Competition Rules

  1. Eligibility

    In the United States, the Team Leader must be a legal resident or legal visitor of the United States or the District of Columbia. Outside of the United States, residency requirements may vary. A team is not eligible if either the Team Leader or any Team Member is one of the following: employee, city producer, contractor, director or officer of 48 Hour Film Project, Inc. (48HFP), its parent, subsidiaries or affiliated companies, distributors, web design, advertising, fulfillment, judging or Project agencies involved in the administration, development, fulfillment and execution of this Project (collectively, Project Parties), or the immediate family member of any Project Partner (e.g., spouse, parent, child, sibling, grandparent, and spouse or step child) or those living in their same household (those persons whether related or not who live in the same residence for at least three months during the twelve-month period preceding the start date of the Project).  Void where prohibited.

  2. To Enter

    To register for the 48 Hour Film Project in the United States, follow the instructions found on Registration is based on a first-come first-served basis and space is limited. Early Bird registration fees are $158 per team. Regular registration fees are $178 per team. Late registration fees are $198 per team. First Year Cities Only: If the 48HFP is coming to a city for the first time, the Early Bird registration fee per team is $125, the Regular registration fee is $135 and the Late registration fee is $145. Typically, Early Bird registration begins 8 weeks before a competition and closes 4 weeks before the competition. Typically, Regular registration begins 4 weeks before the competition and closes 2 weeks before the competition. Typically, Late registration begins 2 weeks before the competition. For fees and registration for International Projects, please check the city's webpage.

  3. Official Filmmaking Period

    In the United States, each 48 Hour Film Project will commence on a Friday and end on the following Sunday as announced on the 48 Hour Film Project website. Days of the week may vary in other countries.

  4. Withdrawing from the 48HFP

    48 Hour Film Project Refunds in the United States
    If a team (Entrant) must withdraw, refunds will be paid on the following schedule:

    • Notify the 48HFP more than 30 days prior to your competition weekend, receive a full refund minus a $25 administrative fee.
    • Notify the 48HFP 7-30 days prior to your competition weekend, receive a full refund minus a $50 administrative fee.
    • No refunds less than 7 days prior to Kickoff event.
    NOTE:  In lieu of a refund, Registration may be transferred to a different City Project (depending on availability) or credited to the following year at no charge.  This request must be made through the Withdraw link below at least seven (7) days prior to Kickoff.

    The 48HFP Refund Policy may vary in other countries.

    To Withdraw
    To withdraw and, if eligible, request a refund or a transfer, the team leader must complete this request form:

  5. Participation of Minors

    Some of the events (e.g., Kickoff, Drop Off) may be held in "21 years of age or older" locations. Every effort will be made to ensure that any under 21 teams will not be affected adversely. Entrants may wish to consider having at least one member of its team be 21 years or older.
  6. Team Leader's Agreement

    Entrants will be required to sign the standard 48 Hour Film Project Team Leader's Agreement. If under the legal age of majority in your state of residence, your parent or legal guardian must sign it on your behalf.

    As a condition of entry, participants must agree to the Team Leader's Agreement, which sets forth the rights of Entrant and 48HFP with respect to the use of Entries by 48HFP. Entries that do not include all required information and/or do not adhere to the foregoing and following requirements will be considered void and will not be considered in this 48 Hour Film Project.

  7. Production Costs

    All costs associated with the production of the Entry are solely the responsibility of the Entrant.
  8. Judging of Entries

    Eligible Entries will be judged based on the judging criteria stated below.
  9. Kickoff Event

    Entrants must be present at the designated times at the designated events to participate.
  10. Basic Requirements of the Project

    Entrants must adhere to the official 48HFP Filmmaking Rules. In addition, at the Kickoff Event, Entrants will receive an assignment and be given exactly 48 hours to make a video (an "Entry"). See for details.
  11. Project Terms of Submission

    By submitting an Entry into this 48 Hour Film Project, each Entrant warrants and represents that the Entrant owns all rights to the Entry he/she is entering in this Project, including, without limitation, the video or digital recording, and the performance contained in each Entry, with the exception of any assets provided by the 48HFP for use by Entrants in connection with this Project. Each Entrant further warrants and represents that the Entrant has obtained permission from each person who appears in the Entry to grant the rights to the Project Parties described in these Official Rules, and will submit copies of such permissions to the Project Parties. By submitting an Entry, Entrant agrees to the Official Rules, and further agrees to indemnify and hold the 48HFP, Project Parties and their respective affiliates, officers, directors, agents, co-branders or other partners, and any of their employees (collectively, the Project Indemnitees), harmless from any and all claims, damages, expenses, costs (including reasonable attorneys' fees) and liabilities (including settlements), brought or asserted by any third party against any of the Project Indemnitees due to or arising out of the Entrant's Entry materials in this Project, or the Entrant's conduct during and in connection with this Project, including but not limited to trademark, copyright, or other intellectual property rights, right of publicity, right of privacy or defamation. Entrant agrees to release, indemnify and hold harmless 48HFP and the Project Parties from any and all claims that any advertising, presentation, web content or any other material subsequently produced, presented, and/or prepared by or on behalf of 48HFP or the Project Parties infringes on the rights of Entrant's work as contained in any Entry.

