SATO48 Goes Digital!

SATO48 (Springfield And The Ozarks 48 Hour Film Challenge), celebrating its 15th year, has long embraced the concept of creative problem-solving for participants. This year even more so!

The event will be entirely digitized, from the Kick-Off Ceremony, Friday April 17, to the Screenings and Awards Ceremony.

“Some filmmakers have reached out to us with ideas on how they'll complete a film no matter what, even if each member of their team is in their own separate space,” said Kyaw Tha Hla, co-founder of SATO48. [Now the case based on Stay-At-Home order.] “They're seeing it as a chance to be innovative, still safe, and take control.”

SATO48 was founded in 2005 by Springfield native, Jeff Clinkenbeard and partner Kyaw Tha Hla. 48 hour film challenges have become popular due to the decreasing cost of filmmaking and modern advances that allow for films to be edited on a laptop.

SATO48 has a unique hook. To encourage creativity and ensure all submitted films are completed within the 48 hour timeframe, filmmaking teams receive an Inspiration Package at the official event kickoff, this year to be held online at The Inspiration Package includes criteria that must be featured in each film, which may include a specific line of dialogue, prohibitions (such as "No Voiceover") or a prop. Past props have included frozen octopi, PEZ dispensers, and insulin-pen holders.

SATO48 participants will receive their Inspiration Package on April 17, 2020. The finished film will be due 48 hours later, to the minute. Any team turning in a film (via upload) past the due date will still be screened, but is not eligible for Awards.

Teams themselves consist of registrants—those participants who fill the role of director, producer, editor, sound designer, screenwriter, talent, and so on. Teams can be as small or as large as the project calls for.

The films produced in the 48 hour period will afterward be screened online in blocks of ten. During this time, a local selection committee will review all qualifying films and nominate the ten best in each respective category—Best Director, Best Actor, Best Film / Best Use of the Inspiration Package, etc. The films nominated by the local selection committee will then be delivered for final review to an international panel of judges. The judges, each selected due to their expertise in a given discipline of film, will isolate the five best out of the provided selection, including the Winner and Runner-Up.

The international panel of judges allows for local filmmakers, actors, writers, musicians, and artists, to get their work in front of global film professionals, including those in Hollywood and New York City.

Thanks to a grant from Springfield Regional Arts Council and Community Foundation of the Ozarks, a PEER REVIEW component is included in this year's Challenge, allowing Filmmakers to comment on the work of their peers. Notably, anonymous remarks will not be allowed.

“Innovation and creativity is a hallmark of SATO48 every year, and 2020 will be no different,” said Clinkenbeard. “We think this year’s event has a great opportunity to bring much-needed levity into the community, and we’re looking forward to seeing how SATO48 filmmakers rise to the Challenge.”

Past participation or film experience is not a requirement to participate in SATO48. Anyone with an interest in film is welcome to join.

“We want as few barriers to participation as we possibly can,” Hla added. “So all you have to do is register, pay $25 for your entire team, then play by the rules.”

To register, visit, or write to Jeff Clinkenbeard ( or Kyaw Tha Hla ( for more information.

Early registration is encouraged.

If you're interested in joining a team (vs. spearheading one), follow this link:

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