Flatwater 48Hour Film Challenge Logo

This August, the Flatwater Film Festival will be hosting its 1st annual 48 Hour Film Challenge!


You and a few friends have just 48 hours to create and submit an original, thrilling story (2-6 minutes in length) incorporating three surprise creative elements revealed at a live-stream kick-off event. Once your masterpiece is complete you'll submit it for judging, followed by a special screening and awards ceremony.


You will randomly be given a GENRE, PROP, and a LINE OF DIALOGUE to include in your film. 

All creative work must occur within the 48 hour window beginning Friday, August 2 immediately following the live-stream event, and ending at 7:00 pm on Sunday, August 4.

The 48 Hour Film Challenge is open to filmmakers at any stage of their career – from first-time filmmakers to experienced directors. Anyone can participate.

There will be awards as selected by our judges, as well as an audience choice award.

See Rules and Regulations below for details.


The event is limited to 20 teams, and based on the first 20 teams to register with full payment, so please register as soon as you confirm your team to guarantee acceptance.

Registration will end on Thursday, August 1. The registration for a single team is $20.



A panel of judges will select the winners in each of the following categories.

  • Best Film
  • Best Cinematography
  • Best Director
  • Best Writing
  • Best Use of Prop
  • Best Line of Dialogue

There will also be an Audience Choice award.


Friday, August 2 @ 6:30 pm – Livestream announcement of rules and film requirements
Friday, August 2 (immediately after the livestream) – teams begin their projects
Sunday, August 4 @ 7:00 pm – Films must be completed and submitted
Saturday, August 17 @ 4:00 pm – Film Screening 
Saturday, August 17 @ 7:00 pm – Awards Announcement at FFF Launch Party


  1. Times
    The 2024 Flatwater Film Festival 48-hour Film Challenge will occur between 7:00 pm, Friday August 2nd and 7:00 pm, Sunday August 4th. This is the Official Time Period.
    1. Teams must be registered prior to the challenge. Registration will begin on Saturday, June 15 and end on Thursday, August 1.
    2. Participating groups/teams must complete and submit their film by 7:00 pm, Sunday, August 4.
    3. While all submitted films will be shown at the screening on Saturday, August 17, only films submitted by the deadline will be considered for awards.
  2. Registration
    Your Team Leader will be responsible for registering your team. The registration fee is $20 and is non-refundable. A link to the registration form will be available on the FFF website from Saturday, June 15 to Thursday, August 1.
  3. Preparation
    The only work you can complete prior to the Official Time Period is as follows:
    1. Organizing Crew
    2. Organizing Cast
    3. Securing Equipment
    4. Scouting/securing locations
  4. Creative Process
    All creative work must take place during the Official Time Period. Creative work includes, but is not limited to:
    1. Writing the script
    2. Rehearsing
    3. Costume/Set Design
    4. Shooting
    5. Editing
    6. Sound design
  5. Footage
    All footage must be filmed within the Official Time Period of the project and within the state of Nebraska.
    1. No stock footage, still photographs, or footage filmed prior to the Official Time Period may be used.
    2. Films created outside the state of Nebraska will not be considered for awards.
  6. Required Elements
    Each participating group will be assigned Required Elements that must appear in the film.
    1. The Required Prop must be seen on screen.
    2. The Required Line of Dialogue must be used verbatim. It may be spoken, sung, and/or written. It may be in any language, though it must be clear that it is the required line (i.e.; captioned).
    3. The film must be in the Selected Genre specifically chosen for your team.
  7. Music Rights
    Participating teams must have the rights to any music used in its film. As with music, pre-recorded sound effects are allowed, but you must have rights to use them.
  8. PG-13 Guidelines We ask that all teams limit their films to a PG-13 rating or lower. (See the Classification and Ratings Rules for guidance)
  9. Total Running Time
    The finished film must be a minimum of 2 minutes, with a maximum of 6 minutes in length, including credits.
  10. Required Media Formats & Film Submission
    Final projects must be encoded H.264/mp4 file format. Teams will receive instructions on how to submit their final projects. NOTE: Entries will not be returned.
  11. Pre-screening Distribution
    Teams may not publicly distribute their competition films in any way before the premiere screening. This includes uploading the video to any public website, social media platform, or screening the film for groups of anyone other than the team. This is to allow our judges an unbiased viewing time before the event. Once the screening is over you can share your work in any way you see fit.
  12. Screening
    FFF retains the rights to screen all submitted films at the FFF 48-Hour Film Challenge event on Saturday, August 17. Complimentary tickets to this event are not available.