This year’s Fredericton 48 Hour Film Competition ended in a spectacular gala in Tilley Hall. Not only was this the competition’s twelve year anniversary, but they had a record breaking number of teams.

All twenty five groups managed to submit their final films in the 48 hour time window, and all 25 were presented over the course of the evening. The competition’s requirements drew all of the films together, but also ensured that they were all very diverse.

The 48 Hour Competition requires all groups to use a specific sentence in their film, and this year the sentence was, “It’s Legal Now.” Many groups chose to interpret it as referring to the recent legalization of marijuana, but others used it in reference to the legalization of public urination, corrupt politicians legalizing things for their own benefit, and some groups even just included the phrase written on a poster in the background of a shot.

The competition also requires the use of an inspiration package made up of a location and an object. Every group receives a different package, so the films evolved in unique ways, even though they were all drawn together by the mandatory sentence. 

One group’s location was “a dam,” which they tied into the background of a shot while their characters had to cross a river. Another group’s location was “in front of a statue,” which became part of their central plot as the statues were vessels for demonic souls. 

The objects also forced groups to be creative. One group, given a rubber duck, made the duck into a serial killer. Another group’s object was a tub of whey protein, and they built the whey protein into a conspiracy about a protein company dumping toxic chemicals into the Saint John River.

Almost every film was nominated for an award, and some won multiple awards. This year saw the addition of two new categories, “Short Shorts” for films under three minutes, and “Special Mention for Best Voice Actor.” 

Part of the gala allowed for audience members to fill out a ranked ballot for an Audience Choice Award. The top five were “Kentucky Johnson & the Mystical Crystal,” “Good King,” “Coriandoli del Diavolo,” “It Takes a Toll,” and “What is that? Is that a DOG?!” with “Kentucky Johnson & the Mystical Crystal,” taking the first place prize. The film was a parody of a popular film franchise starring Harrison Ford.

In the coming weeks, some of the films may be released by the competition on their Facebook page.