The 54 production team gives participating teams 54 hours (from the end of the Inception Meeting until online movie submission) to write, shoot, and edit their short film (2 to 5 minutes in duration). Teams may add an additional thirty seconds of credits for a maximum length of 5 minutes and 30 seconds.

All content for a team’s film must be created during the 54 hours of competition (from the end of the Inception Meeting until online movie submission). Stock footage may only be used with copyright permission for festival screening. Visual and audio representation of brands, logos, and other art forms is not permissible without permission from the copyright holder.

All content must be suitable for a PG-13 rating. No nudity, excessive vulgarity, or excessive gore is permissible. If you have a question concerning specific content, please contact a 54 Film Fest representative.

No talent or crew member may be paid.


At the Inception Meeting, 54 Film Fest representatives will give each team a genre and three elements (traditionally: a prop, an action, and a line of dialogue) that must be incorporated into its movie. The elements must be used in the team’s short film. Failure to do so will lead to disqualification from awards.

One representative from each team needs to be at the Inception Meeting, although more are welcome to attend. Team leader agreements must be signed and submitted prior to participating in the competition.


The assigned prop is an item that significantly influences the story, which is usually used by a character. If a team uses the required prop only as a set dressing that does not influence the story, the team risks an avoidable disqualification.

Line of Dialogue

The required line must be spoken or readable on screen. It must be exactly as presented by the 54 Film Fest (city producer and/or Facebook page official posting). The following pronouns may be used or substituted (‘it’, ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘they’). The line may also be spoken in a foreign language, but English subtitles should be provided if used in this manner.


The required action must be clearly visible on camera and is flexible within reason.


12 hours into the competition, teams should check the 54 Film Fest Middle Tennessee Facebook page for the Curve Ball Challenge. Teams must also incorporate this element into their films in order to be eligible for Best Picture consideration. Failure to add this element will disqualify the team from the Curve Ball Award and the Best Picture (Private Audience) Award.


Completed films should be shared on Google Drive (or other share service with a downloadable link) with prior to midnight on Sunday, February 24th. If you are concerned that you may have issues with uploading your film online, please contact a 54 Film Fest producer or for additional instructions to better ensure timely upload.

Films should be turned in as digital files. The film will be screened in the resolution that the team submits.

h.264 preferred, but all files compatible with Compressor are accepted.

Teams must export films at a 23.976 or 24fps framerate.


The Team Leader Agreement must be completed before or during the Inception Meeting.

All release forms must be filled out completely and submitted to prior to midnight on Sunday, February 24th.

Only use original material, or material you have permission to use. If the copyright is in question, a 54 Film Fest representative will contact you concerning the issue. Please operate under the motto, “When in doubt, leave it out.”

Use of copyrighted material without permission is grounds for disqualification from the screening and awards. Please be a good citizen, and respect copyright holders.

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close