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19 Years, 48 Hours And 18 Films Screening At The Civic Theatre

Vista Foundation 48Hours presents
Vista Foundation Grand Finals 2021
Saturday 22 May, 7:30 PM
The Civic Theatre, Auckland Central

Aotearoa’s favourite filmmaking competition, 48Hours, marks its 2021 Grand Finals at Auckland’s Civic Theatre this May with support from Vista Foundation. Now in its 19th year, this popular national competition provides a platform for making and showing films from creatives and filmmakers based across Aotearoa. 2021’s Vista Foundation Grand Final takes over The Civic on the evening of 22 May for a celebration of the tenacity and creativity of our up-and-coming film talents, with awards winners to be selected and presented by a mix of local and international industry heavyweights including Cliff Curtis, Elijah Wood and Dame Gaylene Preston.

It is said that ‘restriction breeds creativity’, and that’s what the 48Hours Competition has always been about. 2021 has seen this ring truer than ever, with lockdowns, earthquakes and tsunami warnings keeping filmmakers on their toes during filming, with safety front of, right alongside creative filmmaking and good old Kiwi ingenuity. 2021 saw filming happen over the weekend of 5 -7 March, with a second filming weekend on 12-14 March for Tāmaki Makaurau-based teams due to the Auckland COVID-19 lockdown.

Every year, Vista Foundation 48Hours HQ brews up a hearty challenge for our nation's filmmaking teams and every year they are awestruck at the creativity and ingenuity of the films produced in only one weekend. To learn more about 2021’s genres and required elements and imagine the challenges they presented, check out the 48Hours website.

Over both filming weekends, social media was flooded with (fake!) blood-covered faces, homemade film gear, creative art department choices, and outlandish locations. At the end of the first weekend, 337 films were submitted from across Aotearoa, as well as submissions from Australia and Rarotonga, with even more submitted after Auckland’s second filming weekend.

Past VF48Hours champions include Taika Waititi (Two Cars One Night, Boy, Hunt for the WilderPeople, Thor, Jojo Rabbit), Gerard Johnstone (Housebound, Terry Teo, Legend of Monkey), Jason Lei Howden (Deathgasm, Guns Akimbo), Stallone Vaiaoga-Ioasa (Three Wise Cousins), Chris Graham (Sione’s Wedding), Te Radar (Off The Radar), Madeleine Sami (The Breaker Upperers), Jackie Van Beek (Wellington Paranormal, Funny Girls) & The Downlow Concept (Chief Gary, 7 Days), Tom Sainsbury (Wellington Paranormal, Sextortian), Aidee Walker (Westside, The Brokenwood Mysteries) and Cliff Curtis (Boy, The Dark Horse.)

We have a large list of talented folks who all cut their teeth in the competition and have since gone on to direct major TV and feature films. It's not the only pathway for people to make inroads into the industry but it's definitely the number one way for relationships and foundations to be laid for a healthy creative community.
- Ant Timpson, VF48Hours Founder

2021’s awards will be selected by an incredible line-up of celebrity filmmaking talent from Aotearoa and further afield, including international celebrity industry judges for the 2021 competition including Elijah Wood and Cliff Curtis. A full list of nominees and judges is available on the 48Hours website, along with a full list of the prize packages.

In an exciting development for the festival, filmmaker Dame Gaylene Preston and Women in Film & Television New Zealand (WIFTNZ) have created the Best Female Director prize to encourage more women to put their hands up to direct a film. Preston will be present at the Grand Finals to present the winner the cash prize of $1000 and a one-year WIFTNZ membership.

2021’s VF48Hours Finalists are:

Apple Fork - A Matter Of Time

Awkward Animations - Unfinished Symphony

BAE24 - The Dying Art of Cat Burglary

Couch Kumara - Pre-Emptive Defence

Cyan Sea - Max - (WILDCARD)

Disqualified Tim - We built and destroyed a full sized B17 bomber specifically and only for this competition. Also known as "Banana Boys"

Dystography Studios - The Last Lord of Scotland

Free Cinematic Luts - Shit Chat - (WILDCARD)

Good Girl - Traces of Nut

I Love Loops - Loot & Blunder

Kinaki - Good as Gold (Rarotonga Team)

Mitchell's Here - Āta

Pastafarian Productions - Rekindled Spirits - (WILDCARD)

Qualified Tim - We built and destroyed a full sized cardboard u-boat specifically and only for this competition. also known as “DAS BANANA-BOOT”

Snack To The Future - Judy

Tasteful Sideboob - Hydrangea

The Creamery - In Deep

Underwater Dreams - Jebivetar

Don’t miss your chance to experience the top 18 films made in just 48 hours by some of the most exciting up-and-coming talent Aotearoa has to offer. Tickets are available now via Ticketmaster, and more information about Vista Foundation 48Hours is available at


Vista Foundation 48Hours presents
Vista Foundation Grand Finals 2021
Saturday 22 May, 7:30 PM
The Civic Theatre, Auckland Central
Cnr Wellesley & Queen Streets

6:30 PM - Bar opens
7:00 PM - Doors open
7:30 PM - Show starts

Tickets $14 - $18*
Available via Ticketmaster

The VF48Hours Grand Finals is rated M, suitable for audiences aged 16+

*Service fees apply

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