Dordt College News

Dordt video gets top award in international competition

November 6, 2008


MarCom Awards has announced that Dordt College’s video production company, Prairie Grass Productions, has won a Platinum Award on its very first entry in the international MarCom Film Competition.

The award-winning entry is SPICE, a seven-minute promotional film based on one of the college’s semester abroad program, the Studies Program In Contemporary Europe.

The 2008 film awards competition recognizes outstanding creative achievement by marketing and communication professionals. This year MarCom received more than 5,000 entries for the contest, submitted by corporate marketing and communication departments, advertising agencies, public relations firms, design shops, large and small production companies, and freelancers.

Winners were selected from over 200 categories in seven forms of media and communication efforts: marketing, publications, marketing/promotion, public service/pro bono, creativity and electronic/interactive. About 18 percent of the entries won a Platinum Award, the organization’s top honor. A complete list of Platinum Winners can be found on the MarCom Awards website.

MarCom Awards is administered and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals. Judges are industry professionals who look for companies and individuals whose talent exceeds a high standard of excellence and whose work serves as a benchmark for the industry.

MarCom Award

“It’s an honor to be recognized by your peers, and for them to recognize the quality of your work,” said Mark Volkers, coordinator for the Digital Media Production program. Volkers joined the Dordt faculty in 2005 to head up the Digital Media Production program. He was previously a photojournalist and documentary film maker for Christian Reformed World Missions and other organizations, where his films about the cultures and peoples of the world earned him 15 Telly Awards (awarded for excellence in local, regional, cable, non-broadcast video, and TV programming).

Volkers helped the college establish a Digital Media Production lab that meets film industry-standards, including new high definition filming capabilities. Dordt College is currently in the process of constructing a classroom addition that will double the size of the digital editing laboratory, with twice as many computer editing work stations.

The SPICE video was created by Volkers and a student production assistant, Jesse Brauning. Brauning is a senior Digital Media Production major from the Dominican Republic.

Volkers traveled to Europe last March during Dordt’s spring break and captured about 12 hours of film footage. Editing and special effects were done over the next few months to create the finished product, now available for viewing online on Dordt’s website, the website of the Gereformeerde Hogeschool, and on Dutch YouTube.

“Videos like these give us a global presence on the internet,” said Volkers. “That’s the new age we’re living in.”

Prairie Grass Productions has begun work on a documentary about the slums of the world which is being funded by a grant from the Andreas Center.
During Christmas break, Volkers and 10 Digital Media majors will travel to Manila to film slums in that region of the world. According to Volkers one in every six people in the world live in slums, many on less than $1 a day. “I’m really excited about creating a documentary that will contribute to a discussion of this issue, in light of projections that within 20 years this poverty level may double.”

Prairie Grass Productions has produced a wide variety of films since the introduction of the Digital Media major in 2005. Many have benefitted Christian ministries (Hope Haven, Timothy Institute, Christian Reformed Home Ministries, etc.), but area businesses have also hired the production company to create promotional videos. Volkers said in time he hopes to upload all Prairie Grass Productions videos to, a high definition video sharing website similar to YouTube.

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