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SCI-FI-LONDON 48-hour film challenge goes national

The organisers of upcoming SCI-FI-LONDON film festival are taking the 48-Hour Film Challenge beyond London

SCI-FI-LONDON, now in its ninth year, is the UK's only dedicated SF and fantasy film festival. With SFX and Future Publishing as its media partner this year, it will once again screen film premieres, documentaries and a selection of classic SF titles. And of course, there's the the 48-Hour Film Challenge, taking place on the weekend of 10 to 12 April. Budding film makers stick it in your diary!

Participating teams register for free online at and then attend a briefing at one of four cinemas in the UK (or receive information by text message). The rules are very simple:

SCI-FI-LONDON gives you the title, a small amount of dialogue and a prop list on the morning of Saturday 10 April and you have two days to make a complete five-minute science fiction film!

All films returned by the deadline (Monday 12 April) will be watched by the SCI-FI-LONDON team and the shortlisted films go on to the celebrity jury who are:
Vincenzo Natali (Cube, Cypher, Splice)
Rosie Fletcher (News Editor, Total Film)
Mick Garris (Masters of Horror, The Stand)
Helen Mullane (Product Specialist, Optimum Releasing)
Chris Jones (Guerrilla Filmmaker's Handbook)
Charlie Burton (Associate Editor, WIRED UK)

The top three films picked by the jury will receive some great prizes including camera kit, software and memberships to groups like The overall winning film will also be presented at the festival’s opening night gala screening of Vincenzo Natali's film Splice.

Festival director, Louis Savy, says, "Every year we are amazed at the imagination and execution of the films made for the challenge. It really goes to show that the UK has some amazingly talented people with a love of science fiction.”

There's evidence that taking part can be the first step on a longer journey. Completing the challenge does not guarantee a career in the movies, but the 2008 winner, Gareth Edwards, had his first feature film green-lit immediately after Vertigo pictures saw what he could do in one weekend with no budget! His feature Monsters had its world premiere at SXSW in March and will be opening in the UK in 2010.

It is easy to take part and, importantly, it's free. Simply register at and either get ready for your SMS title to arrive or visit one of the four sites:
Apollo Piccadilly Circus, London
Apollo Fareham
Apollo Altrincham
Filmhouse Edinburgh

For more details and to see the previous films visit the website . And remember SFX will be there supporting SCI-FI-LONDON throughout the weekend of the festival itself, kicking off with the Arthur C Clarke Award on Wednesday 28 April. See you there!

Dave Bradley
I'm the Group Editor-in-Chief for Future's film group.