WHEN SEATTLE PACIFIC University junior James Rosser, Paul Mach ’05, and other student athletes on the Falcon men’s cross country team decided to grab a video camera and hit “record,” they never dreamed it would result in an award-winning documentary. “None of us had made a film before,” recalls Rosser, the film’s director. “We had no idea what direction we wanted to go. We just bought a camera and started shooting in hopes of capturing some personal memories.”
Instead, what they caught on film was a record-making season, and the faith and determination it took to get there. After all, it was the first time in 43 years that the Seattle Pacific men’s team would reach the NCAA Division II finals.
As their camera continued to record wins all the way to the national finals, the group of fledgling filmmakers recognized they had something special. “We had about 16 hours of workable footage,” says SPU junior Eddie Strickler, the chief editor. “We thought we could edit the film over Christmas break. When it took two weeks, working lots of hours each day, just to create a two-minute trailer we thought, ‘Uh-oh. We’re in trouble.’”
In the end, they had a 50-minute film called Running for November. The filmmakers screened it in May 2005 to an enthusiastic crowd in Demaray Hall 150. “So many people from across the SPU community came out to support us,” explains Rosser. “That was encouraging.”
Shortly after the showing, Seattle Pacific Professor of Theology Robert Drovdahl suggested they enter it in the national Programs for the Theological Exploration of Vocation (PTEV) competition. The annual contest honors creative, student-led expressions of calling, with particular focus on how students’ lives are shaped through “campus, congregation, or community.”
“We thought, ‘Why not? Let’s see what critics think,’” remembers Strickler. To his surprise, Running for November received PTEV’s second-place distinction in October 2005. “The award was cool,” says Rosser. “But the best part is knowing that we didn’t do this on our own. Looking back, God was there every step of the way.”
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