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Monday, November 24, 2014


(Theatre personality and artSMart Editor, Caroline Smart, presents the award for Best Acting to Shannyn Zorab for her role in “My Crew”)

Launched in the USA in 2001, the 48 Hour Project gets bigger and better with more new cities coming on board each year to host this unique film competition in their countries. What sets this film competition apart from others is that it is open to everybody, not just industry professionals. In its almost 14 years of existence, the 48 Hour Film Project has spread across six continents, in over 130 cities and has more than 60,000 people around the world participating in this exciting annual event.

Durban is one of the new cities that was added on in 2013.

On November 8, 2014, 100 guests attended Durban’s first 48 Hour Film Project Awards ceremony at Riverside Hotel & Spa, hosted by Durban producer Jessica Singh. Some 14 teams competed against each other in October to complete a film in 48 hours. Nine teams submitted films on time, with five teams coming in after the official cut off time at 19h30.

Filmmakers’ efforts were acknowledged and winners were rewarded with prizes totalling close on R600,000 in value in the judged categories. The judges included Sanjeev Singh (Videovision Entertainment), AB Moosa (Avalon Cinema Group), Janet Van Eeden (Producer & Scriptwriter), Caroline Smart (ArtSMart) and Liza Aziz (Fineline Productions).

Team BMH-2 (a Johannesburg-based team) took three awards totalling R245,000, including Best Use of Line, Best Directing and Best Film with their production Words.  Words will represent Durban at the Filmaplaooza in Hollywood in 2015 and will go up against 135 other international cities that competed in the 2014 competition. If Words is voted as one of the ten best films at Filmapalooza, it will represent Durban at Cannes Film Festival in 2015.

Team CFAD swept up most awards of the night - five in total with prizes amounting to R211,000, including Runner Up for Best Film for their production The Spellbook.

Team WME won two awards to the value of R95,000. Team SQTO Films also won two awards valued at R11,750. Team Red Fox Productions was another team that left with two awards amounting to R11,000 and Team BMH-3 (a Johannesburg-based team) was yet another recipient of two awards valued at R5,500. The Audience Vote award went to Team Hakar-G Films for Glances, with the team scoring a group prize for R5,000.

The sponsors responsible for prizes valued between R50,000 and R150,000 include the KZN Film Commission, Boston Media House, Centre for Fine Arts Animation & Design, and Campus of Performing Arts.

Other key sponsors include Vega School of Brand Leadership, Keyline Graphics, Broadcast Lighting, Design School of South Africa, Canon, Durban Film Office, Durban Tourism, Suncoast CineCentre, The Paintbox, Palscreen Printers, Ambassador Media, Crosspond Productions and Go Big Productions.

Jessica Singh aims to make this competition bigger and better in 2015. Sponsors wanting to partner with Durban 48 Hour Film Project in 2015 are encouraged to email her on for more information on how sponsors can benefit from an association with this international competition.

To read some of the Durban filmmakers’ experiences from the 2014 competition, visit