The Details

When & Where

Tuesday, January 16, 2018, at midnight, is the final day to register your team. January 18, 19 and 20, 2018, are the dates you need to mark on your calendar as "sleep optional." At 4 p.m. on Thursday, January 18, you and your team will receive an email with four elements:

  • Genre
  • Prop
  • Line of dialogue
  • Character

Once you know these four things, you can get started.

Your video needs to be uploaded by 4 p.m. (CST) on Saturday, January 20, 2018. If your video arrives at 4:01 p.m. or later on the official clock, your team will be penalized. If your production arrives after 4:30 p.m., it will be disqualified. (See rules & submission, number 3.) Your upload instructions will come by email.


Entrance fee to compete in the Prairie Grass Film Challenge is $35 per team and must be completed online at time of registration. There is NO early registration discount.

How to Enter

To enter this competition, submit the Express Registration Form OR mail the following paper form and payment to Dordt College by January 16, 2018:

  • Entry fee of $35. Make check payable to Dordt College.
  • Team Compliance Form. This form must be completed before the start of the competition. Organizers will use these for ongoing communication and to launch the competition on the evening of January 19, 2018.

If you can't complete this online for some reason, you can mail these to:

Dordt College
Prairie Grass Film Challenge
498 Fourth Ave NE
Sioux Center, IA 51250

You can also hand-deliver these to the reception desk in the Campus Center.

Rules & Submission

  1. Open to all levels of experience. Beginning filmmakers as well as advanced are welcome to participate. Must be high school age or older.
  2. All filming and writing must be done during the official 48-Hour competition. Inclusion of film/script not shot/written during this time will mean disqualification. Original content--generated during the 48 hours by your registered team --is required. This includes the script. Scripts taken from the internet--even with permission--will be disqualified. Scripts must be generated in the allotted 48-hour period.
  3. Production cannot begin until the team receives an email. What you may do beforehand is scout for locations, recruit talent, line up music, and get releases signed. Films must be uploaded by 4 p.m. (Central Standard Time) on Saturday.
  4. Films submitted after the official deadline will be penalized one point for every minute late. A film submitted at 4:05 p.m., for example, will automatically have five points deducted before judging begins. Films will be accepted until 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, for a total of 30-points deduction. Films will not be accepted after 4:30 p.m.
  5. Final product will be uploaded via Dropbox. PGFC Headquarters will send you a link to the Dropbox folder you are to use. Be sure to include the following information in your Dropbox folder:
    • Team name
    • Producer's name
    • Video title
    • Length in minutes of the actual video (not including opening slates and closing credits.)
  6. The film must be deemed by the judges as content worth consuming. While foul language and questionable morals are acceptable if they help tell the story, be aware that use of such may hurt your chances of winning and/or having your film screened. Please follow the link to read more about content worth consuming.
  7. You may have up to eight people involved in production, not counting your actors and musicians.
  8. Your production team determines your category. If you want to enter the high school category, everyone on your production team must be in high school. If your high school team also includes a college student, you will automatically be moved into the college category. If your team includes someone who is post-college age, you will automatically be moved into the post-college category. This does NOT include your actors or musicians-they can be of any age. Your PRODUCTION team determines which category you will compete in. If your production team (producer, director, cameraman, editor, etc.) is made up of all college students, you will compete in the college category.
  9. Your film must be a minimum of five minutes and a maximum of eight minutes.
  10. Finished films must begin with the following fields as white words on a black background: Team name, film name, genre. These words are NOT part of the five-minute minimum and eight-minute maximum.
  11. Credits can be no more than 60 seconds. Credits are not part of the eight-minute length of the film (eight-minute film + 60-second credits = nine minutes total).
  12. All cast and crew must be volunteers. You cannot pay professionals to do the work for you. Professionals may volunteer to be part of your crew but cannot receive payment for their work.
  13. Teams must submit talent and location releases to the project organizers with the finished video. Videos without talent and location releases will not be eligible for awards.
  14. By entering this competition, you give Dordt College permission to contact you.
  15. You must have the rights to the music you use in your video. Since it is very difficult to get rights in a short time from national artists, groups are encouraged to work with local composers and musicians or to use royalty-free music for the videos. If you use music from local bands/composers, you must present a signed release form from them giving you permission to use their music.
  16. Each team will submit the documents under the section "The following forms must be completed and submitted with your completed video" on the forms page with their video. These forms will all be completed electronically using the forms page.
  17. The final piece of your film is worth 2 points. For an easy 2 points, your film must end with white words on a black background. Words must say, "This film made for the 2018 Prairie Grass Film Challenge."
  18. To be accepted as a Prairie Grass Film Challenge film, each participating group's film/video production must follow all rules herein. The Prairie Grass Film Challenge organizers reserve the right to judge and screen only certified Prairie Grass Film Challenge films.
  19. All certified Prairie Grass Film Challenge films are eligible for judging. A panel of independent judges will make final recommendations to the executive committee. The executive committee will make final award decisions.
  20. Prairie Grass Film Challenge organizers reserve the right to amend these rules up until the beginning of the challenge.