Teams wanted to tackle 50-hour filmmaking challenge

From students as young as 12 to retired Boomers – anyone can enter Surrey Little Theatre's ultimate weekend project.

Perennial entrant Sam Zelter is determined to win this year. The Grade 12 Earl Marriott Secondary student is challenging all other student and community filmmakers to enter.

All you wannabe Kathryn Bigelows and Wes Andersons out there take note: here’s a chance to shine your talents on the silver screen. Surrey Little Theatre is inviting all filmmakers and creative types to register a team in the 7th annual 50 Hour Film Challenge.

The all-ages event pits teams of five or more in a frenetic, fruitful weekend quest: to write, shoot, and edit a five-minute-long movie for a chance to win $500.

It’s modeled on the popular 48-hour film project format, with one key exception. This one has “an extra two hours,” event organizer Brigitte Seib says. The concept was launched six years ago as part of Surrey Little Theatre’s 50th season of live theatre celebrations, dubbed From Onstage to Onscreen.

The filmmaking challenge was a hit, and has been an annual event ever since, giving the community another avenue to express its creative side, Seib says.

“We welcome all community members to put together a five or more member team, dig out their camera equipment and editing software and come on out to take part in this exciting event!” she says.

It’s open to all ages and abilities. Past entrants have ranged from students as young as 12 to retired Baby Boomers.

Earl Marriott Secondary student Sam Zelter has been entering the contest since he was 13. His team, We The Youth (formerly ‘Film Hogs’) has taken second place a few years in a row. Now in Grade 12, Zelter is hoping to get his name on the number one spot on the trophy.

He challenges all other student and community filmmakers to enter a team.

The challenge weekend is Friday, Oct. 17 at 6 p.m. to Sunday, Oct. 19 at 8 p.m. Registration deadline is Oct. 14. (Register by Oct. 3 to receive two free tickets to screenings). Cost to enter is $100 per team.

Prizes are awarded the following weekend, on Oct. 26, at a Gala Filmmakers Reception, where all the films are screened. The event is open to the public (tickets are limited; look for advance sales).

Rules and registration forms are available at

Contact for more information and to arrange payment or leave a message on the reservation line at (604) 576-8451.

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