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  • 19 Oct 2021 2:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Doc Society is seeking someone with a deep interest in non-fiction storytelling and a broad knowledge of climate-related issues to join their team as Climate Story Fund Officer.

    The Climate Story Fund supports stories and impact campaigns from around the world that move us closer to a climate just and biodiverse future. The global fund is open to creative non-fiction projects, including shorts, animation and episodic documentaries, as well as podcasts, AR/VR.

    This is a full-time work-from-home position, with a preference for someone able to work within the Eastern Time Zone (UTC−05:00) working hours.

    Learn more about the role, responsibilities, and qualifications here 

    Apply by November 1, 2021

    About DOC SOCIETY

    The DOC SOCIETY is an innovative non-profit organisation founded in 2005 that works with the most inspiring independent documentary filmmakers all over the world. They are a team of around 20 people working from offices in London and New York.   

  • 19 Oct 2021 2:10 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    MacDowell has announced it will go from three annual application deadlines and corresponding seasons to two. That means the next application deadline will be February 10, 2022 for residencies during the period September of 2022 through February of 2023. To go along with that change, the admissions department has decided to temporarily suspend a longstanding requirement that applicants supply reference letters as part of the application process.

    MacDowell accepts applications from artists working in the following disciplines: architecture, film/video arts, interdisciplinary arts, literature, music composition, theatre, and visual arts. The sole criterion for acceptance is artistic excellence, which MacDowell defines in a pluralistic and inclusive way. MacDowell encourages applications from artists representing the widest possible range of perspectives and demographics, and welcomes artists engaging in the broadest spectrum of artistic practice and investigating an unlimited array of inquiries and concerns. To that end, emerging as well as established artists are invited to apply. Applicants who are enrolled in undergraduate or graduate degree programs as of the date of application are ineligible for a residency and therefore cannot apply. Doctoral candidates who have finished all coursework may apply.

    For more information and to apply, please visit the MacDowell website.

    The Fall/Winter 2022-2023 Deadline is February 10, 2022.

    Residencies: Sep 1, 2022 – Feb 28, 2023.

    Accepting Applications: Nov 1, 2021 – Feb 10, 2022. 


    MacDowell Logo

  • 19 Oct 2021 2:05 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    New Work New England provides grants of $7,500-$15,000 directly to New England artists in dance, film, interdisciplinary work, music, musical theater, opera, poetry, storytelling, and theater to support creating and producing new work that the artist intends to share with multiple New England communities. The focus of this pilot program is on artists and the creative process and projects that further equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility.   The next deadline is December 6, 2021.  For more information, and to apply, visit the NEFA website. 

    Home

  • 15 Oct 2021 7:14 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    WIFVNE is a chapter member of WIFT-US. All chapter members of WIFT-US voted on this statement to share in unity.

    We, the undersigned, support the protection of workers and their rights to safe workspaces, reasonable work hours and rest, and living wages.  As advocates of people underrepresented and under-protected in the entertainment industry, it is imperative that we uphold safe and regenerative working conditions, especially as we all continue to weather the strain of the COVID 19 pandemic.

  • 08 Oct 2021 10:00 AM | JoAnn Cox (Administrator)

    NewEnglandFilm.com has opened the free call for proposals for the 3rd Annual New England Film Star Award, a grant of over $3,000 in equipment rental, memberships, courses, and one-on-one mentorship. Application Deadline: October 31, 2021.

    The mission of the award is to benefit a filmmaker who has been marginalized/minoritized in mainstream cinema due to their race, gender, sexuality, class, able-bodiedness, and/or other factors.

    Finalists will be announced in November 2021, and the winner presented at the Women in Film/Video New England Annual Meeting in December 2021.

    Learn more and apply here.


    2021 Awardee Will Receive

    2021 Finalists Will Receive

  • 22 Sep 2021 2:27 PM | JoAnn Cox (Administrator)

    Wavelength Films, the award-winning production studio behind Sundance hits CUSP, FEELS GOOD MAN, and FAREWELL AMOR, has announced the return of their annual initiative, the WAVE Grant. Now in its third year, the WAVE Grant, which stands for “Women At the Very Edge,” is a $5,000 grant and mentorship program that aims to help a first-time female or non-binary filmmaker of color with the production of their first short documentary or narrative film (under 30 minutes). Wavelength also announces that the program has been so successful that they will be awarding the mentorship program and grants to the top 5 filmmakers this year.


