Dordt College News

Film challenge entries ready for viewing

February 12, 2012

After a wild 48 hours where contestants created a story, then filmed and edited it, the submissions for Dordt’s sixth annual Prairie Grass Film Challenge are ready for viewing. All the films will be screened throughout campus between 5:45 and 7:45 p.m. on Friday, February 17, and the evening will culminate at the main event in the B.J. Haan Auditorium at 8 p.m., where the top films will be shown and awards will be presented.

This year, a record 29 teams participated in the filmmaking challenge to create and upload a five- to eight-minute film within a strictly enforced 48-hour time frame. Participants are from as near as Sioux Center and Sioux Falls, and as far away as Montana, Missouri, California, and North Carolina.

At the beginning of the 48 hours, each team received an email with four elements: genre, prop, a line of dialogue, and a character. Two new genres were added to the mix this year: melodrama and mockumentary. Participants conceptualized, wrote, shot, and edited their films, making sure to use their four required elements.

Films compete in one of three categories: high school, college, and post college. Cash, prizes, and the coveted “Dordty” award will be given away to the winners in all categories. Submissions that do not win on the night of the screening may be selected as nominees for the “People’s Choice Award” and will be posted online at for voting.

The Prairie Grass Film Challenge is a way that students, whether at Dordt College or elsewhere throughout the country, can participate in a hands-on learning experience and create a film worth watching.

“Dordt College strives to turn out technically trained graduates who are equipped to move into positions of leadership in the film and video industry,” says Mark Volkers, digital media productions professor. “In a time when so much of the media we consume is full of empty calories, we’re training people who can produce content worth consuming.”

For more information or to view previous winning films, go to This is a free event and is open to the public.

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