Bay of Plenty filmmakers are set to showcase their works at a film festival this weekend - and it is proving to be a popular event.

On Sunday, the 15 finalists in this year's Bay of Plenty 48Hours film festival finals will have their movies screened at Tauranga's Rialto Cinema before the winners are announced.

Regional co-ordinator Annie Lawler said about 85 people attended last year's event so they booked out a cinema of a similar size again this time around and the tickets flew out the door.

"So we booked a second cinema and that cinema sold out within 24 hours," she said.

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Lawler said the interest in the event was incredible, and a little overwhelming. While both cinemas will be able to host the films easily enough, the awards presentation will be live in one room while live-streamed for the other.

"People were desperate for tickets, it's a red carpet event and we've invited Toi Ōhomai photography students to be the paparazzi."

The event culminates and celebrates efforts of aspiring filmmakers who are given just one weekend to make a short film from scratch.

Filmmakers are assigned a genre and other details before they write, shoot, and edit a film within the 48-hour window. This weekend will be the first time filmmakers will get to see their own, and their competitors', films on the big screen.

"I feel heartbroken for the people who have been unable to get tickets. Obviously, there's a lot of interest in the event," Lawler said.

"Last year was the first year it came to the Bay and there has been a real surge of popularity."

Lawler thanked the involvement of Bay of Plenty Film chief executive Anton Steel, who was a key force behind local film.

"It's a fantastic thing for the community. There's such a wide range of skills. If I didn't know someone personally, I could ask around and find them easily enough. It's really cool."

The 48Hours film festival takes place all around New Zealand in main regional centres. Winners from the regional finals will go on to compete in the national finals on July 14.