Dordt College News

Prairie Grass Film Challenge film screening and award ceremony

February 10, 2014

The Prairie Grass Film Challenge films will be screened across the Dordt College campus starting at 5:45 p.m. on Friday, February 21. The 8th annual award ceremony and presentation of the top films will begin at 8 p.m. in the B.J. Haan Auditorium.

The ceremony will have a new look this year. “For the first time ever, we’ve taken on a show producer,” said Mark Volkers, founder of the Film Challenge. “We felt it was time to give our awards ceremony a makeover, so it will be a new and fresh experience for everyone.”

Because entries are submitted online, films featured at the awards ceremony could come from as far away as California, Colorado, and Missouri or as near as Sioux Center, Orange City, and Hull.

At the beginning of the film challenge, each 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 three categories: high school, college, post college. 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 that is open to the public.

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