Dordt College News

Prairie Grass Film Challenge, record-setting year

January 21, 2013

A record-setting 36 teams participated in this year’s Dordt College’s Prairie Grass Film Challenge, an event that has been issuing a creative challenge to aspiring filmmakers every year for seven years. Each year the number of teams competing grows and the challenge expands into new territories.

For the first time, Prairie Grass Film Challenge included a second option of creating a film with similar requirements within 480 hours (about three weeks). Of this year’s 36 teams, six signed up for the new 480-hour challenge. Because entries are submitted online, teams from all over the country are able to compete. This year, teams signed up from as near as Sioux Center, Orange City, and Hull, and as far as North Carolina, Washington state, and Missouri.

At the start of the challenge, teams are given a genre that they are required to work within and a character, line of dialogue, and a prop that they must incorporate into the story. After that the whirlwind filmmaking experience begins, with participants creating a five- to eight-minute film within a strict 48-hour (or 480-hour) time frame.

“While the 48-hour competition is an adrenaline rush and will remain our primary competition, some filmmakers are ready for more craftsmanship, more honing of the message. That can only be accomplished with more time,” said Mark Volkers, Dordt College digital media production instructor and organizer of the Prairie Grass Film Challenge. 

The 480-hour challenge began Monday, December 31, and ended Saturday, January 19. The 48-hour challenge, which organizers deem a “sleep optional” event, was held Thursday through Saturday, January 17 to 19.

A free public screening and awards ceremony will take place Friday, February 15, on the campus of Dordt College. Check for more information.

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