A Final Curtain Comes Down in Siouxland, Prairie Grass Film Challenge, Dordt University, Sioux Center

25 Feb
A late comer sneaks into the screening of Monte Ne Productions “Stuck: An Original Musical” which won the overall best of show at the final Prairie Grass Film Challenge awards ceremony which occurred Friday, February 18, 2022 in the B. J. Hahn Auditorium on the campus of Dordt University in Sioux Center. After 15 years of challenging film enthusiasts to create content worth consuming within a 48-hour period awards the last winners their trophies and acknowledging all those who have participated and created viewing opportunities that were family friendly. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Recently I attended the final awards ceremony for a Siouxland film festival, the Prairie Grass Film Challenge. A 48-hour turn around production of “content worth consuming” hosted at Dordt University located in Sioux Center. Currently a people’s choice is going on for the one video that folk deem the most liked, by those voting. Entrance films ran the gamut from high school students to those beyond college. And having done some judging of the films over the last few years there was a lot of excellent work being done by a number of individuals and teams.

Enjoying an “Oscar” Red Carpet moment are people involved with various production crews who entered the final Prairie Grass Film Challenge awards ceremony which occurred Friday, February 18, 2022 in the B. J. Hahn Auditorium on the campus of Dordt University in Sioux Center. After 15 years of challenging film enthusiasts to create content worth consuming within a 48-hour period awards the last winners their trophies and acknowledging all those who have participated and created viewing opportunities that were family friendly. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Bob Pollema and Mark Volkers emceed the final Prairie Grass Film Challenge awards ceremony which occurred Friday, February 18, 2022 in the B. J. Hahn Auditorium on the campus of Dordt University in Sioux Center. After 15 years of challenging film enthusiasts to create content worth consuming within a 48-hour period awards the last winners their trophies and acknowledging all those who have participated and created viewing opportunities that were family friendly. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A member of the cast for “Live in the Mind” Run For Your Life Productions, watches himself on screen during the final Prairie Grass Film Challenge awards ceremony which occurred Friday, February 18, 2022 in the B. J. Hahn Auditorium on the campus of Dordt University in Sioux Center. After 15 years of challenging film enthusiasts to create content worth consuming within a 48-hour period awards the last winners their trophies and acknowledging all those who have participated and created viewing opportunities that were family friendly. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The films ranged from comedy, drama, musical, mockumentary to sci-fi and mystery. Each team had to include a line of dialogue and a character and prop. Many were quite creative in how these required items were displayed in the film, while others simply included them, I assume as necessary evils possibly not in keeping with whatever creative visions folk had in mind. But in the real (reel) world where others are paying the freight, sometimes there are requirements and the challenge is including them without compromising the final product/storyline.