  12. Multiple City Participation

    Entrants may compete in more than one city and are eligible to be the City Winner in each city in which they compete. Teams may compete in two cities simultaneously but must submit a different film in each city to be eligible for awards.

    Note: In order to qualify as different, 25% of each film's footage must be unique to that film.

  13. Designated Team Leader

    If any group of individuals elects to collaborate on an Entry, they are required to designate one (1) person as the agent of the group to enter the 48 Hour Film Project, agree to these Official Rules, sign the Team Leader's Agreement and accept the prize on behalf of the group. Neither 48HFP nor any of the Project Parties are liable for any disputes between collaborators arising out of or related to the Project.

  14. Selection of Winners

    Entries will be judged in a two-tier process: first locally—within each competition city, then internationally with each city winner eligible for the Best 48 Hour Film of the Year award. Entries will be judged by a process in which qualified panels of judges will evaluate the eligible entries based on the following judging criteria:

    • Artistic Merit (e.g., Story, Creativity, Entertainment Value) (45%)
    • Technical Merit (30%)
    • Adherence to the Assignment (25%)

  15. 48 Hour Film Project Winner

    The Top Entry in each city will be declared the winner. In the event of a tie, the tie will be broken based on the highest score in the first Judging Criteria, continuing thereafter to each Judging Criteria in order, as needed to break the tie. Entrants agree that the 48HFP has the sole right to decide all matters and disputes arising from this 48 Hour Film Project and that all decisions of 48HFP are final and binding.

  16. One (1) City Winner Prize

    The top Entry in each city will be awarded a trophy; will be screened at "Filmapalooza", the Annual 48 Hour Film Project, Inc. Awards Weekend (date and location to be announced); and shall be eligible for the award of "Best 48 Hour Film of the Year".
  17. General Conditions

    By participating, Entrants agree to these Official Rules which are final and binding in all respects. The 48 Hour Film Project is governed by the laws of the District of Columbia, Washington, DC, USA, and all claims must be resolved in the District of Columbia courts or the Federal courts located in the District of Columbia.

  18. Limitations of Liability and Release

    No liability or responsibility is assumed by 48HFP or Project Parties resulting from any user's participation in or attempt to participate in the 48 Hour Film Project or ability or inability to upload or download any information in connection with participating in the Project. No responsibility or liability is assumed by the 48HFP or Project Parties for technical problems or technical malfunction arising in connection with any of the following occurrences which may affect the operation of the Project: hardware or software errors; faulty computer, telephone, cable, satellite, network, electronic, wireless or Internet connectivity or other online communication problems; errors or limitations of any Internet service providers, servers, hosts or providers; garbled, jumbled or faulty data transmissions; failure of any e-mail transmissions to be sent or received; lost, late, delayed or intercepted e-mail transmissions; inaccessibility of the Web Site in whole or in part for any reason; traffic congestion on the Internet or the Web Site; unauthorized human or non-human intervention of the operation of the Project, including without limitation, unauthorized tampering, hacking, theft, virus, bugs, worms; or destruction of any aspect of the Project, or loss, miscount, misdirection, inaccessibility or unavailability of an email account used in connection with the Project. 48HFP and Project Parties are not responsible for any typographical errors in the announcement of prizes or these Official Rules, or any inaccurate or incorrect data contained on the Web Site or social media sites maintained by the 48 Hour Film Project. Use of Web Site and the 48HFP's social media sites is at user's own risk. 48HFP and the Project Parties are not responsible for any personal injury or property damage or losses of any kind which may be sustained to user's or any other person's computer equipment resulting from participation in the Project, use of the Web Site or the download of any information from the Web Site. By participating in the Project, Entrant agrees to release, indemnify and hold 48HFP and Project Parties harmless from any and all claims, damages or liabilities arising from or relating to such Entrant's participation in the Project.

  19. Winners

    Winners will be posted online at 48 Hour Film Project.

  20. Project Organizer

    The 48 Hour Film Project, Inc.
    P.O. Box 40008
    Washington, DC 20016