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40 Days & 40 Nights Short Film Challenge

The challenge begins February 3, 2023, and ends at midnight on March 15, 2023.     Challenge Goal:  Dramatize a Premise or Theme

Awards:  This year we will select the top films from four categories: 

Comedy, Drama, Suspense/Thriller, and Horror. 


The top films from each category will receive an automatic selection and screening at the 10th Annual Playhouse West Film Festival-Philadelphia, August 18-20, 2023.


Please download and read.


For the 4th year, the members of Playhouse West-Philadelphia are engaged in a 40 Days / 40 Nights Film Challenge.  Productions teams have 40 days/nights to write, produce, cast, shoot and edit a short film (3 to 40 minutes in length).   This challenge is open to current or former members of all Playhouse West branches.

We are challenging the filmmakers to use their film to dramatize a solid, clear, premise or theme.

The PREMISE, or THEME is the ruling idea of the story that has a point to it. This point is dramatized through the characters and action of the story.  It’s "why" you are telling the story.

The best stories are usually very personal to the story-teller, so for us, the more personal the story is, the better.


A personal story with a solid theme can be expressed in many ways and through different genres.  The stories could be completely fictional, or a fiction story based on a true story.

There will also be several added elements/requirements in the Final Instructions, given on the first day of challenge.

Accepted Genres: Comedy, Romantic Comedy, Drama, Romance Drama, Suspense/Thriller, Horror


Genres not Accepted: Sci-Fiction, Mockumentary/Pseudo-Documentary, Animation.

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