10 amazing short films made in just 48 hours

Every year, Sci-Fi-London invites budding filmmakers to craft a five-minute masterpiece in just 48 hours. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the competition, which has seen Star Wars’ Gareth Edwards and Daisy Ridley taking part.

Registration for this year's competition is now open, and it's free: just create an account. Make sure you login on Saturday April 7 at 11am (UK time) to receive directions for your film, including the title, a piece of dialogue, a prop list and an optional scientific theme. You'll then have 48 hours to create your masterwork. Need some inspiration? Here are some of the best from the past 10 years...

Factory Farmed

The most visually stunning of the lot, this 2008 short from a pre-fame Gareth Edwards sees a grubby hunter wandering an even grubbier dystopian future. The CGI'd signs, handheld camerawork and eerie mood would be honed to perfection two years later with Monsters.


Time-travelling hipsters pilfer the past for “retro” treasures to sell in their shop... This wickedly funny mockumentary has dry humour to spare, an ace homemade time machine, and a ridiculously catchy soundtrack that'll have you bopping right into the credits.

It's No Game

David Hasselhoff co-stars (as HoffBot) in this short co-scripted by an AI programme called Benjamin (no really). Fittingly, it's a savagely satirical Hollywood nightmare in which striking human writers have become obsolete, replaced by creative 'bots. Would make a great feature film.


A surprisingly emotional short that wouldn't feel out of place in an episode of Doctor Who, this gentle story centres on a man desperately trying to communicate with his comatose daughter, but social services keep getting in the way. Hugely effective.

Blue Season

Before she jetted off to a galaxy far, far away, Daisy Ridley starred in this 2013 short as a woman who wakes up in a dark bunker – but who put her there and why? Ridley's performance is so go-for-broke good it's no wonder Hollywood came knocking.

Good Treatment

A couple discover how to access each other's memories using a DIY techno-doohickey – what could possibly go wrong? You may see the twist coming but this is a well-acted, nifty little short that has a sting in its tail.

Future Inc

Social media; who needs it, eh? This clever rom-com-esque sci-fi sees a woman signing up to a website that connects people in the present day with new friends in the 24th century. Impossible romance ensues, with brilliant dark humour to boot.

Blue Channel

A fun spin on the alien invasion model, this slightly creaky entry sees two blokes attempting to fit in when things from outer space land on Earth. The fish-out-of-water hijinks are gently funny rather than side-splitting.

No Guarantee

Would you escape a future wasteland if the love of your life couldn't go with you? That's the desperate question at the heart of this neat little sci-fi, which features decent effects and a memorably badass heroine.


Remember the AI writer of It's No Game? It debuted with this short. “The software wrote the screenplay,” says the intro, “we just tried to do what we were told.” The results – starring Thomas Middlemitch – are predictably batshit funny.

Josh Winning

Josh Winning has worn a lot of hats over the years. Contributing Editor at Total Film, writer for SFX, and senior film writer at the Radio Times. Josh has also penned a novel about mysteries and monsters, is the co-host of a movie podcast, and has a library of pretty phenomenal stories from visiting some of the biggest TV and film sets in the world. He would also like you to know that he "lives for cat videos..." Don't we all, Josh. Don't we all.