Oh, sleep, you bewitching temptress. This weekend, you will be kept at bay with Bayer’s back pills, white crosses, Red Bulls and hogsheads of Mountain Dew, while teams of filmmakers scramble through the city to write, shoot, edit and hand in a finished short film in 48 nail-biting hours. Shepherded to roaring health over the years by one of the local film community’s stalwarts, Andy van Roon, the project has grown from a goofy lark into a forum that gives local filmmakers a chance to create calling cards and test runs for future work — not to mention short films that have taken on a second life at festivals.
So far, more than 40 teams have signed up to take the challenge: You meet at 6 p.m. Friday at NuMynd Studios off Elm Hill Pike near Mt. Olivet Cemetery, where teams will draw a genre ranging from horror to Western to musical to science fiction, while receiving a prop, a line of dialogue, and a character that must appear in every film. From there, starting at 7, you have until 7:30 Sunday night to hand in the finished piece to Nashville 48HFP producer Deborah Gordon for competition. Prizes include screenwriting software, a trophy and the chance to advance to international competition, but bragging rights are the real brass ring — as the rowdy and perpetually packed awards ceremonies prove. Besides, any civic endeavor that draws Chris Crofton and Demetria Kalodimos is cool as frosty Antarctica in our book. Registration is $175; the films will be screened to the public July 27 and 28 at The Belcourt. More information here.