Siouxland’s Orange Rind film festival, Orange City

10 Nov

Recently a small film festival debuted in Orange City, Iowa, the Orange Rind. SHort mini documentaries created by high school and college students as well as adults, all with varying degrees of skill but a purpose and passion to create something that told a story. Dordt College instructor Mark Volkers conducted a 3-part workshop to start individuals on the road to creating their own mini documentaries. The workshop was sponsored by arts councils of both Orange City and Sioux Center. Fourteen people participated in creating short 6-minute documentaries, although only nine films were shown at the festival. Sadly, Mr. Murphy rode shotgun on some of the participants’s endeavors and there were time constraints, software meltdowns and other spectacular and not so spectacular reasons for all of the films not being completed on time. Those participating included Sarah Simmons, Becky Uittenbogaard, Hana Spangler, Denise Krebs, Shane and Stanton Madsen, Brittany Caffey, Matt Latchaw, Vern Eekhoff, Richard Nyunt, Daniel and Miranda Liebsack and Tina Snieder.

Becky Uittenbogaard received best of show for her pastoral piece about living in the country and received a cash prize, as did honorable mention winner matt Latchaw who did a piece about Northwestern College students trying to influence the outcome of the school’s soccer games as they heckle, politely, the opposing teams. It was an interesting night with quite a wide array of films shown. One of interest was by Denise Krebbs, whose husband will be doing missionary work in Bahrain. It was a short film about his and her calling. I am looking forward to seeing a new documentary by Denise after she and her husband return from their time in the Mideast. A young man in high school tackled a tough subject about the decline in people attending a physical church in the United States compared to earlier statistics. Maybe not so surprisingly some of his found statistics showed more people attending church when some international affair affected the entire country, such as war.

Judging the festival entries were three local Midwest film makers, Jess Brauning, Joe Hubers and Todd McDonald. Anita Bomgaars of OC Basketball Productions, LLC was on hand to present the two cash awards. While none of the films would dazzle those attending Sundance, the 75 attendees seemed well entertained  and the judges remarked that the film makers appeared more sophisticated in their endeavors than each of the judges when they began their careers. That was nice of the judges to say. Hopefully, more people will participate in another year. As one of the judges commented, there are not enough people in the Midwest telling stories about flyover country, but surely, there are enough stories to tell. More images can be found here.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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