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Tiny Explosions headed to LA for Filmpalooza 2023

For many teams competing in the 48 Hour Film Project, the annual competition has little to do with prizes. The weekend-long challenge to create a short film in just two days is about pushing themselves creatively and bonding with their team.

Yet, like any competition, there are winners to recognize and prizes to be awarded. On Thursday evening, the top 12 teams participating in this year’s project gathered at the State Historical Building for the Best of City awards ceremony.

Host Jason Garnett kicked off the event by screening the 12 short films in front of an audience of over 150 people. For the next 90 minutes, the crowd munched on their popcorn, laughed, “awwed” and applauded the films, which spanned a wide range of genres.

2022 Top 12 Films

  • Konnecting with Kyle, by CLD Films (Family Film)
  • Staycation, by Cutting Room Floor (Vacation/Holiday Film)
  • The Leftovers, by Mixed Pictures (Heist)
  • BITCH, by Peach Fuzz (Dark Comedy)
  • Sorry for Your Loss, by Red Line Pictures (Drama)
  • Dream Girl, by Retro Neon Film (Romance)
  • DOA, by Return of the Cintree (Sci-Fi)
  • Soul Postal Service, by Team last to enter (Romance)
  • Stuck Together, by Team With (Time Travel Movie)
  • The Run, by Tiny Explosions (Thriller/Suspense)
  • That Guy in Brown, by Triples is best (Musical)
  • AirDnD, by Twin Sun Pictures (Vacation/Holiday Film)

And the winners are...

The top award of the night, Best of City, went to the thriller The Run, by Tiny Explosions. This was their 11th year participating in the project and their first time taking home the top prize.

Patrick Boberg, Tiny Explosion’s team lead, said he was hoping this would be their year.

“There was a moment we were making it where I was laughing my head off,” Boberg said. “Then I stopped and said, ‘If we were ever going to win Best of City, I hope it’s for this silliness,’ and here we are.”

The winning team includes Boberg, Brian Hogan, Erin Hogan, Tim Denner, Jordan Jensen, Jon Hoffmann and Jolene Schultz. All will go on to represent Des Moines in the international 48 Hour Film Project, known as Filmapalooza, which will be held March 2023 in Los Angeles, California.

EJ Philby, a production assistant with Produce Iowa, which is one of the event sponsors, has been involved with the project since 2014. She said the awards ceremony is a night she looks forward to every year.

“I always love the Best in City,” Philby said. “Just getting nominated to be a potential Best in City is really exciting to a lot of the people who come. 48 is really accessible in a way that most film festivals are not. You can just jump in and give it a try.”

Jumping in and giving it a try is exactly what team CLD Films did in 2021 when they entered for the first time. CLD Films team lead Dillon Jacobson said he and a few friends from high school heard about the festival and decided to do something they had never done.

Back for their second year, the team won the Producer’s Award for their family film Konnecting with Kyle.

Team CLD Films is awarded the 2022 Producer's Award.
James Watson
48 Hour Film Project
Team CLD Films is awarded the 2022 Producer's Award.

Jacobson said he is grateful to be recognized and thanks his team most of all. “Growth matters, people notice it and people appreciate it.”

Jacobson offers a piece of advice to anyone interested in participating next year, “Have fun with it. Just go into it thinking ‘This is something that we are going to be doing together as a team. We’re going to hang out and we’re going to have a fun weekend.”

Boberg, from Tiny Explosions, agrees. He said, “Every moment was a barrel of laughs this year.”

Both teams said they plan on participating in the 48 Hour Film Project for many years to come.

“We will never quit. If anyone wants to do it, do it.” Boberg said. “Don’t ever quit, it’s too much fun!”

The awards ceremony officially wrapped the 2022 Des Moines 48 Hour Film Project. However, this fall the project is introducing a new 48-hour challenge. Filmmakers can sign up to compete in the inaugural 48 Hour Film Horror Project. Teams can register online through Oct. 7, which is when the 48-hour challenge begins.

Top Awards

  • Best of CityThe Run by Tiny Explosions
  • Best of City Runner UpAir DnD by Twin Sun Pictures
  • Best of City OverallThat Guy in Brown by Triples is Best
  • Producer’s AwardKonnecting with Kyle by CLD Films
  • Best Directing – Marnie State, Nick Strickland and Josh Visnapuu for The Leftovers by Mixed Pictures
  • Best Cinematography – Tarrell Christie for Dream Girl by Retro Neon Films
  • Best Editing – Nick Strickland for The Left Overs by Mixed Pictures
  • Best Writing That Guy in Brown by Triples is Best
  • Best Acting Ensemble Air DnD by Twin Sun Pictures
  • Best Actor – Donald Gee in Stuck Together by Team With
  • Best Actress – Alannah Swenka in DOA by Return of the Cintree
Nicole Baxter is a Sponsorship Coordinator and covers film as a contributing writer for Iowa Public Radio.