Film fest names winners of 36-Hour Challenge


Movie-goers fill Celebration! Cinema North to watch short films from the 36-Hour Challenge by the Grand Rapids Film Festival. Photo via

A local nonprofit has named the winners of its short film competition.

Grand Rapids Film Festival’s 36-Hour Challenge pitted 17 teams with three to 12 members each against each other this winter in a contest to script, shoot, edit and submit six-minute films following the theme “transformation.”

All of the submitted short films were screened last month at Celebration! Cinema North for an audience of about 300 people.

The event’s six judges — Taylor Kelsaw, Deb Lake, Jenell Leonard, Anjalika Lobo, Liz Nolan and Roy Wallace — scored the short films based on “the best use of theme and elements over craft and production quality.”

Grand Rapids Film Festival CEO Jennifer Shaneberger said of the 17 participating teams, eight were from universities, six were professional or alumni filmmakers and three were high school teams.


The first-place finisher, winning $500, was “Burnout,” created by The Butchers, or Justin Razmus, Joshua Kruis and Ben DeYoung.

The second-place finisher, winning $300, was “Dave,” created by the Calvin College Maroon Team, or Hailey Jansson, Nate Roels, Spencer Allen, David Fitch, Jeffrey Peterson, Marcus Thomas and Alfield Reeves.

Hello,” created by The Marshmallows — RJ Zarzycki, Harrison Gugino, Robbie Ellis, Josh Bernia, Jonny Clark, Joshua Swift, Ryan Faber, Nathan Hyde, Nicolaus Enzweiler, Luke Robinette, Connor Olson and Eryn Dennin — took the third-place prize of $200.

Craft award winners

Editing: “Periphery

Sound: “Periphery

Cinematography: “Metanoia

Acting: “Hello

Script: “Dave

Directing: “Color Me True

Audience Choice: “Doorways

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