Film and Intellectual Property Rights

Participants are solely responsible for protecting any intellectual property rights the participants may have in their contest entry, and are further solely responsible for obtaining permission, or otherwise complying with intellectual property laws pertaining to the film’s content (such as use of music, literary and other artistic expression of others). Participants, on behalf of themselves and their cast and crew, agree that the UNLV Department of Film is given non-exclusive express permission to make and maintain copies of films and to use the films, along with names of participants and winners, as part of advertising of the competition, and for other instructional, educational and historical purposes without any compensation to participants or their cast and crew.

Legal Issues

Contest is void where prohibited by law. All federal, state, and local laws and regulations apply. All participants, including cast and crew, assume liability for all costs, damages, and injuries related in any way to participation in this contest, and agree to indemnify the contest director and the Nevada Board of Regents and UNLV from any and all such costs, damages, and injuries, including any claims of violation of copyright law. UNLV will not be providing insurance for the participants, or their cast and crew, and participants are encouraged to obtain insurance on their own behalf. Participants, on behalf of themselves and their cast and crew, release the Board of Regents, UNLV and their respective employees, officers and agents, as well as the judges, from any and all liability from injury, cost, and damage resulting from participation in the contest. Participants agree that they will not use any cast or crew members unless the cast and crew members have reviewed these contest rules and have agreed to their terms.