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Green Community Connections provides a place to tap into conversations about sustainability issues and to identify concrete steps you can take. We believe change is both necessary and possible and the best way to get there is together. Learn more About Us.

Young Filmmakers Contest Winners

One Earth Film Festival Announces Young Filmmakers Contest Winners



Students from Oak Park River Forest High School, Trinity High School, Interlochen Arts Academy (MI), Brooks Middle School, Sandburg Middle School (Elmhurst), and Willard School will win top prizes in the One Earth Our Earth Young Filmmakers Contest during the One Earth Film Festival, March 4-6.

Winning films will premiere and filmmakers will receive cash awards at two ceremonies, one for high school at 3 p.m. Saturday, March 5, at Columbia College, Ferguson Lecture Hall, Room 101, 600 S. Michigan Ave., in Chicago, and the other for elementary and middle school winners (high school winners will also be shown) at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, March 6, at Oak Park Public Library, 834 Lake St., in Oak Park.

High School Winner Liam Loughran of Oak Park River Forest High School

Liam Loughran

Liam Loughran

Fifteen-year old Liam Loughran won the high school level for his concise, 3-minute, 42-second film, “Transportation.” In it, he extolls the environmental virtues of public transportation while showing cars, trains and buses from a variety of visual angles: aerial, ground, and even the exterior of a moving train. He intersperses stop motion explanations with colored paper cutouts while he narrates the facts and figures, showing that public transport is cheaper, healthier, and ultimately reduces global warming.

Liam’s film will be shown three times during the One Earth Film Festival, March 4-6. The debut screening will be at the Green Carpet Gala, 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 4, at Fourth Presbyterian Church’s Gratz Center, 126 E. Chestnut St., in Chicago. Saturday, March 5, it will appear at the Young Filmmakers Contest High School Awards at Columbia College. Finally, to inspire younger filmmakers, it will be screened at the elementary and middle school level ceremony, Sunday, at Oak Park Public Library.

Liam’s winnings include a $250 check and an additional $250 matching gift, which he plans to donate to Active Transportation Alliance.

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Racing Extinction On The Red Carpet

OEFF_MoviePoster_2016 (4)From the glamorous stars on the Red Carpet to the award’s presentation extravaganza itself, the Oscars were Hollywood’s night to shine. But there was one documentary that we were proud to see among the nominations, “Racing Extinction.”

This groundbreaking documentary examines biodiversity loss, its effect on humanity, and the solutions that inspire hope for a more sustainable future. Joined by new innovators, this documentary brings a voice to the thousands of species teetering on the very edge of life. Leonardo DiCaprio used his Best Actor platform to speak out about climate change during his acceptance speech, “Making The Revenant was about man’s relationship to the natural world. A world that we collectively felt in 2015 as the hottest year in recorded history. Climate change is real, it is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating. Let us not take this planet for granted.”

Come see this important film at One Earth Film Festival Saturday March 5th, 10 am at Classic Cinemas Lake Theatre, 1022 Lake St, Oak Park (tickets $6) and Saturday March 5th, 7 pm at University of Chicago’s Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St. Chicago.

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Interviews with One Earth Filmmakers

Filmmakers hope audience will be moved to action

We asked two filmmakers whose documentaries are 2016 One Earth Film Festival Official Selections what’s the one inspiration they hope audiences will take away after seeing their works. Both will be attending screenings of their films this weekend.


Alexis Aurigemma, “The Sustainable”—

We want people to take away an awareness of the benefits of implementing the types of technologies the Stocks [couple whose home is featured in “The Sustainable”] have in their home, such as active solar and wind power, but also realize the utilization of other technologies such as using a passive solar design, insulated panels and alternate heating and cooling system can really make a difference in just HOW MUCH energy one uses in the first place.

“The Sustainable” screens 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., Sunday, March 6, at Ascension Catholic Church, 808 S. East Ave. Oak Park, IL

“The Sustainable” features a married couple from Saratoga Springs, NY, who wanted to build their dream home on a piece of property they love. The only problem? It will cost them $70,000 to put up the power lines needed to reach their house. Instead of bowing to the power companies, The Stocks decide to take a road less traveled. 


John Murray, “A Farmer’s Road”—

“The most important thing I’d like audiences to take away after seeing A Farmer’s Road is to take action. It’s always nice to enjoy a well-made film for its entertainment value, but unless audiences take action, then the advocacy part of documentary film falls short.” Examples might include joining a CSA and/or shopping at their local farmers’ market. Getting involved to understand how their food is grown and raised is a great first step. Ultimately, I’m hoping for them to make lifestyle changes and begin having a relationship with the source of their food. That single action can have a positive cascading effect. By keeping their dollars local, they are, in turn, not only helping their local economy, but also the environment by supporting those who care about the air they breathe and the water they drink. It doesn’t happen overnight, but a few small steps to begin can have a wonderful effect in the right direction.

“A Farmer’s Road” screens 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., Sunday, March 6, Oak Park Main Library, 834 Lake St., Oak Park, IL

“A Farmer’s Road” tells the story of two PhD soil scientists who trade the security of academic tenure at a renowned research university for the relentless challenges and economic uncertainty of operating a Grade A goat dairy and farmstead creamery in central Illinois.

On The Green Carpet

Gratz2-LRG180dpi-This is the evening to be green in Chicago. The 5th Annual Green Carpet Gala is only two days away. Join us for the fun and excitement that goes with celebrating the opening of our festival’s milestone year. It all takes place starting at 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 4 at Fourth Presbyterian Church’s Gratz Center, 126 E. Chestnut St, in downtown Chicago. Meet and mingle with creative leaders from the sustainability and filmmaking communities. Enjoy delicious bites and a full bar while we look back at One Earth’s past accomplishments and what the festival holds this weekend.After having ample time to talk with friends, old and new, we will head into Buchanan Chapel for the evening program. Seva Gandhi, senior program coordinator for the Institute of Cultural Affairs, will lead events, which will be interspersed with several short films. We want to see you On the Green Carpet (event hashtag #OTGC) Friday evening to celebrate in sustainable style! Like us onFacebook.com/OneEarthFilmFest and share #OneEarth and #OEFF2016 with your friends and family!

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Bikes vs. Cars at Frontier Chicago

BIKESvsCARS_ThumbChicago is well known for its commitment to developing protected bike lanes within city limits. Currently, it has over 200 miles of on-street buffered and protected shared bike lanes. Are you one of the bikers who rides on the city’s protected lanes? Would you like to be? Join One Earth Film Festival as we celebrate biking and alternative transportation, Sun. 3/6 @ 3:30pm for a view & brew screening event of “Bikes vs. Cars. at Frontier Chicago, 1072 N. Milwaukee Ave. Learn about changes in transportation and Nissan’s new Electric LEAF! Bikes vs. Cars  looks at both the struggle for bicyclists in a society dominated by cars and the revolutionary changes that could take place if more cities moved away from car-centric models.

Join Go Bronzeville before the screening for a community bike ride from the Bronzeville Community Garden to the screening. Ride from 51st and Calumet at 2 PM for a leisurely bike ride to Frontier Chicago. Rebecca Noble of Go Bronzeville says about biking, “What really hooks people is a fun form of transportation in a way that driving isn’t. Getting rid of the windshield world view and getting on a bike seat can change the way you see the city and the world.”

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Thank you to our Presenting Sponsors from the One Earth Film Festival.


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