    HERE is a video from past winners discussing the grant and how much the mentorship program from Wavelength has helped them complete their projects and moved along their filmmaking careers.

    Applications open September 13th and will close December 1st, 2021. In addition to the $5,000 grant, Wavelength provides mentorship in the producing, development and post-production of the filmmaker’s short as well as fundraising and distribution strategy. 

    Applicants can apply here on Wavelength’s website.

    For more about the WAVE grant, Wavelength’s mission, films, and upcoming releases, please visit their website at www.wavelengthproductions.com.

  • 13 Sep 2021 2:37 PM | Anonymous


         On Saturday, August 28th, the New Haven 48 Hour Film Project announced the winners of their eleventh annual film festival at a “best-of” screening and awards night hosted by the Bijou Theater in Bridgeport, CT. WIFVNE congratulates the award winners of this year’s New Haven 48HFP for their superb work, including the winner and runners-up of the WIFVNE-sponsored ‘Woman of the 48’ Award. Furthermore, WIFVNE would also like to recognize the dedication and hard work of all this year’s participants that made this festival possible. To find out more about the New Haven 48 Hour Film Festival, access their website via this link. To find a 48 Hour Film Festival near you, or to learn about the international organization which runs the New Haven 48s, use this link to the 48 Hour Film Project homepage.


    Here is the list of award recipients, the films they made for this year’s festival, and their filmmaking teams:

    WOMAN OF THE 48 AWARD - WINNER

    •  Tess Pellicano, Zap by Connecticut Filmworks

    WOMAN OF THE 48 AWARD - HONORABLE MENTIONS 

    • Annalisa Boerner, Billion Dollar Maybe by Jabroni Studios

    • Tayler MacMillan, 'Beneath The Surface' with Jamie Hill by Cineslinger  


    BEST FILM OF 2021:

     

    • 1ST PLACE - The Right Call by Newbreed Films

    As the first-place winner, Newbreed Films’ ‘The Right Call’ will be representing the New Haven 48 Hour Film Project at Filmapalooza 2022, the international 48 Hour Film Project festival which exhibits the winning films from every host city. Winners of Filmapalooza are invited to showcase their films at the Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner.

    • 2ND PLACE - 'Beneath The Surface' with Jamie Hill by Cineslinger

    • 3RD PLACE - How They Met Themselves by West Haven Film Collective


    AUDIENCE FAVORITES:

    • GROUP A - The Right Call by Newbreed Films

    • GROUP B - Zap by Connecticut Filmworks

    • GROUP C - Spring Brake by Mother Brain

    BEST WRITING

    • Nosedive by The Graduate(s)

    BEST EDITING

    • The Bechdel Test by Film Gawds

    BEST DIRECTING

    • Reid Engwall & Brien Slate, 'Beneath The Surface' with Jamie Hill by Cineslinger

    BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

    • Noah's Flood by Good, Bad and The Fugly

    BEST SOUND DESIGN

    • The Right Call by Newbreed Films

    BEST MUSIC

    • The Bechdel Test by Film Gawds

    BEST SONG

    • Billion Dollar Maybe by Jabroni Studios

    BEST ACTOR

    • Jeremy Sapadin, Again by 11 O'Clock Productions

    BEST ACTRESS

    • Peyton Bristol, 'Beneath The Surface' with Jamie Hill by Cineslinger

    BEST SPECIAL EFFECTS

    • How They Met Themselves by West Haven Film Collective

    BEST COSTUMES

    • Seek Aim Attain by Dutch Elm Disease

    BEST MAKEUP

    • Lost, Unsound by Tired of People

    THE REQUIRED ELEMENT & GENRE CHALLENGES:

    • BEST USE OF CHARACTER - Soleus by Falconeer Productions

    • BEST USE OF PROP - Seek Aim Attain by Dutch Elm Disease

    • BEST USE OF LINE - Who's Gonna Stop Me? by Blackbird Entertainment

    • BEST USE OF GENRE - The Right Call by Newbreed Films

    BEST CAST

    • Nosedive by The Graduate(s)

    BEST LATE OR DISQUALIFIED FILM

    • Behind The 8-Ball by JAZ Ensemble

    MOST ICONIC SHOT OF NEW HAVEN

    • The Making of The Diaspora of a Rose by every one leaves new haven

    MY CREW ROCKS

    • Isabelle Gasser, Seek Aim Attain by Dutch Elm Disease



  • 13 Sep 2021 2:00 PM | JoAnn Cox (Administrator)

    The Womens Film Preservation Fund (WFPF) of New York Women in Film & Television is nominating two WFPF-preserved films for inclusion on this year’s National Film Registry. Both films explore a diverse range of issues and innovative approaches to filmmaking practiced by women makers, and one is by WIFVNE member Liane Brandon!