The awards ceremony has its Oscar moments with some reveals and red carpet opportunities for those attending. A chance to see if they had won their respective category and to see others films as well. The digital media department for Dordt works to help students find their footing and hone skills that will allow them to tell stories effectively after they graduate. A Christian-based liberal arts school, those involved genuinely want to make the world a better place. But that all comes down to point of view and what stories are being told. But as with any job or career path, sometimes the storytelling takes a turn as one matures and sees life up close and personal as opposed to hearing about it through parents and teachers and whatever other filters a young person might have. Experience is its own teacher, right or wrong, and the experience the folk participating the film challenge allows them to try various ideas, compete in a team-work environment and make a positive statement through their participating.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Udo Velvet Productions receives a special award for participating in 11 of the past Prairie Grass Film Challenge years during the final awards ceremony which occurred Friday, February 18, 2022 in the B. J. Hahn Auditorium on the campus of Dordt University in Sioux Center. After 15 years of challenging film enthusiasts to create content worth consuming within a 48-hour period awards the last winners their trophies and acknowledging all those who have participated and created viewing opportunities that were family friendly. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying an “Oscar” Red Carpet moment are people involved with various production crews who entered the final Prairie Grass Film Challenge awards ceremony which occurred Friday, February 18, 2022 in the B. J. Hahn Auditorium on the campus of Dordt University in Sioux Center. After 15 years of challenging film enthusiasts to create content worth consuming within a 48-hour period awards the last winners their trophies and acknowledging all those who have participated and created viewing opportunities that were family friendly. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Prairie Grass Film Challenge founder Mark Volkers, center, looks over a gift he received as his wife, Janelle, left, Bob Pollema, back, and Vern Eekhof, right look on during the final awards ceremony which occurred Friday, February 18, 2022 in the B. J. Hahn Auditorium on the campus of Dordt University in Sioux Center. After 15 years of challenging film enthusiasts to create content worth consuming within a 48-hour period awards the last winners their trophies and acknowledging all those who have participated and created viewing opportunities that were family friendly. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Members of the public and family, friends and film production entrants begin arriving for the final Prairie Grass Film Challenge awards ceremony which occurred Friday, February 18, 2022 in the B. J. Hahn Auditorium on the campus of Dordt University in Sioux Center. After 15 years of challenging film enthusiasts to create content worth consuming within a 48-hour period awards the last winners their trophies and acknowledging all those who have participated and created viewing opportunities that were family friendly. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Mark Volkers and Sandy Reitsma pose for a photo at the final Prairie Grass Film Challenge awards ceremony which occurred Friday, February 18, 2022 in the B. J. Hahn Auditorium on the campus of Dordt University in Sioux Center. After 15 years of challenging film enthusiasts to create content worth consuming within a 48-hour period awards the last winners their trophies and acknowledging all those who have participated and created viewing opportunities that were family friendly. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Dordt University jazz ensemble warms up the audience for the final Prairie Grass Film Challenge awards ceremony which occurred Friday, February 18, 2022 in the B. J. Hahn Auditorium on the campus of Dordt University in Sioux Center. After 15 years of challenging film enthusiasts to create content worth consuming within a 48-hour period awards the last winners their trophies and acknowledging all those who have participated and created viewing opportunities that were family friendly. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Prairie Grass Film Challenge founder Mark Volkers, right, talks with film entrants prior to the final awards ceremony which occurred Friday, February 18, 2022 in the B. J. Hahn Auditorium on the campus of Dordt University in Sioux Center. After 15 years of challenging film enthusiasts to create content worth consuming within a 48-hour period awards the last winners their trophies and acknowledging all those who have participated and created viewing opportunities that were family friendly. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Mark Volkers, founder of the Prairie Grass Film Challenge recognizes people involved with the challenge that include Sandy Reitsma, Gayle Haarsma, Darlene Reichert and Bob Pollema, Daniel Ketchelos, Miranda Munson and Vern Eekhof during the final awards ceremony which occurred Friday, February 18, 2022 in the B. J. Hahn Auditorium on the campus of Dordt University in Sioux Center. After 15 years of challenging film enthusiasts to create content worth consuming within a 48-hour period awards the last winners their trophies and acknowledging all those who have participated and created viewing opportunities that were family friendly. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Bob Pollema talks with a winning film team during the final Prairie Grass Film Challenge awards ceremony which occurred Friday, February 18, 2022 in the B. J. Hahn Auditorium on the campus of Dordt University in Sioux Center. After 15 years of challenging film enthusiasts to create content worth consuming within a 48-hour period awards the last winners their trophies and acknowledging all those who have participated and created viewing opportunities that were family friendly. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A winning film team receive its “check” and recognition during the final Prairie Grass Film Challenge awards ceremony which occurred Friday, February 18, 2022 in the B. J. Hahn Auditorium on the campus of Dordt University in Sioux Center. After 15 years of challenging film enthusiasts to create content worth consuming within a 48-hour period awards the last winners their trophies and acknowledging all those who have participated and created viewing opportunities that were family friendly. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying an “Oscar” Red Carpet moment are people involved with various production crews who entered the final Prairie Grass Film Challenge awards ceremony which occurred Friday, February 18, 2022 in the B. J. Hahn Auditorium on the campus of Dordt University in Sioux Center. After 15 years of challenging film enthusiasts to create content worth consuming within a 48-hour period awards the last winners their trophies and acknowledging all those who have participated and created viewing opportunities that were family friendly. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Colored streamers jazz up the final Prairie Grass Film Challenge awards ceremony which occurred Friday, February 18, 2022 in the B. J. Hahn Auditorium on the campus of Dordt University in Sioux Center. After 15 years of challenging film enthusiasts to create content worth consuming within a 48-hour period awards the last winners their trophies and acknowledging all those who have participated and created viewing opportunities that were family friendly. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A production worker talks about the falling streamers and other surprises while putting finishing touches to the state for the final Prairie Grass Film Challenge awards ceremony which occurred Friday, February 18, 2022 in the B. J. Hahn Auditorium on the campus of Dordt University in Sioux Center. After 15 years of challenging film enthusiasts to create content worth consuming within a 48-hour period awards the last winners their trophies and acknowledging all those who have participated and created viewing opportunities that were family friendly. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The final Prairie Grass Film Challenge awards ceremony occurred Friday, February 18, 2022 in the B. J. Hahn Auditorium on the campus of Dordt University in Sioux Center. After 15 years of challenging film enthusiasts to create content worth consuming within a 48-hour period awards the last winners their trophies and acknowledging all those who have participated and created viewing opportunities that were family friendly. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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