Dordt College News

Twenty-two teams take the Prairie Grass Challenge

January 15, 2010

Film Challenge

Twenty-two teams are competing in the fourth annual Prairie Grass Film Challenge, which began Thursday, Jan. 14, at 4 p.m.

Sponsored by Prairie Grass Productions (a subsidiary of the Dordt College Digital Media Department), the challenge gives participating high school and college teams 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.

Each registered team received an e-mail at the start of the competition with four elements that must be used in their film: the genre, a prop, a line of dialogue, and a character. Teams must deliver their film to the Dordt College Campus Center by 9 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 16.

Thousands of dollars in cash and prizes are being offered to participating high school and college student teams, along with the coveted Dordty Award.

Participants this year include high school teams from Sibley-Ocheyedan and Central Decatur in Iowa; South Sioux City in Nebraska; Lincoln and Roosevelt in South Dakota; Zeeland West High and Unity Christian in Michigan, and a combined team of Orange City Unity students and Dordt students. This year there are seven college student teams from Dordt, a blended team of students and alumni, and two alumni teams (one from Los Angeles and the other with local alumni).

All approved movies created during the challenge will be shown at a free public screening on Friday, Feb. 19, on the campus of Dordt College in Sioux Center. At 8:30 p.m. judges will announce their pick for “Best of Show” which will be awarded $500, the coveted Dordty Award, and an AVID software digital editing package ($3,000 value).

The first runner-up team receives $250; and the Peoples’ Choice Award (based on voting submitted on the Film Challenge website) receives $150.

A sampling of film assignments:

• A character named Vladimir Karinski who loves choirs and music; a rotary telephone for a prop; and the dialogue line, “It’s always in the last place you look.”
• A character named Juanita Rodriguez who has just finished writing a novel; baseball cards; and the dialogue line, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”
• A Professor who suffers from insomnia, a hockey stick, and the dialogue line, “Could you repeat that in English?”
• A character named Ricky Mac who is a mail man; a lit candle, and the dialogue line, “But I wanted the red one.”
• A character named Mrs. Reynolds who is worried and/or confused, a toboggan, and the dialogue line, “Get away from that and come eat your dinner.”
• A character named Peaches who is the team mascot, a cane, and the dialogue line, “I’m not getting in that.”

All of the entries will be posted at where anyone may log on to see the films and vote for their favorite team’s movie.

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