Dordt College News

Dordt Digital Media Students to Film in Asia

November 21, 2008

Film Students

by Hani Yang

Over this Christmas break, December 30-January 8, ten Dordt College students will be on a different kind of short-term mission trip—instead of shovels and painting, they will have cameras, tripods and a handful of heartfelt curiosity.

Accompanied by digital media Professor Mark Volkers, the students will travel to the Philippines, leaving their own comfort zones to experience film production with a purpose. They will serve Christian ministries with their skills, filming in the slums of Manila under the guidance of Volkers.

“I’ve never gone this far, or done anything this bold in my life,” said Evan Gulstine, a junior with digital media production major. “I love my major and want to do adventurous things—and this is it!”

The primary goal of the trip is to produce a slum documentary to bring awareness of the poverty and injustice suffered by one billion slum dwellers in the world today. The United Nations estimates that by 2030 that number may be three billion. The final documentary will be a global look at slums, how they develop, and what can be done to address this growing problem.

“Looking at my friends living in slums in Nairobi, I began to wonder about the justice in this world,” said Volkers. He applied for and was awarded a grant from Dordt College’s Andreas Center to cover some of the expense in the development of a documentary on the subject. “I hope that students will be transformed in their understanding of a large global issue—like poverty—and develop a passion for justice as they become more confident as media experts.”

Students traveling to the Philippines are Danielle Roos, Alvin Shim and Philip Van Maanen, Sioux Center; Dale Vande Griend, Hull; Luke Kreykes, Sheldon; Piper Kucera, Traer; Evan Gulstine, St. Charles, IL; Peter Hessels, Dunnville, ON; Andrew Hornor, Houston, TX; and Hani Yang, Merida, Mexico. Each of the participants must raise some of their own funding for the trip.

Upon their arrival, students will be divided into three groups. Two groups will do pro bono videos: One is a promotional video for Christian education. The other is for The Alliance for Christian Development Agency (ACDA) and Christian Convergence for Good Governance (CCGG). The third group of students will be filming the slums.

“[In order to go on this trip] There’s a lot to be sacrificed—time, family, break, money, to mention a few,” said Alvin Shim, a junior English major, who has a tremendous interest in the media production. “But I really want this documentary to be made, and I’m really excited to be in such a project with this great crew.”

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