Zachary Sanford and Allison Wordes–Staff Writers
On Feb. 23, people from all across the Midwest stepped up to the challenge of creating Prairie Grass XII’s greatest short film.
As opposed to Dordt’s digital media senior short films, contesters in the Prairie Grass Film Challenge (PGFC) had to be completed in just 48 hours. All of the storyboarding, scriptwriting, filming and editing packed around classes in two days; which, for many teams, meant not sleeping at all.
To help give the directors a direction for each of their movies they were assigned a genre and given a selection of props and characters to include. A character named Vern the Baker, a tweet and a box of cookies were several examples of the additions required in the films. Many of the productions succeeded in filling the criteria, but only four teams managed to shine above the rest.
There are four different awards that get handed out each year: Best of High School, Best of College, Best of Post-College and the Supreme Winner ‘Dordty’ Award for best overall film.
The PGFC is something unique to the region. The Midwest has a smaller turnout compared to contests on the East or West coasts.
Dordt College students submitted six of the 40 films judged. During the film screenings, the Business Club served snacks from the Bunsen brew—including Skittles, popcorn and root beer floats—while the Communication Club worked the showings in various classrooms.
Kaitlyn Frye is the production assistant for PGFC. This is her second year as an assistant. She is also the workstudy in Dordt’s Digital Media department. Her tasks include watching all the DVD’s and putting together the videos for the awards ceremony. At the ceremony, she was up in the sound booth making sure the event proceeded smoothly. Perks of the job are knowing who the winners are before they are announced.
“Although I can’t participate, watching everyone else working all day and night is entertaining to watch,” Frye said. “I get my popcorn, sit back and watch.”
This year, she felt like she had better time management.
All evening, people meandered around the maze of hallways in the Science Building. A viewer might find themselves watching a movie filled with donuts, globes, pizza bowling, bananas or other odd occurrences.
At the end of the night, with everyone gathered in the B.J. Haan Auditorium, the judges chose the top four films. People were very excited to see the long-awaited awards handed out and to see some more movies.
After a long introduction, the awards were handed out. Dordt College representative Ben Kuiper’s ‘Player 2 Productions’ took home the Dordty Award with their movie Right Where You Need To Be.
“I feel really good,” said Damon Groen, Player 2 Productions’ lead actor. “It was my first experience of acting in front of the camera and I got to be with some awesome people who have been involved for a long time. I’m just a newbie and they took me under their wing.”
The times and dates for next year’s competition are already posted and this year’s movies are available online to watch and vote for viewers’ favorites.