    The National Film Registry of the Library of Congress selects 25 films each year showcasing the range and diversity of American film heritage to increase awareness for its preservation. Public nominations play a key role when the Librarian and Film Board are considering their final selections. You can nominate up to 50 titles per year. The Womens Film Preservation Fund selects a number of films per year which it has preserved that are particularly relevant and timely for nomination.

    The nomination form link closes on September 15, 2021, so be sure to get your nominations in before the deadline.

    Among your other nominations, please consider including:

    Betty Tells Her Story (Liane Brandon, 1972)

     Betty Tells Her Story is the poignant tale of beauty, identity and a dress – and it is considered a classic of documentary filmmaking. It is the saga of Betty’s search for “the perfect dress” – how she found just the right one . . . and never got to wear it. Then Betty tells her story again. The contrast between the two stories is haunting. Made in 1972, it was the first independent film of the Women’s Movement to explore the issues of body image, self-worth and beauty in American culture – and it has become one of the most enduring.

    Liane Brandon is an award winning independent filmmaker, photographer and University of Massachusetts/Amherst Professor Emeritus.  She was one of the first independent women filmmakers to emerge from the Women’s Movement.  Her groundbreaking films include Anything You Want To Be, Betty Tells Her Story, Once Upon A Choice and How To Prevent A Nuclear War.  They have won numerous awards and have been featured on HBO, Cinemax, and TLC and at MoMA, Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Barbican Centre in London and the Tribeca Film Festival and many other venues.  She is a co-founder of New Day Films. Currently working as a still photographer, her photography credits include stills for the PBS series American Experience, Nova, and American Masters Her photos have been published in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe and many other publications.  Before becoming a filmmaker, Brandon experimented with several short careers, working as a ski instructor, file clerk, high school teacher and professional stunt woman.

  • 10 Aug 2021 4:40 PM | Anonymous

    The 48 Hour Film Project kicked off its New Haven competition with a celebration on the evening of Friday, July 30th. The following images were taken at the Kick-Off party, which was hosted at the Beeracks, a brewery in East Haven, CT.

    (All photo credits in this article go to Sophie Clark)


    The Beeracks, the East Haven, CT brewery that hosted this year’s New Haven 48 Hour Film Project kickoff event. Not counting 2020, when the Kick-Off was completely virtual, the Beeracks has hosted the Kick-Off the last three years it has been in-person.


    After checking in, teams look over the 48HFP information packets given to them while they wait for the genre lotteries and for the required elements to be revealed.

    The Genre Plinko board is used to select this year’s team genres. Based on where the ball landed, a numbered envelope was drawn containing a colorful slip of paper with two film genres on it, which were announced to the waiting teams by Trish Clark, the New Haven 48 Hour Film Project event producer.

    Teams intently watch the 48HFP genre drawings, both from the patio tables and the parking lot, where an overflow of teams spilled out.

    The first genres of the night are drawn, for team Aligning of Screening Group C, led by Donnell Durden. This year, they had to make either a western film or a soap opera/telenovela. Group C’s films were screened at 9:00PM on Saturday, August 7th, at the Bijou Theater, Group B was screened at 7:00PM, and Group A was screened at 5:00PM on the same day.

    The Kick-Off is well underway on the Beeracks’ patio, with drinks, pizza, and a food cart to keep teams busy while they wait for the genre reveal to finish.


    Representatives from Weston, CT’s JAZ Ensemble, a first-time competitor that screened in Group A and was headed by Zaman Khan. They were assigned to make either a suspense-thriller or soap opera film this year, or some combination of the two.

    Competitors eat pizza, drink, and watch with their teams as the genre selections for each team are drawn.


