Dordt College News

Sign up now for Prairie Grass Film Challenge!

September 5, 2006

Prairie Grass Film Challenge

A unique competition with nearly $1,000 in cash prizes will take place at Dordt College Oct. 4-6: it’s the Prairie Grass Film Challenge, where participating high school and college teams will have 48 hours to come up with a concept for a short film (5-8 minutes), write a script, shoot the footage, cut it together and submit it for screening. Sleep is definitely optional.

This film challenge is a fantastic opportunity for area students interested in film making, acting, music, etc., to showcase their talent. In this inaugural year, the competition will be limited to Dordt College teams and high school teams from Unity and Western Christian.

All approved movies created during the challenge will be shown at a free public screening Friday, Oct. 13, at 7 p.m. in Dordt’s Science Building Lecture Hall. After the showing of team videos, judges will announce their pick for “Best of Show” ($500 cash prize and the first-ever statuette for a Dordt film competition), as well as the first runner up ($250).

A Peoples’ Choice Award ($150) will also be awarded, based on voting submitted on the Film Challenge website, where anyone may log on to see the films and choose their favorite movie.

The Prairie Grass Film Challenge is the first—and only—film challenge of its kind in this part of the country, says Mark Volkers, Electronic Media Production Coordinator and instructor at Dordt College. Volkers has filmed and produced documentaries around the world, receiving 15 Telly Awards for his professional film-making. Since his arrival at Dordt College last year, the college has installed a new dual-platform (PC and Mac) computer lab, complete with a four-terabyte media server and AVID software, the industry-leader in film editing. Volkers’ “Intro to Film and Video Production” class had a waiting list this fall.

“You’ll have unforgettable fun in this demanding competition,” says Volkers, who believes film competitions offer the satisfaction of knowing you did it; the camaraderie developed with other teams; the pride you’ll have at seeing your creation in the public screening; the amazing amount of stuff you’ll learn about film making by being thrown into the mix; and the right to put this competition on your resumé.

Rules for the competition are posted at Prairie Grass Film Challenge. To enter this year’s event, submit a team roster with two email contact addresses and the $20 entrance fee to Dordt College’s PGP Film Challenge, 498 Fourth Ave NE, Sioux Center, IA 51250. Entries must be postmarked or submitted in Dordt campus mail by Sept. 25.

Each registered team will receive an email at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 4, containing four elements which must be used in their film: the genre, a prop, a line of dialogue, and a character.

Once a team knows the four required elements they can get started, with all filming being done during the official 48-hour competition. Each team may have up to eight volunteer participants involved in production (not counting actors and musicians). Each film must be deemed by the judges as Content worth Consuming.

Teams must deliver their film on miniDV tape to the Dordt College Campus Center by 10 a.m. (CST) on Saturday, Oct. 7.

For the complete list of rules and information, see the Prairie Grass Film Challenge webpage.

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