By Cassandra West
“Just Eat It,” an award-winning documentary about the staggering amounts of food that go to waste in households and farm fields, has been selected as the One Earth Film Festival’s first Festival Choice winner. It will be shown as part of the City of Chicago’s 2015 Earth Day Celebration on April 22. The Festival Choice is intended to expose a wider audience to a One Earth selection that addresses a particular environmental issue and offers workable solutions to it. One Earth Film Festival earlier screened “Just Eat It” at Loyola University Chicago in February and the Oak Park Main Public Library in early March.
“Just Eat It” was one of three audience favorites in the online balloting that began the weekend of the festival. The other two top vote getters were “Cowspiracy” and “Edible City.” A five-person jury screened all three, reaching the decision that “Just Eat It” best merited a citywide screening.
“Food waste has gotten lots of attention lately — from editorials in The New York Times to restaurants, school districts and municipalities taking steps to divert food from landfills that contribute to greenhouse gases,” said Ana Garcia Doyle, founder and director of the One Earth Film Festival and a jury member. “With “Just Eat It,” you get a universally relatable story that addresses salient issues such as agriculture, composting, water use and climate change. It also has humor and human-powered solutions.”
Other jury members were Mardie Anderson, freelance film producer and owner of the Juice Joint organic juice bar in River Forest; director, producer and writer Carey Lundin; Emmy-winning producer-director and Columbia College Chicago associate professor Jeff Spitz, and Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Chicago Karen Weigert. (Full bios below.)
“Just Eat It” will be shown at 6 p.m. on Wed., April 22 at Columbia College Film Row Cinema, 1104 S. Wabash Ave., 8th Floor, Chicago. A panel discussion will follow. Admission is free but pre-registration is suggested because a seating capacity. For details and to register, go to oneearthfilmfest.org.
The 2015 One Earth Film Festival screened 40 films at 31 locations around the Chicagoland region. A distinctive characteristic of the festival is the post-film programming that offers audiences an opportunity to engage with experts and environmental leaders. This year, Weigert recognized the festival as a regional leader in sustainability for its ability to bring citizens together — “in dialogue and action — around a multitude of sustainability topics, in order to bring about concrete and measurable change.”
One Earth Film Festival’s “Festival Choice” selection jury members
Mardie Anderson has spent more than 20 years in the film industry working in many capacities. She got her start as an executive assistant to the president of Carolco Productions and the COO of Universal Studios Motion Picture Department. She went on to become a development executive for Tom Hanks’ production company, Playtone. At Playtone, Mardie oversaw the development of many scripts on projects including: “John Adams,” “The Polar Express,” “Big Love,” “Where the Wild Things Are,” “City of Ember,” “Band of Brothers,” “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” She has worked on numerous productions as set costumer, travel coordinator, producer’s assistant and actors’ assistant. For the past seven years, she has been the executive assistant/producing partner to Oscar-winning actress, Marion Cotillard. She also owns the Juice Joint organic juice bar in River Forest, IL.
Ana Garcia Doyle
Ana Garcia Doyle is founder and director of the One Earth Film Festival. She also helps lead zero waste programs, as well as communications, education, training, and outreach in Oak Park School District 97. She is a digital marketing strategist with a background in all modes of digital marketing, as well as business development and product strategy. She has directed marketing efforts at Britannica Digital Publishing in Chicago, Swisscom/Bluewin in Zurich Switzerland. In 2012, Ana and her husband Jim (and their three young children) underwent a green rehab of their 94-year-old Oak Park, Ill., home, which is LEED-registered, and in which they installed a geothermal and a greywater system. Ana has a BA in English and Philosophy from Boston College.
Carey Lundin has won awards and audience raves for her work—from hard-hitting political spots to emotional public service campaigns, to comic webisode series to television docu-programming. Her mockumentary series, “Citizen Kate,” was touted as “the future of political journalism.” Her multi award-winning PSA campaign for organ donation pushed Illinois to the highest donor registry in the nation. Carey is the director and co-producer of "Jens Jensen The Living Green,” a feature documentary to air on PBS spring 2016, about the "dean of landscape architects" and one of the great unsung pioneering conservationists. She is currently developing another series for the presidential campaign season and producing a documentary with NeighborSpace and The Student Conservation Association called "Jardincito" about Jensen's modern inspiration of adding nature where it's needed in Little Village.
Jeff Spitz is an Emmy Award-winner who creates original documentaries for broadcast on PBS and cable. His credits as a writer/producer/director include: “The Return of Navajo Boy,” an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival and PBS, which has received special recognition from the U.S. EPA and the Department of Energy for raising awareness and impacting public policies concerning uranium contamination in the Navajo Nation; “From the Bottom Up,” a one-hour, national PBS public affairs report about community activism; “The Roosevelt Experiment,” a Black History Month documentary for ABC-TV that tells the story of an integrated college in a segregated city; and “America’s Libraries Change Lives,” celebrating the immigrant experience in America’s public libraries, narrated by Whoopi Goldberg. Jeff’s documentary, “Food Patriots,” is a funny personal film about trying to raise chickens and change Americans’ relationship to food. A California native and graduate of UCLA, Jeff holds a master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Chicago. He is an associate professor of documentary film at Columbia College Chicago. He and his wife, Jennifer, are the co-founders of Groundswell Educational Films, a non-profit organization that creates documentary films and social impact campaigns.
Karen Weigert serves as Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Chicago. She was appointed in 2011. Karen works to guide the City’s sustainability strategy and implementation, bringing innovative, practical solutions throughout the work of the City. Previously, Karen served as senior vice president of ShoreBank (later Urban Partnership Bank), where she built a national consumer group that generated deposits to support environmental sustainability and community development in low- to moderate-income urban neighborhoods. Karen is a producer and writer for the documentary film “Carbon Nation,” which focused on solutions to climate change. She is also a former board member of CNT, Foresight Design Initiative and Earth School Educational Foundation. Karen graduated from the University of Notre Dame and Harvard Business School.