"Come be a part of this," says Fisher, an Oak Park resident who is back for a second year to help out. "This is the time of year we think about making a better, healthier, more sustainable future. You don't have to go far. It's right here in Oak Park."
The One Earth Film Festival, to be held March 7-9, 2014, will showcase dozens of solutions-oriented environmental films. Fisher is on the film committee, which finds, watches, reviews and recommends films that meet the festival's mission. This is no easy task: the team identified 157 films for evaluation this year.
A Volunteer's Experience
"When I'm watching a film, I need to be sure it's promoting sustainability and encouraging people to think in different ways," says Fisher, who owns a 200-acre farm in Westby, Wisconsin with her family. At her farm, shown at left, Three Queens maple syrup is harvested and produced. Fisher sells the syrup at area farmers markets and at her gallery, Three Queens Organic Gallery, in the Oak Park Arts District. Fisher, a theater major and documentary film lover, donates 15 percent of sales back to the Westby-area arts community.
As a film reviewer for the One Earth Film Festival, Fisher also recommends screening venues and brainstorms ideas for facilitators and resource persons to lead post-film discussion sessions that will engage attendees--who will come from all around the city and suburbs--about the issues facing our planet.
"The film festival is three days of inspiration, enlightenment and sharing of ideas," says Fisher. "It's the only environmental film festival in the Midwest."
The film committee has just held its fourth meeting to decide on the final screening list. Fisher and the other volunteer screeners came to the meeting prepared to advocate for their favorite films. The process has been rewarding and fun for Fisher. "It's exciting to be on this team. I really like being around people who share the same goals," says Fisher.
Her involvement with the film festival began last year in a more limited capacity. She reviewed a few films and volunteered at one of the screenings during the festival. "I had so much fun. I mentioned to Ana Garcia Doyle, a festival planning committee member, that I'd like to be involved from the beginning next time," says Fisher. "We started in September this year. It's a lot of work!"
Join the Team
The One Earth Film Festival needs more volunteers to help with marketing, sponsorship, venues, events, logistics, and volunteer coordination. Visit oneearthfilmfest.org to learn how you can get involved.
"Even if you can't volunteer this year, come see a film," says Fisher. "We hear a lot of scary things about the environment, but there is a lot of good out there as well. These films are selected to show that there are solutions, and we can all work together."