ORANGE CITY – Becky Uittenbogaard and Matt Latchaw took the top honors at the OrangeRind Film Festival Thursday, Nov. 7 at the Northwestern College DeWitt Learning Commons.
Uittenbogaard of Hull and Latchaw, a Northwestern College student from Oskaloosa, received awards of $250 and $100 respectively, for “Best of Show” and “Honorable Mention.”
The short documentary films were produced in a two-month period, with guidance from documentary film workshop instructor Mark Volkers of Dordt College. Filmmaker Volkers taught 16 people – students and adults – and inspired them to create films.
And he was impressed. It’s a difficult task – making documentaries – especially for beginners.
“Once Upon a Time in the Country,” by Uittenbogaard, tells about her and her husband’s life on their acreage near Hull… with pastoral landscapes, pets, and humor. Her vision was clear, and she communicated it with a sense of calmness, said judge Todd McDonald, theatre & speech director of Orange City. “And the animals were real characters.”
Uittenbogaard said, “I did some filming almost every day because I was trying to catch the dog, cat, chickens or cows doing something amusing. Mark Volkers commented that he thought the film ‘made the ordinary beautiful’ and that was my goal: to show the beauty of northwest Iowa.”
Latchaw’s film, “Who Are Ya?,” tells about a group of Northwestern College men who support the guys’ soccer team in a unique, vocal and colorful way. “I loved capturing the long-standing tradition of heckling,” Latchaw said, “and why it’s important. I think sports fans everywhere can learn from the Heemstra Hecklers.” Judge Joe Hubers of Passenger Productions, Sioux Falls, said that Latchaw edited well, achieving a “great sense of pacing.”
A close third, according to the judges, was Jerry Mennenga’s film, “The Karaoke Singer.” He focused on a Sioux City woman who has a talent and passion for singing. It was great, said Mennenga, “to get a chance to ‘look inside of a world’ that is unfamiliar to me: karaoke singing.” The film was “quite touching,” said judge Jesse Brauning, of Paragon Videography of Sioux Center. “It did a good job of conveying the story using an
arc — every part of the film was interesting, and nothing felt superfluous.”
And Denise Krebs of Orange City’s film, “If the Lord is Calling, You Cannot Say No,” told the story of why Krebs and her husband are moving to Bahrain. “I never thought I would submit a piece to a film festival, but because Mark Volkers empowered us, the filmmakers were supportive, and the audience responded positively, it was well worth risking to join in!” she said.
Other films – finished or in-process – were created by Wendi Jo Vande Voort, Shane Madsen, Stanton Madsen, Brittany Caffey, Sarah Simmons, Hana Spangler, Vern Eekhoff, Jerry Hoekstra, Richard Nyunt, Daniel Liebsack, Miranda Liebsack and Tina Snieder. The students range from high schoolers and college students to adults, from several area towns, including Orange City, Sioux Center, Sheldon, Sioux City, Worthington, Hull, and Paullina.
“It was fascinating to see so much storytelling happening in one place,” said Brauning.
“If we don’t tell our stories, our youth grow up thinking all the good stories are out there,” said Hubers. “Local storytelling is imperative in forming a community’s sense of place and identity.”
OrangeRind was made possible by the generous sponsorship of OC Basketball Productions, LLC, the primary production company of the film Winning Favor, in conjunction with the Orange City Arts Council, Sioux Center Rec & Arts Council, and Northwestern College.
Denise Krebs’ film: http://krebsfollow.org/2013/11/18/if-the-lord-is-calling-you-cannot-say-no/
Matt Latchaw’s film: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Northwestern-College-Mens-Soccer/110344925718
Passenger Productions: http://www.passengerproductions.com/
Paragon Videography: www.paragonprovideo.com
Jerry Mennenga’s blog about OrangeRind: http://wp.me/p2sl9o-xG