Filmmakers Prepare for Almost Famous Film Festival 48-Hour Challenge

Above: Photos: Almost Famous Film Festival Experience Arizona | 29 Jan, 2011 |

Executive director and founder, Jae Staats

Filmmakers from Arizona and surrounding states are preparing for one of the largest film festivals in the world this February. Over 80 teams have applied in past years, and the competition for the 7th Annual 48-Hour Challenge is expected to be just as great.

A3F, the Almost Famous Film Festival based in Phoenix, Arizona, was founded in 2005 by executive director Jae Staats and has grown significantly since then.

The film festival’s first event was in February of 2005.

“I had entered a local 48-hour challenge in late 2004 and had a great time, but thought there were some parts of the event I could improve upon,” Staats said.

The improvements Staats had in mind included making the filmmakers the focus of the challenges, hosting educational workshops, involving community leaders and using local establishments. A strong community support was the motivation behind starting A3F, and that motivation has brought them to their seventh year.Audience Member at A3F

A3F’s next challenge is open for registration right now as the challenge is soon to begin on February 18th, with a kick-off party. Guidelines for the challenge will be given to filmmakers either at the party or can be found on A3F’s website once the competition begins. Teams have 48 hours — two days — to complete a one to five-minute film that fits the guidelines.

The challenge is open to local and out-of-town filmmakers and can receive more than 80 applicants.

“We receive everything from home movies to films that go on and play at other festivals around the world,” Staat said. “The winning film from our 2007 festival, Laberinto Inferno, went on to play at Cannes Short Film Corner.”A3F Audience

The top 20 films, selected by a panel of judges, are then viewed in a public screening on Thursday, March 3rd. Anyone is welcome to attend the event, starting at 7 p.m. at AMC Arizona Center 24 Theatres. Tickets are $8, and they are available on the Almost Famous website.

For more information or to register or buy tickets, visit

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