48-Hour Film Festival

 The WLU 48 Hour Film Festival is an opportunity for students to showcase their talents through film. Participants will randomly draw a genre, line of dialogue, a character profile, and a prop at the orientation meeting, and then spend the next 48 hours completing their film from script to screen. Submissions will be received at the end of that 48 hour period and then screened and judged live at Waterfront Hall in downtown Wheeling. This is a competition with cash prizes! Save the date for Fall 2024 – September 13-15th

2023 Winner


“If I Had A Dollar” – First Place winner created by Mike Warnick

Required Genre – Drama

Required Prop – Pill Bottles

Required Character – A Nerd

Required Dialogue – “If I had a dollar for every time…”

View all 2023 Entries and Winners

2023 screening at Waterfront Hall in downtown Wheeling, WV

Here are some photos from the 2023 screenings at Waterfront Hall in downtown Wheeling, WV.

What is a 48-hour film fest?

The West Liberty University 48-Hour Film Festival is a chance for WLU students and local high school students to create a short film using several required elements. Participants/teams meet at a kickoff event and randomly draw four required elements: Genre, Prop, Character, and Line of Dialogue. These four elements must be used in the film. The participants/teams have just 48 hours to create their script, cast actors, and shoot and edit a six to ten-minute film! At the end of those 48 hours, the films are due and then they are screened and judged for prizes.

Genres: Your film must be true to the genre you have selected—and no trading with other teams! An award will be given for the best adherence to the genre.

Props: These elements must be integrated into the film and be able to be seen. There will be an award for the most creative use of each prop.


Characters: The required character does not have to be the star, but we must see him/her on the screen. Name tags, etc. are not necessary so long as the audience can infer who he/she is. An award will be given for the best use of the character profile.


Required lines:  The required line of dialogue must be heard or seen – it may be written. It may be in a foreign language; however if it is not clear that this is the required line, it should be translated. An award will be given for the most creatively used required line.


Film Length: Films must be between 6 and 10 minutes in length.

High School students participate in a category and college students participate in their category.

Have Questions?

 Contact the WLU 48 Hour Film Festival director at 

jared.thompson@westliberty.edu or call 304-336-5523.