Trying to break into the festival circuit? Here's your chance to have your film screened at the 7th annual Telluride Horror Show, October 14 -16, 2016. We give you the dates and an element to be included in your film (to be revealed upon contest opening). You have one weekend (48 hours) to make your short film.
THS has been named one of the "20 Coolest Film Festivals" by Moviemaker Magazine, The Telluride Horror Show has agreed to screen the winner of the 1st annual Phantom Sway 48 Hour Film Competition during this year's festival. For more information about the Telluride Horror Show please visit

The winning film will be screened during the Telluride Horror Show. The two Team Leaders from the winning team will receive; round trip economy class tickets to Telluride, CO, ground transportation to and from the airport, 3 nights lodging in a shared room, and free passes to attend the Telluride Horror Show. A trophy will be presented to the two Team Leaders prior to the screening of their winning film at the Telluride Horror Show.
The winning team leaders will be responsible for all other incidental costs of their trip, including but not limited to baggage fees, airport taxes, and meals. Any and all taxes associated with winning cash or a prize is the sole responsibility of the winner.
Winners will be notified by Phantom Sway via email and provided instructions for securing flights, lodging, and festival passes.

The Phantom Sway 48 Hour Film Contest will take place on (enter dates here) beginning on Friday, June 24, 7pm local time and ending on Sunday, June 26, 7pm local time. This time period will be known as the Phantom Weekend.

All teams must complete their film work and upload the final cut no later than 7:00 pm local time on Sunday. Films must be received by 7 pm on Sunday to be considered.

All cast and crew must be volunteers. The use of SAG/AFTRA actors is strictly prohibited.

All creativity must take place during the Phantom Weekend. Any creative work in advance of the competition weekend is prohibited. Creative work includes, but is not limited to:

Writing the script
Costume/Set Design
Sound Design
Uploading (in .mov format)

At the official start time of Phantom Weekend, each participating team will receive an email assigning them a genre and detailing the required elements that must appear in their film, such as a character, a prop and/or a line of dialogue.

The required Character must be seen on-screen and it must be clear--either directly shown or by context--who the required character is.

The required Prop must be seen on-screen.

The required Line of Dialogue must be used verbatim. It may be spoken, sung and/or written.

To qualify as an Official Entry, each group's film must reflect the assigned genre, and must contain all required elements within the official time limit and prior to the credits.
Any type of video or film camera may be used. There is no limit to the number of cameras. Only submissions received in .mov format will be accepted.

All scripting, shooting and editing must be done within the designated 48 hour window. No stock footage or footage shot or created at another time may be used. Animation and special effects are permitted, but they too must be created during the designated 48 hour window.

Prior to the Phantom Weekend teams are permitted to crew up, select cast, scout locations, obtain any necessary permits, rent, borrow, or purchase all necessary film equipment, fill out all contest paperwork including but not limited to: Team Leader Agreement, Team Roster, and Affidavit of Eligibility.

You are allowed to scout possible locations in advance. This will also come in handy for creating your storyline. It's easier to write the script when you know what you have available. Location releases can be filled out and signed prior to the Phantom Weekend.

The Phantom Sway 48 Hour Film Contest does not require you obtain permits for filming; however, it's possible your city may require permits for certain locations.
Your local or state film office is a good resource to learn what is and isn't permitted in your city.


If any group of individuals elects to collaborate on an Entry, they are required to designate two (2) people to act as the agents of the group to enter the Phantom Sway 48 Hour Film Contest, agree to these Official Rules, sign the Team Leader's Agreement and the Affidavit of Eligibility, and accept the prize on behalf of the group. Neither Phantom Sway LLC., nor any of the Contest Parties are liable for any disputes between collaborators arising out of or related to the Contest.

Teams must reside in the continental United States. The Team Leaders must be legal residents or legal visitors of the United States. The following are not eligible: residents of Alaska and Hawaii, employees, city producers, contractors, directors and officers Phantom Sway LLC., its parent, subsidiaries and affiliated companies, distributors, web design, advertising, fulfillment, judging and Contest agencies involved in the administration, development, fulfillment and execution of this Contest (collectively, Contest Parties), and the immediate family members of each (spouse, parent, child, sibling, grandparent, and spouse or stepchildren of each) and those living in their same households (those persons whether related or not who live in the same residence for at least three months during the twelve-month period preceding the start date of the Contest). Void where prohibited.

