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Dordt College News

Gold awarded for Dordt film production

December 17, 2010

“Imagine [going to school] and not being able to speak, read, listen, or learn in your own language,” said Vero Visser Galvan, an international student at Dordt College. This is a struggle that many international students studying in North America face, and it is a subject of the new Prairie Grass Productions film, Students Without Borders.

Two Dordt College digital media students, Daniel Kauten and Dale Vande Griend, are the creators of Students Without Borders. Their project resulted in a gold Ava Award, an international awards competition that recognizes outstanding achievement by creative filmmaking professionals.

The film is intended to explain American culture through the eyes of international students.

“I hope the video will be used in a way that makes the transition to American life a little easier, but I also hope it gives American students an insight into the life of an international student,” said Kauten, a 2010 Dordt graduate.

This year-long independent studies project helped hone their filmmaking skills beyond traditional academic learning.

“Doing something like this with just us really helps to teach things you can’t learn in a classroom. You learn what works and what doesn’t. A book can’t always tell you that,” said Vande Griend, a senior digital media major at Dordt.

After the film was complete, Kauten and Vande Griend shared the remaining workload with other students. Business administration students Braden Kooiker, Sarah Skidmore, Lauren Ridder, and Jordan Herrema came up with a distribution and promotion plan for this product. Graphic design students Michelle Stam, Ellie Dykstra, Aaron Yoder, and Alyssa Hoogendoorn (copy writer) created packaging for the DVD.

“Not only did Dale and I get experience being leaders on a project, but we saw the importance of letting others gain experience from the project,” said Kauten.

Though the film was created at Dordt and is used in Dordt orientation programs, the group believes that the high-quality filming and storytelling make it marketable to other colleges and universities in the United States as well.

“I am glad that the project was recognized with an award. Dale and I put so much work into it,” said Kauten. “Even without the award, I was proud of the work Dale and I did.”

Along with its excellent video and production equipment, Dordt’s Avid media lab is on the cutting edge of technology and is one of the premiere post-production houses in a multi-state region.

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