On January 18, Yukoners have the opportunity to make a film in 48 hours. Sound impossible? Not according to Dan Sokolowski, co-organizer of the Yukon 48 Hour Filmmaking Festival.

“It can be daunting to think about making a film,” says Sokolowski. “This challenge is a kick-start for people to realize they actually can make films, to not think about it and just do it.”

Sokolowski says the time pressure helps.

“If you make a mistake, you don’t have time to dwell on it.”

With financial support from the Yukon Film and Sound Commission, the festival is co-presented by the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture (KIAC), the Yukon Film Society and the Northern Film and Video Industry Association. The final films will be screened on January 26 at the KIAC ballroom in Dawson City and the Westmark Ballroom in Whitehorse.

Sokolowski points out that this is the first year that Dawson will be officially collaborating with Whitehorse, making this challenge a Yukon-wide event.

Here’s how the challenge works: participants must register and pay a $15 fee prior to the starter’s pistol. The competition begins at 5:30 pm on Friday, Jan. 18 and ends exactly 48 hours later, when participants are expected to hand in a DV tape or QuickTime file.

Filmmakers may work individually or in teams. There is no age restriction to enter the competition and the films may be of any genre, such as drama, documentary, comedy, experimental, animation. There is no minimum length, but the film cannot be longer than ten minutes. No previously shot footage may be used – it all has to be filmed and edited within the 48-hour timeline.

“If we see some summer scenes of the Dempster highway, we’ll know,” says Sokolowski.

A limited amount of cameras are available at KIAC on a first come, first served basis, although participants are welcome to use their own equipment. All other equipment, such as tripods, lights and sound equipment are available for rent.

KIAC editing rooms will open on Saturday when the first team shows up and will stay open round the clock until the last team is done. A technician will be on standby to help out with technical problems only. Similar services will be made available in Whitehorse at the Yukon Film Society.

After the last entry is submitted on Sunday, copies of the films will be sent between Dawson and Whitehorse for the simultaneous screening, taking place a week later.

A four-person jury – two from Dawson, two from Whitehorse – will decide upon a winning entry the week before the festival. The winning entry will be announced on the night of the festival, when Whitehorse and Dawson will be connected live via the web for screenings and awards. Each audience will also each choose an audience favourite.

The winning entry will have the honour of being screened at the 14th Dawson City International Short Film Festival. All other films will be eligible to apply to the Festival.

The Yukon 48-Hour Filmmaking Festival organizers are hoping that by collaborating on this festival and offering Yukoners the challenge of making their own films, a stronger film community will grow within the territory.

The screening on Jan. 26 will start at 7 p.m in the Westmark Ballroom in Whitehorse, and in the KIAC Ballroom in Dawson.

For more information, contactDan Sokolowski in Dawson at 867-993-5005 or by email at [email protected] For Whitehorse, please contact Neil Macdonald at 867-456-2978, or [email protected]