Talk about pressure! Imagine you and a small team having to knock out a five- to 10-minute film in two days within given parameters — a line of dialogue and a prop that must be used and a film genre like comedy or film noir — that your film must fit.
If that challenge sounds interesting, the Forest Park Arts Alliance (FPAA) has an event for you. It’s called 48 Hour Film Challenge, and similar events are being held in over 30 cities in this country and around the world, including Beijing, China and Geneva, Switzerland.
Here’s the way it works: You get a team of up to six members together and register by May 11 at 9 p.m. using the following link: https://forestparkarts.org/48-hr-film-team-reg-file, download and complete the registration form, and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org with “48 Hour” on the subject line. Send the registration fee — $10 for students and $25 for college students and adults — by the pay link button on the website or by PayPal to email@example.com.
Once you’ve registered, you’ll receive an email with a Zoom link for Friday, May 12 to receive the parameters. Teams will then have three days (48-hour limit extended because of Mother’s Day weekend) to write, produce, film, edit and turn in a 5- to 10-minute video.
The films will be reviewed by the organizing committee. The videos should be family-friendly, i.e. fit a PG rating. A public showing will occur the next weekend, in the form of a Red Carpet Gala.
The gala will be held on Saturday, May 20. The doors on the south side of St. Bernardine’s Fearon Hall, 815 Elgin in Forest Park, will open at 6:30 p.m. with festivities starting at 7 p.m.
Lin Beribak, who is producing and coordinating the challenge and gala, said that works by local artists will be hung for viewing, live music will be provided by jazz guitarist David Gulyas and friend, and wine and soft drinks will be sold.
Tickets for the event cost $15 for FPAA members and $20 for nonmembers.
“There is no dress code,” said Beribak, “and no one will be turned away because they are wearing jeans with holes in them. But at the same time we are trying to make the event a little more classy than that.”
Films from students will be screened at 7 p.m. and, after intermission, attendees will view videos created by adults.
Forest Park resident Dan Marcus, who earns a living making commercials and other films, brought the concept to the Arts Alliance. “Back in 2007,” he recalled, “a few colleagues introduced the idea of adding a 48-hour film challenge as a small part of an annual screening event we created to support the Chicago commercial production industry.”
“You may think that you can’t make a movie,” he added, “but you can! Just find your team that you’ll have fun with. This isn’t the Cannes Film Festival; this is simply meant to be fun and different. Think of it as a souped-up version of Tik Tok or YouTube.”
Beribak estimated that only about 5% of the 65 FPAA members are able to make a living by selling the art they create. She is among the 95% who are good enough to have some of their creations sold but fall in the category of hobbyist.
Yet she is a very serious hobbyist. When she added a second story to her house in Forest Park, it included a master bedroom in the back but it is no longer a place to sleep. After retiring, she finally had time to focus on the watercolor painting she loves and that space is now her studio.
Beribak represents perhaps the majority of FPAA members who are “in it” for the love of art. Karen Rozmus, FPAA president, confirmed that saying, “The mission of the Arts Alliance is to bring people together through the joy of art.
“Anyone can participate in this project,” she added, “and it’s perfect for young people and families to show their creativity. I can’t wait to see what creative efforts will be shown at the Red Carpet Gala.”