Hitchhiker earns its laurels

Jess Brander – Guest Writer

Last weekend, juniors Daniel Ketchelos,  Derek Koops, and Tyson Van De Berg,  received the Upper Midwest Emmy Student Production Award for their short film Hitchhiker

When Ketchelos and Van De Berg drove to Minneapolis for the awards ceremony, the potential of the glass statue brought nerves and excitement.

The three wrote, produced, and directed Hitchhiker as part of their short  film class, taught by Mark Volkers, digital media production instructor. 

Contributed Photo

“I thought it’d be cool to have an underlying metanarrative of our main character searching for redemption through his past while also trying to get to a new place physically,” Ketchelos, the director, said.

The metanarrative proved successful as the team beat four other nominees in the college category for the long-form fiction award.

“We were proud of our film but we also were like, you know, this isn’t like anything crazy amazing compared to what other people are doing,” Ketchelos said.

Now, Volkers has had his students win three awards at the Upper Midwest Emmy Student Production Awards. 

“I had a suspicion it would do well, but you never know,” Volkers said. “I had good expectations.” 

Hitchiker has been entered in seven other film festivals.

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