The Fifty Hour Film Contest is a make a film in a weekend competition designed specifically for Vermont Middle and High School Students. Founded in 2005 by two Vermont High School Digital Arts teachers Tom Preska and Jim Shields, the contest was envisioned as a fun way to bring top student film makers from around the state together to learn from and experience the work of their peers.

The weekend of the event every team will receive the same prompt detailing the genre, a character, a prop and some lines of dialogue. Each of these elements are required in a completed film.

You and your team then have from Friday until Sunday Night, to create a dynamic short film. All creation must occur within the competition period: writing, rehearsing, shooting, editing, graphics, etc.

Competitions are held twice a school year. Usually during the two gaps (November and April) between sports seasons. Participating schools are encouraged to open their video editing labs to students on the Sunday of the Event. Showings of the completed films are usually 5-6 weeks after the filming weekend currently held at Merrill’s Roxy in Downtown Burlington Vt.

This site has a wealth of information about the 50 and archives of past entries and prompts. Enjoy!


Contact Info


Tom Preska
Essex High School
2 Educational Drive
Essex Junction, Vermont 05452

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