Dordt College News

Film challenge entries ready for viewing

February 4, 2013

The Prairie Grass Film Challenge films will be screened throughout the Dordt College campus between 5:45 and 7:45 p.m. on Friday, February 15. Awards will be presented and the top films will be shown in the B.J. Haan Auditorium beginning at 8 p.m.

This year, a record 36 teams participated from all across the country, including teams from as near as Sioux Center, Orange City, and Hull, and as far away as North Carolina, Washington state, and Missouri.

New to this year’s competition was the addition of the 480-hour challenge, in which participants had 480 hours (about three weeks) to complete their films, giving some filmmakers an opportunity to work for more advanced craftsmanship than can typically be accomplished in the standard 48-hour challenge.

At the beginning of challenge, each 48-hour team was given an email with four elements: genre, prop, a line of dialogue, and a character. Participants conceptualized, wrote, shot, and edited their films, making sure to use the four required elements. Films are five to eight minutes each.

Films compete in one of four categories: high school, college, post college, and 480-hour. Cash, prizes, and the coveted “Dordty” award will be given to the winners. 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 offers a way for participants to experience hands-on learning 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. “We don’t need more media in our already media-saturated culture. But we do need more good media.”

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

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