A 36 hour competition challenging contestants to write, shoot, edit, and submit a film in 36 hours. Teams take elements revealed at the Feb. 8th, 7 pm launch event and make a 5-7 minute film.

*Elements will be posted on the website after the launch event: grfilmfestival.com

Participants: Filmmakers, professional filmmakers, aspiring filmmakers, college/high school film students and people interested making a film.

Audience: Film lovers, aspiring filmmakers, experienced filmmakers, students, professors, family,friends and competition film fans.

Teams are launched on Feb. 8th, 2019 at 7 pm to create their 5-7 minute short, which must be delivered to the festival's FilmFreeway by February 10th at 8am. Those selected by judging panel will be screened before a live audience on February 22nd, 7pm, 2019.

Wealthy Theatre
1130 Wealthy St. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49506

Screening/Awards Ceremony/After party:
Wealthy Theatre
1130 Wealthy St. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49506

Teams of three or more members can register for a fee of $125-$150 per team. Tickets for the 36 Hour Film Challenge showing will be $5 per person, available for purchase at the Wealthy Theatre. Competing teams will have 3 free passes to distribute..

*Students! Get your HS or College to Sponsor a team for $300 and you'll get your school promoted and 10 passes for the Feb. 22nd event.

Every submission is viewed by each of our judges. Full details on the panel of film industry professionals can be found on our website: grfilmfestival.com

Films can receive up to 10 stars in each of these categories:

Originality / Creativity
Production Value
Timing (5-7 minutes)

Prizes will be awarded for the best films totaling up to $1,300 in several categories as well as an Audience Choice Award!

Teams that score the highest will be awarded a unique trophy for their efforts as well as cash prizes listed in these areas:

Best Of Show-$500
Best Professional-$300
Best School-$200
Audience Choice Award-$300

Craft Awards:
Best Acting
Best Cinematography
Best Editing
Best Directing
Best Sound
Best Writing
and the "The Gary Glenn Award"-Picked by Festival Director-Michael McCallum.

The winner of the Best of Show and Gary Glenn Award will also win:

Screening at the GRFF in September at the Wealthy Theatre.
Free entry into the Eclipse Awards.

The cash prizes ($1,300 total) are Presented by Michael McCallum and Andrew Sandstedt as well as other Board members for the GRFF!

All films must be created for the Challenge during the 36-hour time period between Feb. 8th at 7pm-Feb. 10th at 8am. Films must be 5-7 minutes long, not including front and end credit cards provided to every team.

At 8pm, teams will be given (in person) the specific elements that need to be included in the films, along with submission instructions and file formats.

NO PORNOGRAPHY and NO PREVIOUSLY SHOT MATERIAL can be used. It's a Challenge and tough, but embrace it and make something NEW.

Overall Rating
  • Caleb Joyce

    Great experience. Some of the materials and rules were ambiguous, and it was upsetting the only way to submit was to remove my previous year's submission.

    April 2019
  • This was a great experience to learn and grow more! Each time it puts me to the test and I level up after each event! Keep it going! I love it!

    April 2019
  • This is a really cool event, and it's great that it's lasted this long. Each year it seems to get better and better. No other place can you see this much raw talent from filmmakers all over West Michigan. It's really inspirational to see all these stories from all different kinds of people from all walks of life. High school students, college students, small teams, big teams, full-on professional production companies, there's no telling who you'll see. A crazy challenge for crazy cool people. Do it, you won't regret it.

    April 2019
  • Ben McCarthy

    Definitely worth it! Challenges were creative. Lots of communication from the organizer. Michael McCallum definitely makes it fun and inspires you to give your best work. The level of talent this year was crazy good! I would recommend it anyone interested in filmmaking!

    March 2019
  • DT Kofoed

    A great experience: excellent communication from the organizers, inspiring choice of competition elements, with a fun screening at the end. But most important of all, we made a film I'm proud of that will have a life after the Challenge.

    March 2019