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Film Update: 48-Hour Film Project

For the twelfth consecutive year, Buffalo joined over 130 other cities worldwide in hosting the 48-Hour Film Project, and two dozen of Buffalo’s local filmmaking teams responded by bringing their best to the screen. Buoyed by last year’s remarkable success of local filmmaking team, Partially Submerged Elephants, whose short film entry into last years 48-Hour Film Project titled, Ride of Your Life, received international awards prior to being screened at the Cannes Film Festival in France, and was sold later this year, the competition this year has seen a significant increase in overall participation. 24 total teams joined the competition this year, including some first-time filmmakers, and plenty of veteran participants.

The 48-Hour Film Project challenges filmmakers to conceive, create, and submit a 4 to 7 minute movie in 48-hours. Starting on the Friday night of the competition weekend, filmmakers randomly draw a film genre, and are given specific character, prop and dialogue elements that must be included in their final production.

This past weekend the North Park Theatre hosted the premier screenings of all 24 submitted films created over the previous weekend. Everything, and everywhere Buffalo; from Lewiston, to Hamburg, from rural barns, to burlesque dancers, from Whammy Weenies, to Sci-Fi Thrillers were featured within the amazing variety of films submitted.

Divided into two competition groups, the A-Group films were screened on Saturday, while the B-Group films were screened on Sunday. In all, screening attendance across both days was up 35% from last year’s competition showing once again the increased interest, and momentum behind Buffalo blossoming film industry.

City Producer for the Buffalo 48-Hour Film Project, Jordan Lema of Lemur Studios reiterated the great success of this year’s competition.

“Everything we’ve done has had greater participation: the pre-events, the screening attendance – at this pace the awards presentation will most certainly sell out!” Lema stated as part of our interview. “We’ve had some great support again from Buffalo’s filming community. Specifically, I want to thank our amazing film judges for for their support.”

This year’s judges for the competition include Tim Clark, Buffalo’s film commissioner, John Fink, from the Buffalo International Film Festival, and Chris Gallant, Hilbert College’s Division of Arts and Sciences Chairperson.

If you missed this year’s premier screenings, an encore screening of every film is scheduled to take place at the Screening Room Cinema Cafe, located in the Boulevard Mall at 880 Alberta Drive, in Amherst. Two nights of screening are currently set for August 30, and 31 at 7:00PM both evenings.

Nominations for the local 48-Hour Film Project awards including Best Film and Audience Favorite will be announced at the screenings.

“We have a strong top 10-films this year.” Lema explained. The team leaders of the Top 10 Films will be featured on the Meet The Filmmakers web series; a collaboration between Lemur Studios and the Buffalo 48-Hour Film Projects.

The Awards Presentation event is scheduled to take place at Shea’s Smith Theater on September 12.  Tickets for the Awards Show can be purchased through BrownPaper Tickets:

For more information on the 48-Hour Film Project, visit  Tickets for the encore screenings can be purchased through Brown Paper Tickets:

Written by Paul Fanara

Paul Fanara

Paul Fanara is a photographer, writer, and artist living in Buffalo, New York. He founded Living In The Buff Studio as his photography label in 2007, after being an active photographer for over 20 years. Now, in his tenth year of professional photography, he has expanded his talents, and interests to include film-making, and acting. Paul is currently the event photographer for the Community in Buffalo, is an active journalist in Buffalo, and published monthly in Act Dance Model Sing Magazine, based in Los Angeles. Currently, he has joined local film makers with the 48-Hour Film Project, and now writes, directs, and acts with the Buffalo Filming Group, "Welcome to Lovejoy." Find him on-line at

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