*All team members must be at least 18 years of age or older.


The finished film must be a minimum of 5 minutes in duration, and a maximum of 7 minutes in duration—not including end credits. In other words, the official running time begins after the required Phantom Sway slates and ends prior to the end credits. The required slates and the end credits do not count towards the minimum time of 5 minutes. The film story may not be longer than 7 minutes.

Pre-film Required Slates
Before the finished film begins, the media should have...
5 seconds of black
A title card with: team name, title, genre, city, and date
The official Phantom Sway animated opening -OR- a title card with: This film was made for the Phantom Sway 48 Hour Film Contest 2016.
2 seconds of black
Then your film begins.

After the 2 seconds of black, some films start with opening credits. These are not encouraged, but if you use them, opening credits are considered to be part of the film, and therefore count against the seven minute maximum. Additionally, if your film has opening credits other than simply the film's title (for example, the names of directors, actors, etc.), you must include one of the following:
the text “YOUR TEAM NAME presents” immediately followed by a Phantom Sway 48 Hour Film Contest or the text a Phantom Sway 48 Hour Film Contest immediately following the title of your film

Credits at the end of each film are limited to a maximum of 60 seconds. The 60 seconds is considered additional to the length of the film, as stated above. (That is, a film may be 7 minutes long, with an additional 60 seconds of credits, for a total running time of 8 minutes.) The end credits must include the words: This film was made for the Phantom Sway 48 Hour Film Contest.

For any future screenings, online or otherwise, films should retain the pre-film title card that says: This film was made for the Phantom Sway 48 Hour Film Contest 2016.

REQUIRED MEDIA FORMAT - all films must be uploaded in .mov format.

Participating groups are encouraged to work with a composer and/or musicians to write and record music for the films. It is permissible for a participating group to use pre-recorded music; however the participating group must have the rights to any music used in its film and must provide releases for all music used. As with music, pre-recorded sound effects are allowed, but you must have rights to use them.

Note: Song parodies (i.e., use of identifiable pre-existing compositions with new or altered lyrics or music) may not be included in the film without a signed release from the composition's rights holder. This rule applies without regard to whether the song parody arguably constitutes fair use under US or international copyright law.


Entrants will be required to sign the standard Phantom Sway 48 Film Contest Team Leader's Agreement. As a condition of entry, participants must agree to the Team Leader's Agreement, which sets forth the rights of Entrant and Phantom Sway with respect to the use of Entries by Phantom Sway. Entries that do not include all required information and adhere to the foregoing and following requirements will be considered void and will not be considered.

The Team Leader’s Agreement must be signed and returned prior to the Phantom Weekend. Releases for talent, crew, music and locations must be returned to the project organizers. Every team member, crew member, and actor must sign a release form. Entries will not be screened before the Phantom Sway 48 Hour Film Contest Organizers receive the signed releases.

The two team leaders are also considered the representatives of their respective team and will be the the two individuals entitled to the prize. The two team leaders will receive roundtrip airfare from the closest airport to Telluride CO, shared hotel accommodations, free passes to attend the Telluride Horror Show and a trophy which will presented to them prior to the screening of their film at the Telluride Horror Show.

The Entrant must submit a Certification Statement with his/her completed Entry, certifying adherence to all Official Rules.

To be eligible for the Contest, Entries must be the original work of the Entrant; must not infringe third-party's rights; must be suitable for publication (i.e., may not be obscene or indecent); must not contain obscene or pornographic material; may not contain defamatory statements about any person, company, organization or entity; may not invade privacy or other rights of any person, company or entity; may not in any other way violate applicable laws and regulations; and may not contain any copyrighted elements (other than as owned by the Entrant and/or Phantom Sway LLC).
Entries containing prohibited or inappropriate content as determined by the Phantom Sway LLC, in its sole discretion, to be inappropriate will be disqualified. Phantom Sway reserves the right to make the final determination as to which Entries are eligible.

Phantom Sway LLC and Contest Parties may, in their sole discretion, disqualify Entries deemed to be inappropriate or otherwise non-compliant.

