SIERRA VISTA — Filmmakers across the region are preparing for some fast and furious filming in anticipation for this year’s Sierra Vista 48 Hour Film Competition.

Scheduled to take place on March 12-14, creators are tasked to produce an 8-minute feature film that’s scripted, filmed and edited within 48 hours.

Levi Borland, coordinator of the Sierra Vista 48-hour Film competition and owner of the Uptown 3 Theatre off of Highway 92, says the registration for the competition is open until 4 p.m. on March 12 with the cost being $20 per team. Teams can register at

Borland said that the competitors will be given their prompt digitally instead of in-person on Friday at 4 p.m. and will have to incorporate that prompt into their final feature, which is due on Sunday at 4 p.m.

After the panel of judges reviews the teams’ final features, competitors and their families are invited to the screening and awards ceremony at 7 p.m. Sunday evening at the Uptown 3 Theatre.

Borland said that the prompt consists of an assigned prop, character and line of dialogue.

Borland said that competitors will be divided into two divisions: a Student Division for participants grades K-12 and an Open Division for adults.

“Last year, the required prop was broccoli,” said Borland. “They have until Sunday 4 p.m. to complete the film and upload it to Google Drive. They have to submit credits, script, and the video file.”

With the festival’s third year occurrence, many students and adult filmmakers eagerly await the challenge of creating their films under the compressed time-frame.

“I had a lot of fun last year, and I have an awesome team and we like to see what we can do in 48 hours again,” said Nicole Lease, a sophomore at Buena High School.

Lease, 15, said that this will be her second year competing in the festival and that she and her team like to “portray suspense and mystery” in their films along with themes of friendship.

Lease said that her favorite part of the filmmaking process is filming on-location.

“My team has so much fun and some of the things we did are hilarious,” said Lease. “We go to some interesting locations. We film in the pool a lot with our underwater camera. On location we do the weirdest things. It’s really fun to see what we come up with.”

Dillon Cox, a Buena High School Alumni and freshman at the Los Angeles Film School said that he and his team is looking forward to portraying the theme of “analyze the situation, think before you act” within their film.

“Every film (that) I’ve made for the festival, they’ve been comedies, because at the end of the day, we want to make the audience laugh and get them away from any problems they’re facing themselves,” Cox said.

Cox, 19, said that his class brought the idea of opening the Sierra Vista 48-hour Film Festival to the community to participate to Timothy Ingold, Buena High School’s Film instructor and advisor of the school’s Film/TV organization.

“When we first had starting thinking about what we wanted to do for the community, we thought ‘why not open (the competition) up to the community’ because there isn’t anything film wise in Sierra Vista,” said Cox. “We brought it to the attention to Mr. Ingold and he thought it was a great idea. So, we got to work on it.”

For guidelines, Ingold said that the content must be “family-friendly” and live-action films only — no animated films.

Borland said that the films will be judged on “Appearance of the prompts, pre-production (scripting and storyboarding), editing, cinematography, sound design, continuity between shots, visual effects (color correction),” and whether each component enhances and complements the story.

Mask wearing for the screening and awards ceremony at the theater on Sunday at 7 p.m. will be required, Borland said.

The theater will be open at 50% capacity in accordance to the Arizona Department of Health Services COVID-19 guidelines and that they will be opening up two theaters to provide enough space between seats for social-distancing, he added.

“Normally we would have sponsors, but because of COVID we don’t have any sponsors, Uptown (3 Theatre) is the premiere sponsor and organizer,” he said.

Ingold said that Duane Ayers (local producer), Ike Dent (Chief Broadcast Engineer for University of Arizona South) and Jackie Chastain (Web Applications Developer) will be judging this year’s festival submissions.

After the films have been reviewed and scored by the judging panel, Borland said that each division will be awarded first and second place trophies.

According to the festival’s webpage on the Uptown Theatre’s website, additional plaques will also be awarded for “Audience Choice” and also the “Best Actor” for the student and open divisions.

Ingold said the purpose of the competition is to provide local filmmakers in the community a challenge and a chance to showcase their work on the big screen.

“The (Buena Film/TV) student organization exists to promote film-making, and also to build character, and to prepare students for a successful future,” Inngold said.

“This year it has been very difficult to do everything we normally do. (Normally), we go on field trips, we film sports and choir concerts. We haven’t been able to do that this year,” he added.

“This could be potentially the only thing we do this year outside of our group, we really hope that this goes successfully, so we can have a presence in the community.”