    The team members attending the Kick-Off on behalf of Screening Group B’s Dutch Elm Disease, which was led by Benjamin Hacht. Shortly after this picture was taken, they were assigned by Genre Plinko to create either a period and/or comedy genre piece for this year’s film.


    Teammates confer as the genres are revealed. Every team is given two possible genres to work with, and must use one or both of them in their film.


    The team members from New Haven-based Jabroni Studios, now in its fourth year of taking part in the New Haven 48s. This year, when given the choice between making a social commentary film or a film de femme, they settled on film de femme, a genre they described as the 70% female-staffed company’s “wheelhouse”. This is because, by pure coincidence, they have remarkable personal experience in this genre: they’ve been randomly assigned to create film de femme pieces all four years they’ve been taking part in the New Haven 48s. This year, they screened in Group B, and were led by Nina Gumkowski.

    The taproom of the Beeracks, where the New Haven 48 Hour Film Project took place this year.


    The team representatives from Screening Group A’s Blackbird Entertainment, which was headed by Ronald Delucia. Dwayne Williamson (pictured at left) stated that this was their team’s first year competing in the New Haven 48s. This year, they were chosen to create either a fish-out-of-water or revenge film, or a blend of both genres.


    While contestants look on, Trish reveals another team’s genre choices. Many competitors were on their phones during Genre Plinko and the required element reveal in order to coordinate with teammates who couldn’t attend the event in-person. Only one member of every team was required to check in at the Kick-Off in-person. Whether they had health concerns over COVID-19 or wanted to get a jump on film work once the event ended by staying home, many teams had members who did not attend the Kick-Off.


    The Beeracks created an exclusive drink in honor of their hosting the New Haven 48HFP’s kickoff event this year. It was titled “Sleep is for the Week”, in honor of the inevitably sleepless weekends that go into competing in a 48 Hour Film event.

    Trish Clark announces a team’s genres while camera operator Eamon Lineham monitors the event live stream through his camera. For this year’s event, a Facebook Live stream was created so that those who couldn’t attend the Kick-Off in-person would still be able to watch the genre and required element reveals online.


    (L-R) Eamon Lineham and Kevin Ewing, who managed the New Haven 48HFPs Facebook Live stream for the evening; the livestream ensured accessibility for those who could not attend the Kick-Off in-person. Ewing, the CEO of local sponsor Baobab Tree Studios, has been involved with the New Haven 48 Hour Film Project for 6-7 years now. He said he was initially inspired to get involved with the New Haven 48s by his love of making movies, as well as a desire to support local ventures in the film industry.


    Trish opens the envelope containing this year’s required elements. All teams had to include the three elements -- a line of dialogue, a character, and a prop -- in their films.


    Trish unveils this year’s required character, prop, and line of dialogue, while the teams listen eagerly.


    This year’s required elements, taped to the Genre Plinko board after they were announced. All of this year’s films had to noticeably include these three things: the character Victoria or Vincent Bolton (teams are allowed to choose the gender), who is an Olympic alternate, a prop microphone, and the line of dialogue “I’m/I am [again, teams are allowed to choose how they want this to be written] kind of a big deal”.


    Once the Kick-Off ended at 7:00PM, when the required elements were announced, teams began to disperse to their respective headquarters for the night. Some left as soon as the announcement was made, while others lingered to chat, or to question Trish about festival rules.


    New Haven 48HFP information packets in hand, teams hurried to their cars after the required elements were announced so they could start working on their films.


    A wine glass rests on a table next to the Genre Plinko board, which was used to assign this year’s team genres.


    The envelope that contained this year’s required elements, which were revealed at the end of the evening.


    Trish stays on after the kickoff event to answer filmmakers' questions.


    Several of the organizers of the New Haven 48HFP Kickoff event: (L-R) Trish Clark, who is the producer of the New Haven 48 Hour Film Festival, Mary Connata, and Elizabeth Clark. Trish has been involved in producing the New Haven 48 Hour Film Project for eleven years, and often involves her sister Elizabeth (pictured at right) in the organizing. Connata, meanwhile, has been involved in the New Haven 48 Hour Film Project for the last three to four years.


    A curious door over the event space that opened onto thin air. The experience of working on the 48 Hour Film Project is not unlike stepping through such a door - you never quite know what’s going to happen once you do, but it’s certainly going to be unforgettable.

