Fairfield filmmakers honored by Iowa Motion Picture Association

Luke Stenger won a pair of Iowa Motion Picture Awards this year.
Luke Stenger won a pair of Iowa Motion Picture Awards this year.

FAIRFIELD – Fairfield residents were well represented among the winners of the Iowa Motion Picture Association’s virtual awards ceremony held Saturday.

Fair Field Productions, which is producing the Fairfield History Series, won eight awards for its most recent film “A Place to Grow.” Werner Elmker received an award for his ongoing video series on YouTube called “Planet Fairfield.” Luke Stenger won two Awards of Excellence, the highest honor given, in the categories of web series and corporate and community marketing.

The eight categories “A Place to Grow” won awards for were best documentary, editing (by Ed Murphy), direction (Dick DeAngelis), director of photography (Jason Strong), educational production, original music score, soundtrack audio mix (Tim Britton) and voice over narration (Dick DeAngelis).

The film “A Place to Grow” is about the history of agriculture in Jefferson County and is the third film in the eight-part Fairfield History Series.

DeAngelis noted that each film in the series has won more awards than the film from the previous year.

This year the production company won four achievement awards and four awards for excellence, compared to one achievement award and one award for excellence for the first film, and two achievement awards and one award for excellence for the second film.

“Our team is getting better,” DeAngelis said. “For many films, the filmmaker sits back and talks about it for a couple of years. We take one to two weeks off and then keep going on the next.”

DeAngelis said he hopes the production company will be “pretty good at this” by the time it makes the eighth film in the series.

Jason Strong remarked that while getting awards is not his main goal, “I have to admit it feels pretty good getting one. Knowing your work stood out amongst many makes all the long hours worth it.”

Stenger won for his web series called “theSteng Show” which features weekly conversations with guests that he said is akin to that of pioneer podcaster Joe Rogan.

His corporate and community marketing video highlighted the newly established Fairfield Mind & Body yoga studio created by Andrea Palladino.

“Being recognized by a panel of judges always feels great, but in truth my stiffest competition is YouTube itself and the proof is in the pudding,” Stenger said. “There’s so much entertainment on the internet these days; I’m just trying to produce quality content that I myself would want to watch and listen to. On my YouTube channel, “theSteng”, I’m uploading constantly uploading new content and refining my craft. I feel honored to be a part of such outstanding filmmakers in the local community.”

Elmker said he thinks a large part of the credit for the success of his series “Planet Fairfield” goes to the “wonderful people, skies, plants and wildlife of Fairfield, who are the main actors of these videos.”

He is happy to note that a lot of people have moved to Fairfield because of videos like these.