The Dubai 48 Hour Film Project

The 48 Hour Film Project is the oldest and largest timed film competition in the world with a mission to advance filmmaking and promote filmmakers. The tight 48-hour deadline puts the focus squarely on the filmmaking, emphasizing creativity and teamwork and 'doing' instead of 'talking'.  The emphasis is also on building communities of local creative people - facilitating making new connections, showcasing skills, and celebrating what creativity and teamwork can accomplish in just one weekend.

For this year's edition, Dubai will be taking part in the 48 Hour Film Project for the first time  - making it one of a record 101 cities worldwide  – from Beijing to Lisbon - competing in the 48 Hour Film Project this year (Dubai is also the second city in the Middle East to take part, Beirut took part last year). The Dubai 48 Hour Film Project will start on 10th November and end on 12th November.

The competition is open to everyone in the United Arab Emirates, regardless of experience or background. You can make a film with any camera you choose, including a phone camera. There is a registration fee of AED 550 per team (it's also possible to join someone else's team through the website if you don't know enough people to assemble a team). 

To register, visit

The Dubai 48 Hour Film Project Schedule

10th- 12th November - Shooting weekend
10th November at 6.00 pm: Kick off assembly at The Pavilion Downtown Dubai. You can start shooting your film from 7.00pm onwards.
12th November at 7.00 pm: Deadline to submit films at The Pavilion Downtown Dubai.

17th November at 8.00 pm
Premiere screening of all the films followed by a Q & A session with the filmmakers.
Venue: Shelter Dubai in Al Quoz

24th November at 8.00 pm
"Best of" screening followed by a Q&A session and awards for best films. A wrap party will follow close the event.
Venue: Shelter Dubai in Al Quoz

How the competition works
On Thursday, 10th November the participating teams will gather at Shelter Dubai in Al Quoz where they will be given a genre out of a hat, a character, a prop and a line of dialogue that they must work into their film.  The only preparation that can take place before the weekend of shooting is the assembling of cast and crew and securing equipment and locations. Films submitted even one minute late after 7.00pm on 12th November will be disqualified from the awards, but will still be screened at Shelter Dubai on the 17th November.
Submitted films will be screened for the public at Shelter Dubai on 17th November. The films will be judged by a panel of judges and the Best Films will screen again on 24th November. The winners will then be in the running for top honors at Filmapalooza, the 48 Hour Film Project’s annual awards Festival. The top 10 international 48HFP films will be screened at the Cannes Short Film Corner in 2012.  

Prize for the winning film
There will be local prizes awarded by local sponsors on 24th November and the Dubai Best Film will go on to represent the UAE on the international stage to compete against over a hundred other countries for the best 48 hour film in the world. The overall Best Film will receive $3000 cash and an assortment of prizes from international sponsors. The 10 best films internationally will also be featured at the Cannes Short Film corner in 2012. There will be honorable mentions in Dubai for the other categories including Best Writing, Best Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Use of Line of Dialog. 

For more information and to register, please visit Good luck to everyone that takes part, I'm looking forward to seeing the final results.

I leave you with a small selection of award winning films from recent years.


48 Hours to Live
Awarded Best Film, Best Screenplay and Best Use of Locations Buffalo for the 2010 48 Hour Film Project

The Auctioneer
Awarded Best Use of Line in written form, Best Direction and Best Film for the 2011 Baltimore 48 Hour Film Project

One Step Forward
Awarded winner of the 2011 Boston 48 Hour Film Project