Louis Savy, SCI-FI-LONDON Festival director, said, “Each year the quality of the films submitted increases, making it more difficult to draw up a short list. The intention of the competition, when we started it, was to encourage original, new British sci-fi, and over the five years we have been running the competition we have seen some truly world-class shorts produced, in two days and with no budget.”
Gareth Edwards, who won the first Challenge in 2008, had his debut multiple award-winning feature film, Monsters, greenlit on the strength of his short, Factory Farmed. Gareth is now making the star-studded Godzilla for Legendary Pictures. Filmmaking team of Liam Garvo, James Heath and Andrew Harmer met on one of the 48 Hour Challenges and decided to make a feature film together. Following a very successful Kickstarter campaign, they have just completed principal photography on their post-apocalyptic comedy The Fitzroy.
The Challenge also attracted some quality acting talent amongst this year’s entries, including Reiko Aylesworth (24), Rachel Shenton (Hollyoaks) and Brian Bovell (The Bill, Hollyoaks).
This year’s Challenge was sponsored by Canon Cameras, Vertigo Films, The Multiverse YouTube channel, and Camberwell Studios, who supplied the prizes, along with media support from New Scientist and Arc magazines.
The winning team was Lonely Light with their film Free Zone, directed by Clement Gharini, a stylish enigmatic piece about clones in a storage facility. The team won a first-look feature development deal with Vertigo Films, a Canon XA10 video camera, £1000 from The Multiverse and £1000 worth of studio time at Camberwell Studios. Second place went to The Crimson Guard for Falling Apart, directed by Thomas Hefferon and Troels J. Hundtofte; a nightmarish post-apocalyptic film set in a fallout shelter. They received a Canon HF G25 Camcorder and £500 from The Multiverse. Third place went to Team Stavro Mueller for Hightone, directed Oscar Sharp. He won £500 from the The Multiverse.
All the shortlisted films will be showing on The Multiverse Channel, where the best films from previous years’ competitions can be seen.