Kazoo 48 Hour Film Festival 2021 gives aspiring filmmakers a new form of motivation


Credit: Kazoo 48 Hour Film Festival

The current logo for the Kalamazoo 48 Hour Film Festival.

James Hauke, Multimedia Editor

Today, the film industry can take years to complete a new movie; however, for aspiring filmmakers in Kalamazoo, it may only take 48 hours. 

The Kazoo 48 Hour Film Festival is back for it’s 3rd year and will be taking place between October 22 and the 24. Those participating have only 48 hours, from 6 p.m. on Friday the 22 to 6 p.m. Sunday the 24, to make a 1 to 6 minute movie within the given parameters. 

Each year the film festival has a different rule-set, with every team being assigned a different specific genre, prop, location, character, and line of dialogue. Teams then have to incorporate those guidelines into their own short movies. The official rules can be found here.

The event makes for a fun time, with the festival forcing filmmakers to think outside the box. 

“What I like most about the festival is its quirkiness,” said Matthew Perigo, co-founder of Kazoo 48 Hour Film Festival.

“It’s short, sweet and a lot of fun. So many of the scripts are improved on the spot. It makes for some entertaining videos. Having a short video challenge like this gives people a goal, something to work for and can often reignite a fire and get people making other films again.” 

With 2 years of experience under their belt, with last year’s festival being pushed online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival organizers are excited to take things to the next level this season.

“We are finally back in person and have the premier at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts scheduled for November 11 with it also streaming online at the same time. And for the first time this year, we have $250 cash prizes for the best films as well as the giant Kazoo awards and gift cards to local businesses” said Perigo.

Anyone that is interested in the festival can sign up at Kazoo48Film.com

Entry into the festival usually costs $25; however if you’re a high school student, entry only costs $10 if you use the code “DEEZCOUNTS” when signing up. Only the team has to pay the entry fee and there is no limit on team size.

The festival is also split into two levels of entry; professional and amateur. As media companies and experienced filmmakers here in Kalamazoo make up the professional category, high school students and others new to the scene take the latter. 

Perigo urges the involvement of amateur filmmakers. “If you don’t have fancy camera gear, just use your phone or a tablet. There are plenty of free video editing apps out there too.”

As co-founder of the event, Perigo has participated in many festivals before the creation of the Kazoo 48 Hour Film Festival. 

From that experience, Perigo has important advice for those interested in the festival. 

“Remember to have somewhat of a game plan, but be flexible. Nothing will go as planned anyway, so you have to be able to adjust and make something work,” Perigo continued, “ Also, finish! The satisfaction of completing at the end on Sunday is such a gratifying feeling. Remember it only has to be 1 to 6 minutes long and incorporate all your required items. There are awards for best use of each, so make it count.”

All teams must be registered by October 20. If you have any questions about the festival, you can contact the festival organizers at [email protected]

“Overall, it’s just a fun time to spend a weekend with friends,” Perigo continued, “I’m a little jealous of everyone who gets to participate as I watch from behind the scenes, but it is all worth it to keep the tradition going and let other people experience the excitement of the Kazoo 48 hour film festival.”