Eight aspiring filmmakers from Richmond Academy (Va.) tried their hand at creating a compelling and original film narrative, which could not include spoken dialogue, by using only their smartphones. Hosted by Southwestern University’s (Keene, Tex.) communication department, the 48-Hour Film Festival challenge, which falls under The Brain Games, is an annual event designed to encourage students to test their teamwork, creativity and problem-solving skills.
High school students from across the nation arrived on the college campus on a Wednesday afternoon and, after going over the rules and expectations, RA students were split up into two groups and each assigned a genre — film noir and mockumentary. “All filming had to be done on the SWAU campus during the 48-hours of the festival,” explains Kristie Dillon, English teacher and sponsor. “Each group was assigned a computer and had access to editing software and everything on campus for filming. They roamed the campus night and day, getting little sleep and only stopping for meals, until the deadline on Friday evening.”
Saturday night they rolled out the red carpet – literally – and attendees watched the films. “The films were judged on the spot by a panel,” explained Dillon. “In the end, our group that was assigned film noir won third place for best cinematography and our mockumentary group won best editing.”
RA leadership and students say the experience exceeded their expectations and they hope to participate again in years to come.