A record number of teams have registered to be part of this year ? s 48 HOUR FILM CHALLENGE taking place this weekend (April 14 ? 16, 2012). It all starts at the Apollo Piccadilly on Saturday 14 April at 10.30am where every participating team will be given a TITLE, some DIALOGUE and a list of PROPS to be included in their 5 minute film. In association with the science section of The Guardian newspaper, we are also introducing an optional scientific theme… nano-tech, cloning, gene-splicing…or something a little more ? fringe ? .

In an added incentive to the film-makers, for the first time ever, a new award for Emerging Talent will be presented by Syfy , the premium imagination-based entertainment channel.

The challenge has a formidable pedigree: over the last four years more than 380 films have been completed, many of which have gone to other film festivals and been broadcast on TV. In 2008, Gareth Edwards took part in and won the competition ? his award-winning d?but feature, MONSTERS was green-lit due to Vertigo Films seeing his film in the challenge.

The challenge jury is made up of equally illustrious industry professionals including: Alison Owen, Producer (Shaun of the Dead, Men Who Stare at Goats); Joe Dante , Director (Gremlins, Innerspace, Explorers); Mark Dinning, Editor , EMPIRE magazine ; Liz Harkham (Encounters Short Film Film Festival); Don Neumann , Editor-in-Chief, Quiet Earth magazine; Paul Cornell , Writer (Dr Who, Spooks).

Teams have until Monday morning to return their completed movie to the festival, either on DVD or by uploading a QuickTime file to UBUNTU ONE. ? Ubuntu One is the personal cloud service that gives you 5GB of free space to store content, access and share it from all of your devices. SCI-FI-LONDON is also the first live implementation of the new ‘Send to Ubuntu One ‘ feature. Users simply click the ‘Send to Ubuntu One’ button and it delivers the content instantly to their Ubuntu One accounts.

Louis Savy, Festival Director for SCI-FI-LONDON says:

? We are very excited about the pre-challenge buzz with so many teams having signed up. It ? s a lot of fun, open to everyone and I am very happy to confirm that, for 2012 Vertigo Films are offering another development deal to the winners, as well as our new award presented by Syfy . What better way to spend a weekend? ?

Famous Monster – the Forrest J. Ackerman Documentary

Famous Monster Cover - click to order
Famous Monster Cover - click to order

Famous Monster observes the life of the world’s most illustrious science fiction and horror devotee, Forrest J. Ackerman.

Ackerman, the writer, editor and literary agent who’s been attributable to coining the term “Sci-Fi” in the 1950s, has inspired generations of young horror film buffs and some of Hollywoods most prosperous film-makers with what will forever be titled the first movie monster magazine, Famous Monsters of Filmland.

Through the use of archive footage, clips and interviews with Ackerman and some of the biggest names in fantasy films he inspired, (Roger Corman, Ray Harryhausen, Ray Bradbury, John Landis, Joe Dante, and George Clayton Johnson, among others) Famous Monster shows the journey Ackerman took as he grew up from being a kid reading Amazing Stories magazine and watching movies like Metropolis and Phantom of The Opera, to a literary agent to the biggest names in fantasy writing, to the editor of Famous Monsters of Filmland.

This fast-paced, profile of Ackerman is packed full of all of extras including, deleted interviews, and a tour of the infamous Ackermansion, which houses Forrys 300,000 piece collection of horror memorabilia, regarded as one of the world’s largest personal collection of science fiction and fantasy memorabilia

Famous Monster is a true collectable and a wonderful tribute to the man who created the world of science fiction.