The 48 Hour Film Project


The year 2014 brings a lot of fun new genre changes! This year we introduce Fish Out of Water! Goodbye Buddy Film, Crime/Gangster, Fantasy, Mistaken Identity, Superhero and Vacation or Holiday Film - at least for this year. We're also bringing back the popular genres Film de Femme, Film Noir, Road Movie, Silent Film and Time Travel. And it wouldn't be the 48 Hour Film Project without those three beloved words: Musical or Western!

After genres have been selected, filmmakers will be given the option to trade in their genre for a Wild Card Genre. Once you switch, you can't switch back! Wild Card Genres will be randomly assigned to each city. (See the list below.)

At the Kickoff Event, each team draws one of these genres from a hat.

  • Comedy
  • Dark Comedy
  • Drama
  • Film Noir
  • Film de Femme (see below)
  • Fish Out of Water
  • Horror
  • Musical or Western
  • Road Movie
  • Romance
  • Sci Fi
  • Silent Film (see below)
  • Thriller/Suspense
  • Time Travel

If you are the lucky team that draws Musical or Western, you have the choice of making either a Musical or a Western. Or a Musical Western. (Or even a Western Musical!)

Your film must be true to the genre you have selected—and no trading with other teams! You may combine genres (e.g., a silent comedic buddy film).

2014 Wild Card Genres 

This year the wild cards are, well, WILD! We've added some tough ones: Chase/Escape Film and Inspirational Film! We've also added some crowd pleasers: Monster/Creature Feature and Spoof/Parody. You're going to have a good time with these.

  • Animal Film
  • Chase/Escape Film
  • Family Film
  • Inspirational Film
  • Monster/Creature Feature
  • Period Piece
  • Spoof/Parody

Film de Femme 

Never heard of a Film de Femme? That's because we invented it! This genre is specifically designed by the 48HFP to encourage strong roles for females in 48HFP films. A Film de Femme is a film featuring one or more strong female characters. Romantic comedies or "chick flicks" are included in this genre, but are only a subset.

What's a strong female character? Think Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty, Angelina Jolie in Salt, Pam Grier in Jackie Brown, or Ellen Page in Juno. Smart and complicated. Try to avoid having a woman doing a man's job like a man would do his job. And contrary to public opinion, strong women characters are not required to kill someone!

Silent Film 

From the dawn of cinema to the early 1920s, films did not have synchronized sound—they only had the live piano player. We're reliving that, but in 48 hours! A silent film made as part of the 48HFP may have music and sound effects; however, it may not have dialogue or nat sound (that is, sound recorded while shooting). So if a door shuts in your movie, you can use any sound effect you please as long as it's not the actual sound of that door shutting. And if a person talks, you can use any sound effect you please as long as it's not the sound of any person talking. Sound good?