Five 48 Hour Film Project Denver films

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Last weekend, more than fifty teams of local filmmakers wrote, shot and edited entire film in 48 hours. Oh, and in case that wasn't enough of a challenge, the film they made had to be in a genre selected at random, and incorporate a line of dialogue and prop that was selected for them at the last minute.

Impressive, no? This was the latest iteration of the long-running 48 Hour Film Project, an international event that forces filmmakers to think on the fly, work under brutal conditions and, most of all, get things done fast. Believe it or not, the results are often pretty damn impressive, even if viewers aren't aware of the constraints under which the filmmakers were working. This Sunday, you can see results of the latest effort at the 48 Hour Film Project Premiere Screenings at the Gothic Theatre. To prepare, here's a selection of five of the best films from last year.

See also - Event: 48 Hour Film Project Premiere Screenings - News: Creep meets money goal, plans to start filming - Shoot Colorado wants to help set the scene for local filmmakers

RunawayTrain Productions won the Best of Screening award last year with "Last Call," a short with maximum narrative punch contained within its brief run time, going from rock bottom to uplifting redemption in under seven minutes. The crew even managed a gunfight of sorts!

And now for something completely different... Stranger Studios' won an audience choice award as well as nods for Best Directing and Best Graphics in 2011 with "Touch." It's a musical animated fantasy that's dialogue-free, right up to the oddball ending. Looking at what they accomplished here in 48 hours, it makes you wonder what the hell they could do in a week.

Big City Danger's "To Die For" aims high and delivers beautifully. It's a silent film with some great cinematography and a solid score, but that's not the half of it. This short is also a seemingly predictable melodrama that turns into an absurd black comedy with the final, brutal twist, plus it throws in a weird film-within-a-film, just for the hell of it.

"Undying Love" from Dragoon Films doesn't offer quite the polish that the previous entries did, but it does have something they don't: zombies. You can't go wrong with zombies, and they don't. As the title indicates, it's even zombies in love, a sadly neglected subgenre. Watch for the sweet hat tip to Lady and the Tramp.

Unfurnished from Brad Stabio on Vimeo.

Finally, there's last year's winner: "Unfinished," by Cinema Geeks, which also took home awards for Best Acting and Best Special Effects. It's easy to see why it won all of those, since it's a smart, funny short that looks great. You'd never know it was made in 48 hours unless you were told, but even more than that, you won't care, since you'll be too busy laughing out loud.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.