48Hours finals return with some of the wildest NZ films you’ll see this year

If you want to experience the wildest New Zealand films you’ll likely see this year, you’ll want to grab tickets for the Vista Foundation 48Hours city finals and Grand Final.

The Vista Foundation 48Hours, Aotearoa’s biggest filmmaking competition, tasked budding filmmakers from across the motu to make a short film (1 to 5 minutes long) within the span of a weekend. They were given a list of required elements and 1 of 10 genres right before the start of the challenge.

The results are a cinematic explosion of entertainment and creativity distilled into one massive night of top-tier local filmmaking. As judged by industry experts including Sir Peter Jackson and Dame Gaylene Preston, the 48Hours National Grand Final showcases the best of the best at the prestigious Embassy Theatre in Wellington on the 27th of July (get tickets here).

Before the big night are the city finals, which showcases the best of their regions. Tickets are still on sale for the Auckland City Finals (Saturday 29 June), Wellington City Finals (Friday 5 July), Christchurch City Finals (Thursday 27 June), Hamilton/Taranaki City Finals (Thursday 27 June), and Dunedin City Finals (Monday 1 July).

More on the Vista Foundation 48Hours:

The Vista Foundation 48Hours is a cornerstone of the New Zealand film industry, running for 21 years and offering an exhilarating platform for both emerging and established filmmakers. The annual competition is NZ’s largest guerrilla filmmaking event. Teams from all corners of New Zealand are tasked with writing, shooting, and editing a short film within a 48-hour window on 17th to 19th May, 2024.

In 2024, we had 570 teams register for the competition and 499 eligible films submitted. Nationwide there were 162 School teams and 86 Tertiary Teams involved, with 30 teams giving the solo/duo a go!

Wellington had 181 teams this year and has seen year on year growth in competitors since 2021. This year the region had the highest turnout of teams in the country, surpassing Auckland at 171 and cracking a new record for the capital!

There were 33 online and in-person heats screenings across the country gathering together filmmakers from each region. We had 68 volunteer judges who dedicated their time and their industry experience to the competition.

National Manager Ness Patea said “Each year the competition grows in a multitude of ways and this year it has taken on a life of its own. We are really proud of our national competition which is providing a solid platform to showcase and recognise our home-grown filmmakers.”

Filmmakers are recognised with awards and ultimately vie for the prestigious title of Grand National Champion. The competition culminates in a spectacular Grand Finals event, which for the first time will be held at the Embassy Theatre in Wellington on 27th July.

The top fifteen films will screen and the 3 Sir Peter Jackson Wildcards. The awards will go out to the teams who rise above to the national level. Tickets for this fun creative event are available on the Eventfinda website or via the 48Hours website.

The 2024 National Judging Panel includes Sir Peter Jackson, Dame Gaylene Preston, Elijah Wood, Mette-Marie Kongsved, Viva La Dirt League, Jess Hong, Jon Kroll, James Ashcroft, Damon Fepulea’i, Desray Armstrong, Jill McNab, Emma Slade, Brian and Julie Cadzow, Abba-Rose Vaiaoga-Ioasa and Stallone Vaiaoga-Ioasa.