  • 10 Aug 2021 4:30 PM | Anonymous

    New Haven’s local filmmaking scene gathered Friday, July 30th at the Beeracks to celebrate the kick-off of the 2021 New Haven 48 Hour Film Project. 

    For those who haven’t had the pleasure of discovering it yet, the 48 Hour Film Project (or 48HFP, for short) is an annual, international filmmaking challenge run through locally-hosted film festivals. In every host city, teams are assigned the same, weekend-long challenge:  to create a 4-7 minute-long short film in the span of less than two days. From these, the best films in every city are selected to compete at the national and international level. The ground rules of the 48 Hour Film Project are simple enough: 

    1. Every team is required to send at least one representative to their respective kickoff event by 7:00PM Friday night in order to check their team in with the organizers and receive their genre assignment.

    2. Each filmmaking team is randomly assigned two film genres from a list by the local 48HFP staff. Their films must be made in the style of one or both of the assigned film genres - for example, drama and comedy or horror and romance.

    3. Each teams’ film has to noticeably contain three pre-selected required elements: a character, a prop, and a line of dialogue.

    4. The films must be created solely during the filmmaking weekend. No creative work can be done on the films until the festival officially begins at 7:00PM Friday night, and work stops when the films are submitted at 7:00PM Sunday night.

    The Friday night check-in of every 48 Hour Film Project Weekend holds special significance for participants. Not only are the teams’ film genres and required elements not revealed until Friday night, but the teams must wait for those reveals to occur before they can begin their work at 7:00PM Friday evening. As a result, it’s become customary for local 48HFP staff to host a kickoff party at the check-in.
    1. The Kick-Off

    This year, the New Haven Kick-Off took place at the Beeracks, an East Haven brewery that has hosted the Kick-Off party the last three years it’s been held in-person. Only a few minutes’ drive across the bridge from downtown New Haven, the Beeracks feels like it’s out in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by thick vegetation and only accessible via a winding, mostly deserted side street. The building itself is squat and gray, its roof strung with party lights and a cheery graffiti mural scrawled on the side of the building. Coincidentally, the mural had once been used as a backdrop in a 48 Hour film. The oversized parking lot was stuffed to the gills with dozens of cars from the New Haven 48HFP’s cast, crew, and staff. Not only were they an indication of the scale of the New Haven 48 Hour Film Project, the cars were also a reminder of just how different last year’s celebrations had been.

    As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 New Haven 48 Hour Film Project had gone completely virtual, the first time in the festival’s history this had ever occurred. To ensure the safety of participants, all events were held remotely. This year’s kickoff was the first step in the festival’s gradual return to in-person events, a hybrid of live and remote designed to accommodate the comfort levels of all the participants. A Facebook Live stream of the Kick-Off (another first for the New Haven 48s) was set up so that people who couldn’t attend in-person could still follow along with the event in real time while the genres and elements were selected, soaking up the atmosphere as if they were there themselves.

    This year’s party was held outdoors, sprawling across the Beeracks’ patio and tables and overflowing into the parking lot. Upon arrival, the teams trooped over to the staff table to check in, but once that was done they were free to mingle. In honor of hosting the kickoff, the Beeracks created a custom drink for the event, playfully entitled “Sleep is for the Week '' in a nod to the many lost hours of weekend sleep sacrificed by 48 Hour Film Project contestants in search of the perfect film. Teams were only required to have one member show up for check-in, but most came in a group, and the party was a tangle of masks and bare, vaccinated faces as people chatted, ate, and drank. Some clustered around the patio tables for a better look at the plinko board that had been set up for the genre drawings, while others spread out into the parking lot, forming little rings with their teams as they took a break from the crowd. The next day they would be heading off to locked-down sets, with in-person contact limited almost exclusively to their teammates in an effort to avoid potential exposure to the coronavirus. And because the dropoff is virtual this year, many teams would not see each other in person again for weeks, until either the premiere screening on August 7th or awards night on August 28th. But Kick-Off night was a chance to safely relax for an hour, for friendly in-person contact without worrying about the pressure of the weekend to come. It also proved to be a great opportunity for networking with people from other teams, swapping business cards or social media handles and parting on friendly terms with people who hours ago were strangers.

