The 48 Hour Film Project launched in Seoul on Saturday, giving prospective filmmakers the chance to size up this year’s competition and meet potential collaborators.
The Seoul project is part of an international competition that takes place in 120 cities worldwide, in which teams get two days to make a short film.
The best film in each city is sent to Filmapalooza, the official awards event for the global project, at which the best 10 films are chosen for a screening at the Cannes Film Festival. City awards are also given out globally, and all Seoul entries will be given a cinema screening in the city.
|Crew from visual content team hProduction film for their entry for the 48 Hour Film Festival last year. (hProduction)|
Having started in 2009, Seoul is the biggest Asian competitor after Vietnam, said city producer Joseph Kim, with 53 teams participating last year.
For Kim, the opportunities the project creates are more important than the prizes.
“I came here three years ago with the vision of telling my story to the world. But I found myself getting rejected left and right,” said Kim.
Things turned around for Kim when he approached the people who had turned him down to suggest forming a team for the project that year.
“Believe it or not, they were more than happy to join my group and make a film,” he said.
“I won the best use of dialogue three years ago, and it might not mean a lot to the other people in my group, but to me that’s where it sparked everything.”
Kim is now halfway through production of his first feature-length film, “Haebangchon (the Movie).”
In the project, prospective filmmakers join at meet-and-greet events to find like-minded people to form a team with. Then teams register and are given brief requirements, consisting of a line of dialogue they must use, a prop, a character description and a genre.
They will then be given exactly 48 hours to come up with a short film.
Kim, who took over as city producer for the Seoul competition last year, pointed out that several other filmmakers had also gone on to make feature-length movies with contacts made through the 48 Hour Film Project.
“I am trying to give the opportunity for people like me. I really didn’t know where to go in order to meet these filmmakers,” he said. “I’m just trying to create a venue or a network, through the 48 film event in order for these people to have fun making movies but also network with each other in making feature-length movies in the future.”
He admits that it is hard work, and that despite significant sponsorship last year, the event still lost money.
Nonetheless, he said, there was great satisfaction in making the competition happen.
“I might be crazy, but I just feel that one of these days it’s going to repay. I am just doing this out of the sheer love of filmmaking.”
This year’s competition runs Nov. 29-Dec. 1. There will be a prize of 2 million won ($1,800) and screenwriting software for the best film, followed by two runners-up prizes and other awards in categories such as acting, writing and best use of the dialogue line assigned.
The meet-and-greet events will be in Itaewon at Sin Bin Pub on Sept. 29 and at JR Pub on Oct. 13 and 17. Team registration deadline is Nov. 29.
For more information, visit http://www.48hourfilm.com/en/seoul.
By Paul Kerry (firstname.lastname@example.org