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Film and Video Studies

CWU 48-Hour Film Slam

About the 48-Hour Film Slam!

48-Hours of Caffeine, Adrenaline & Filmmaking!

In the spirit of other "insomnia" film contests, The CWU 48-Hour Film Slam's mission is to provide student filmmakers an opportunity to test their mettle in a crucible of 48 hours of sleep deprevation, adrenaline and caffeine fueled creativity! The tight deadline of 48 hours puts the focus squarely on the student filmmakers—emphasizing creativity and teamwork skills. While the time limit places an unusual restriction on the student filmmakers, it is also liberating by putting the emphasis on "doing" instead of "studying" or "talking about" filmmaking.

Thus, participating teams have just one weekend to make a short film. All creative work—writing, rehearsals, costume, set design, shooting, editing and adding a musical soundtrack—must occur in a 48-hour window beginning Friday evening at 5:15 PM and ending Sunday at 5:15 PM. At 8 PM Sunday, the completed films are screened to a panel of judges and an eager audience!

A panel of individuals drawn from the faculty of Film & Video Studies, Theatre and English, and one member from the Ellensburg community will judge the submissions. Judges base their decisions on the following criteria—creativity (40%), technical merit (30%), and adherence to the assigned Genre, Required Elements & Official Rules (30%). Awards will be given in the following categories—Best Screenplay, Best Directing, and Best Technical (cinematography & editing). Audience awards will be given for Best Performance and Best Picture as determined by an audience ballot at the time of screening.

The 2011 Competition!

The Third Annual 48-Hour Film Slam took place February 25-27, 2011 with a free screening of all entries on Sunday, 27th at 8 p.m. in McConnell Auditorium. At the manditory rules, genre and equipment meeting on February 25th at 5 p.m. in the Communication Department Lobby the following requried elements were drawn: character = "Casandera," occupation = "Store Clerk," and the required prop = "rake."

The theme for this year's competition was, "It was beauty that killed the beast," and was required to be used in each entry as a required line of dialogue.

Competition was pretty strong between the seven (7) teams competing and each turned in wonderfully original films... However, in the end, the judges and audiences made their choices for those deserving of special recognition. Below are the winning entries selected by our panels of judges and voted for by an inthusastic audience of nearly 200 individuals!

The Rakist (Horror— Best Directing & Best of Festival) A rake in the dark!


The Calamity of Captain Striker (Super Hero— Best Performances) Sometimes hope comes in the form of a lazer beam to the chest.


Wasteland Warriors (Disaster— Best Script) Neighbors Cole & Ben set off to survive in a post-apocalyptic world of savages.


C-Complex (Survival— Best Technical) A young girl is haunted by her past and deadly visions she can't shake.


If You Can't Stand the Heat Poster-1

The 2010 Winners!

The Second Annual 48-Hour Film Slam took place February 26-28, 2010 with eight (8) teams competing. At the manditory rules, genre and equipment meeting in the Communication Department Lobby the teams drew their required genres and the following required elements were drawn: character = "Jane, a stay at home parent" and prop = "crowbar."

The theme (& required line of dialogue!) was, "Who are those guys?"

Below are the winners selected by our panel of judges &/or as voted by an appreciative audience of nearly 150 individuals.

This year, the judges also chose to give three (3) Special Jury awards: "Best Actress" to Brianne Walker in Down the Drain, "Best Actor" to Jimmy-Dean Candella in Dude, Sean Got SHOT! and "Most Visually Compelling Scene" to Jeff Knight, Cinematographer for Down the Drain.

To view the winning films, roll your mouse over the "box" and click the play icon!

Dude, Sean Got SHOT! (Road Film— Best Screenplay, Best Peformances, Best Directing, Best of Festival) Three friends flee after a bank robbery gone bad.

The Puddle Jumper (Fantasy — Best Technical) A man is trapped in an alternate dimension and chased by unknown figures.


48hfs-poster 2009The 2009 Winners!

The inaugural year of the 48-Hour Film Slam required participants to include a character named "Max" who was the "Mayor" and a "neck tie" had to be included as a prop. The four (4) teams then drew genres from a hat (ok, a small box) and after a quick review of the rules, the clock was ticking!

Check out this 2/26/2009 Observer article!  

Below are the winners selected by our panel of judges &/or as voted by an appreciative audience of over 100 individuals.

To view the winning films, roll your mouse over the "box" and click the play icon!

Man's Own Martyr (Drama— Best Directing, Best Performance, Best Picture)

A power hungry politician and a ruthless saboteur are in the center of this drama in which the victor may never live to see the spoils of war.

What the Hell? (Buddy Picture— Best Script, Best Technical) 

Best friends, Victor and Frank, take a stroll thrugh the park.

What happens when
a man falls from the sky?



Each year it just gets BIGGER and BETTER!