A panel of experts assembled by Phantom Sway will be judging all entrants. Films will receive a score from 0 to 100 based upon the following criteria:
25% Technical Merit
25% Adherence to Assignment
25% Artistic Merit
25% Entertainment Value
*In the event of a tie a second panel of expert judges will be convened to determine a winner.

The winning entry will be announced on August 1st 2016.

All costs associated with the production of the Entry are solely the responsibility of the Entrant.

By submitting an Entry into this 48 Hour Film Contest, each Entrant warrants and represents that the Entrant owns all rights to the Entry he/she is entering in this Contest, including, without limitation, the video or digital recording, and the performance contained in each Entry, with the exception of any assets provided by Phantom Sway LLC for use by Entrants in connection with this Contest. Each Entrant further warrants and represents that the Entrant has obtained permission from each person who appears in the Entry to grant the rights to the Contest Parties described in these Official Rules, and will submit copies of such permissions to the Contest Parties. By submitting an Entry, Entrant agrees to the Official Rules, and further agrees to indemnify and hold Phantom Sway LLC, Contest Parties and their respective affiliates, officers, directors, agents, co-branders or other partners, and any of their employees (collectively, the Contest Indemnitees), harmless from any and all claims, damages, expenses, costs (including reasonable attorneys' fees) and liabilities (including settlements), brought or asserted by any third party against any of the Contest Indemnitees due to or arising out of the Entrant's Entry materials in this Contest, or the Entrant's conduct during and in connection with this Contest, including but not limited to trademark, copyright, or other intellectual property rights, right of publicity, right of privacy or defamation. Entrant agrees to release, indemnify and hold harmless Phantom Sway LLC., and the Contest Parties from any and all claims that any advertising, presentation, web content or any other material subsequently produced, presented, and/or prepared by or on behalf of Phantom Sway LLC., or the Contest Parties infringes on the rights of Entrant's work as contained in any Entry.

By participating, Entrants agree to these Official Rules which are final and binding in all respects. Phantom Sway LLC., is governed by the laws of the State of California, USA, and all claims must be resolved in the California courts or the Federal courts located in the state of California.

No liability or responsibility is assumed by Phantom Sway LLC or Contest Parties resulting from any user's participation in or attempt to participate in the Phantom Sway 48 Hour Film Contest or ability or inability to upload or download any information in connection with participating in the Project. No responsibility or liability is assumed by Phantom Sway LLC., or Contest Parties for technical problems or technical malfunction arising in connection with any of the following occurrences which may affect the operation of the Contest: hardware or software errors; faulty computer, telephone, cable, satellite, network, electronic, wireless or Internet connectivity or other online communication problems; errors or limitations of any Internet service providers, servers, hosts or providers; garbled, jumbled or faulty data transmissions; failure of any e-mail transmissions to be sent or received; lost, late, delayed or intercepted e-mail transmissions; inaccessibility of the Web Site in whole or in part for any reason; traffic congestion on the Internet or the Web Site; unauthorized human or non-human intervention of the operation of the Contest, including without limitation, unauthorized tampering, hacking, theft, virus, bugs, worms; or destruction of any aspect of the Contest, or loss, miscount, misdirection, inaccessibility or unavailability of an email account used in connection with the Contest. Phantom Sway LLC., and Contest Parties are not responsible for any typographical errors in the announcement of prizes or these Official Rules, or any inaccurate or incorrect data contained on the Web Site or social media sites maintained by Phantom Sway LLC. Use of Web Site and the Phantom Sway's social media sites is at user's own risk.

The winning film will be announced on on August 1st 2016. Team Leaders will also be contacted directly by Phantom Sway.


All creative work must be done during the official filmmaking period; however, you can get some of the tedious paperwork done ahead of time.
Waiver and Release Forms
Get your team members to sign releases ahead of time. Note: These forms help protect you, the team leader, as well as the Phantom Sway 48 Hour Film Contest.

Some local musicians, bands & composers may be willing to let you use their work in your film because it creates additional exposure for their talents.

You may use music or materials that fall under the Attribution license. This is the only CC license that meets the Phantom Sway 48 Hour Film Contest conditions.
Note: Creative Commons licenses that are either Non-Commercial or Sharealike are NOT compatible with the Phantom Sway 48 Hour Film Contest Team Leader's Agreement and therefore can NOT be used.