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'Jack's Last Fandango' takes first at 48 Hour Film Project awards

Much like his team’s film, "Jack’s Last Fandango," Producer Carlos Bible kept his acceptance speech short and sweet after winning best film honors at this year’s 48 Hour Film Fest awards ceremony Tuesday night at the Blue Nile.

After complimenting the other films that were entered in this year’s Project, he said that his cast and crew “burned collectively around 50-60 thousand calories in about 23 hours,” in making the sci-fi flick that can be described as a little "Big Trouble in Little China" meets "Ghostbusters."

“It was really hot, it was a really long day, and these guys from top to bottom were all in from the get go, and I have no idea why. But without them, I’m nothing.”

The mechanics of the 48 Hour Film Project sort of require one to go all in, as each team (36 this year) is given its genre all at a certain time – with no creative work done beforehand -- and from there they have 48 hours to write, shoot, edit and score a short 4- to 7-minute movie. Each team is also given a prop they must incorporate, as well as a line of dialog and a character they must use. This year, the prop was a cupcake, the line of dialog: "Try it. What have you got to lose?" And the character was an interior decorator named Thierry (and/or Tammi) Bison.

It was the fifth year in New Orleans for the Project, which began 10 years ago in Washington, D.C. and has since spread worldwide.

“This year we’ve taken the 48 Hour Film Project farther than it’s ever gone in New Orleans,” said Project Producer Wendy Hajjar. “We had some exceptional entries and the judges had a really hard time selecting the top categories.”

The judges, who included local film luminaries such as producer Jackie Lee Morgan, filmmaker Ashley Charbonnet, and actor Lance Nichols, ended up choosing:

  • Best editing: "FBO," about a couple who break up and then re-unite.
  • Best acting: "Jack’s Last Fandango"
  • Best directing: "Jack’s Last Fandango"
  • Best writing: A tie, with the mockumentary "Kringle Crises: The Search for Santa" and the sci-fi "Click" receiving recognition.
  • Best special effects: horror flick "Design Flaw"
  • Best sound design: romance "Fourth Time’s the Charm"
  • Audience choice awards, chosen by the audience at last weekend’s screening of all of the films at NOCCA’s Lupin Theater, went to "FBO" from group A, "Entranced" from group B, and "Therephobia" from group C.

For a complete listing of awards, or to learn more, visit 48hourfilmproject.com.

Brian Friedman writes about New Orleans for NolaVie.