The Action On The Side Film Competition Returns

48-hour event looks to develop new talent in the industry

Participants in a previous Action On The Side film competition
Participants in a previous Action On The Side film competition

June 26, 2024

The Action On The Side (AOTS) 48 hour Film Competition is set to return.

Teams of independent film makers are asked to write, shoot, edit, and submit a 5-7 minute short film within two days. That isn’t the only challenge - they must incorporate 3 random elements (a prop, a line of dialogue, a shot or filmmaking technique) and their film must be in an allocated genre.

The competition runs from 8pm Friday 5 July to 8pm Sunday 7 July.

Registration is open now. Teams can take part from anywhere in the world. London-based filmmakers can alternatively join a team on the day.

The best entries will have their films screened at ActOne Cinema in Acton on Sunday 4 August, 11am-1pm. Prizes will be awarded for Best Screenplay, Best Performance, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Soundtrack, and the grand prize for Best Film.

The competition ran for the first time last year as the Ealing 48 Hour. Team Project Lockout won Best Cinematography, Best Performance, Best Soundtrack, and Best Film for their Shakespearean short Play On.

In 2023, the competition ran Friday 3 to Sunday 5 November. Eleven teams competed. Around 100 people were listed in the credits. Most teams were based in London, with one team from Japan. The allocated genres were Shakespearean, Feel Good, Supernatural Horror, Dystopian, Espionage / Spy Thriller, War, and Superhero. The random elements were a photo frame (prop), the line of dialogue “The most important thing to remember is…”, and a freeze frame (shot or filmmaking technique).

The seven judges are working practitioners in the screen industries. They are filmmakers, writers, directors, producers, actors, film festival selectors, and educators.

The competition is for filmmakers of any ability level, from amateurs to professionals — anyone up for the challenge. As the Kick-Off will be live-streamed and the submission is online, teams can enter from anywhere in the world, not just London.

Action On The Side is a London-based organisation focused on providing opportunities for new talent in the film industry. Its bespoke one-month short filmmaking project - where participants make a short film across four weekends - has run since July 2013, producing 30 short films. It has expanded to include the 48 hour film competition, script development workshops, a short screenplay award, internships and work experience.

Action On The Side aims to support independent filmmakers to tell their stories by providing training, opportunities, and a community network.


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