    With such an intentionally created, close-knit community, it’s ironic to realize just how accidental the creation of the New Haven 48 Hour Film Project itself was. Looking at the festival today, one would never know that, had its creation gone to plan, the New Haven 48s would never have existed. In 2010, the 48 Hour Film Project team was looking for producers to establish a Connecticut-based 48HFP in nearby Hartford. But the Hartford festival never took root, and was instead replaced with the New Haven festival. So, what convinced the organizers to change their minds and relocate the festival to New Haven? 

    At about the same time, producer Trish Clark moved to the New Haven area. She had already developed an extensive film career living in New York City, having worked (among other things) as part of the production team of the Rosie O’Donnell Show. After so long away from New York, she missed producing work. When a friend mentioned the local 48 Hour Film Project opportunity to her, Trish jumped at the chance. Impressed by her work, the 48HFP hired Trish as their event producer, a position she has held since the festival’s foundation. But the city of choice for the newly-created festival bothered her. Trish was baffled as to why Hartford had been chosen as the host city. Why not a city like New Haven, a place she considered the “arts capital” of Connecticut? She went to bat for New Haven, and persuaded the 48 Hour Film Project to change the location. And the rest, as they say, is history.

    Now in its eleventh year, the New Haven 48 Hour Film Project is the only 48HFP event in the state of Connecticut. And as it attracts more notice from local talent, its ranks continue to grow. This year, thirty-four teams of filmmakers -- industry professionals and novices alike --  competed in the festival; of those 34 teams, nearly half were first-time entries. In fact, there were so many teams that the August 7th premiere of this year’s finished films at the Bijou Theater had to divide them into three screening groups - A, B, and C, each with a different start time.

    2. The Genres

    A process usually conducted by randomly picking two genres off a list, the organizers had decided to make a game of genre selection in an effort to make the process more fun for the contestants: Genre Plinko. A massive plinko board was propped up on the staff table, with pockets numbered from one to six that each held a bundle of tiny, numbered envelopes. When it came time for a team to pick a genre, Trish would place the plinko ball and let it roll down the pegs of the board, then draw a numbered envelope from whichever pocket the ball landed in. The envelopes contained a set of two genres, which were announced to the waiting crowd. And no sooner had their genres been announced than a team would go huddle up in a corner to assess their options.

    Picking genres was perhaps one of the most important choices the filmmakers would make the whole weekend, because it would be difficult to reverse course down the line if they changed their minds. Most 48s groups only work with one genre or the other -- it’s simpler, and often more easily understood by the judges -- so it just came down to choosing which genre they liked and understood best. Sometimes, this choice was an easy one. One team, after drawing the choice of either western or soap opera/telenovela, immediately ruled out telenovelas because they didn’t have experience with them. For other teams, the choice was more difficult, about picking the lesser of two tricky options. Some parts of the list dove into more obscure categories that filmmakers had less experience in, such as multi-generational films, mockumentaries, or film de femme, and if filmmakers got stuck with two tricky categories they could find themselves in a bit of a pickle. For most teams, though, it was simply about choosing which of two great categories they were most eager about. Once they had a genre picked out, they could set about drumming up possible story ideas and filming locations.

    Through this whole process, teams were determined to ensure that those who couldn’t attend the kickoff in-person were included. Absent teammates may have been able to watch the livestream, but representatives took it upon themselves to broadcast the events for everyone at home in real-time as well. Nearly everyone had a phone in their hand during the assignment process, sending teammates notes, videos, and photographs of the genre selection. One man even walked around with a FaceTime call going as he and his teammate debated the particulars of their movie.

    On and on the drawing went. Comedy or period piece. Horror or time travel. Superhero or holiday and vacation film. The only sounds were the babble of happy voices, the rattle of the plinko ball, and the calls of team names, genres, and group letters as Trish fought to make herself heard as far back as the parking lot over the din. Teams shuffled too and fro, moving from the lot to the patio and back again as each screening group was called up to crowd around the plinko board. As every team received their two genres, the crowd reacted to the drawing as if it had been their own, tittering with enthusiasm if it was a great pairing, or letting out a sympathetic groan if it wasn’t. When one team was unfortunate enough to have landed the tricky double combo of social commentary and film de femme, another team’s representative came over to express their condolences.

    “You guys got social commentary?” he winced. “Good luck.”

    To pass the time, the filmmakers toyed with the genre categories amongst themselves, wondering what they would have done had they been given the same pairing as another team.

    With fifteen minutes left to go, the crowd became restless. Genre assignments could only take them so far in their planning without knowing what the required elements were. Throw themselves too deeply into one idea and they could find their plans upended by an element that didn’t easily fit into the story. At this point, all they could do was sit, wait, and enjoy the rest of the party.

    3. The Required Elements

    Finally, the magic hour arrived. Seven o’clock. Everyone settled into their positions, suddenly the picture of concentration as Trish pulled out a big tan envelope with “TOP SECRET” emblazoned on the front. Video chats and phone calls to absent teammates were reopened, phone cameras were prepped, and info pamphlets were propped against the wall, pencils in hand. Even though the required elements would be posted online later, no one wanted to miss them. As soon as the elements were announced, the weekend’s filming could begin. The quicker the whole team was on the same page about what the required elements were, the more time they had left to plan their films. Conversation faded to a murmur as Trish pulled out the sheets of paper with this year’s elements and read them aloud.

    In honor of the ongoing Tokyo 2020 Olympics, this year teams were required to use the character of either Victoria or Vincent Bolton (teams are allowed to decide the character’s gender), an Olympic alternate, in their films. In order to fulfill the requirement, the character’s name and career must be clearly understood by viewers.

    A sigh of relief went through the crowd when this year’s prop was announced: a microphone. At the news that the prop would be one of the most common items on a film set, one audience member shouted sarcastically, “Where are we gonna get one of those?”, to which Trish replied with an equal amount of sarcasm: “I don’t know where you could ever find one of those on such short notice”. A ripple of laughter went through the crowd.

    Finally, Trish revealed the line of dialogue: a variation on the phrase “I’m kind of a big deal”, which also elicited a few chuckles and whistles.

    4. Filmmaking Begins

    With that, the required elements were finally out in the world for everyone to see, and teams could finally get to work. But even though the clock had started ticking on their project time, the filmmakers didn’t let the pressure get to them, or allow it to dissolve the night into chaos. Instead, the filmmakers reacted to the start of what was potentially one of the most stressful weekends of their lives with unexpected grace and poise. A few teams made a beeline for their cars, but they walked slowly, like they had all the time in the world, and sent up scattered cheers as they left. Some teams even hung around at the brewery long after 7:00PM had passed to keep chatting with one another, simply content to be in one another’s company after so long apart.

    Even after three or four years of experience putting together the New Haven 48s, the New Haven 48s alums and their work have never ceased to amaze organizer Mary Cannata. How they are able to create such incredible work in such a short period of time, under all that pressure, all the while keeping a cool head, was beyond her. Most of the people leaving looked like they were going home to bed rather than staying up all night planning the one-day shooting of a short film.

    “Do they have all these things in their closets, so that they can just pull them out [when they need them]?” quipped Mary. 

    It takes a special kind of filmmaker to thrive at a challenge like the New Haven 48 Hour Film Project: one with exceptional creativity, who can plan and adapt on the fly. But it also takes a real, genuine love for the art of filmmaking to make a challenge like the 48s just as rewarding as the films it produces, a passion that was evident among the filmmakers of the New Haven 48s. The experience of sharing a day with these filmmakers was an immeasurably enriching one. With such a talented group of filmmakers, and the promise of more on the way in the coming years, things are looking bright for the New Haven 48 Hour Film Project, both this year and heading into the next.


    Curious about how this year’s films turned out? The best films made at this year’s New Haven 48 Hour Film Project will be screened on Awards Night, Saturday, August 28th at 7:00PM at the Bijou Theater in Bridgeport, CT. There’s still time to book yourself a seat! Tickets to Awards Night are $12, and can be purchased on the Bijou Theater’s website using this link.

    Want to learn more about the New Haven 48 Hour Film Project, or interested in entering the festival with a team of your own? Use this link to access the New Haven 48s website for event details, rules, and requirements. You can also find the names of the teams who participated in this year’s festival, if you’d like to learn more about them and their work. If you aren’t from the New Haven area and the 48 Hour Film Project still interests you, use this link to search for 48 HFP events closer to you on the global 48 Hour Film Project’s website.
     


  


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