Meet Guests Scheduled for One Earth Film Festival 2013


One Earth Film Festival 2013 will be enriched with the personal stories of many who are engaged in the areas of climate change and sustainability.  Profiled here are a few of the special guests who will attend select festival programs. Student Academy Awards, Ceremony PortraitsStudying film at American University, Ellen Tripler was presented with a lot of opportunities and learned from each and every professor and student.  American University provided her with a large network in Washington DC and across the country.  Her most valuable lesson learned is you have to do what you love and choose a subject you are passionate about and are committed to.  Ellen thinks film school is not for everyone but is a great framework to learn the basics, such as story. And it’s a great place to learn about collaboration and meet like-minded people.

Ellen will be at the screening of her film, Dying Green, on Saturday, March 2nd at 12:30P at the Oak Park Public Library. (She will also be a special guest at the opening event on 3/1!)   Her project came out of the combination of reading the book Grave Matters, A Journey through the Modern Funeral Industry to a Natural Way of Burial and taking a class that required she pitch ideas for a documentary on an environmental or wildlife issue.  The film focuses on Billy Campbell’s vision to make natural burials mainstream, in order to conserve land.


gerouldDr. Gerould Wilhelm is Director of Research at Conservation Research Institute. He oversees research in areas of ecological restoration, monitoring, and education, and for many projects is the principal investigator.  Dr. Wilhelm will be the guest speaker at the Green Carpet Gala on Friday, March 1st at 7P at Pleasant Home in Oak Park.

Dr. Wilhelm’s passion for the natural environment is evidenced in every aspect of his professional career. Since 1975, Dr. Wilhelm has become the pre-eminent botanist in his field, conducting floristic inventories and field evaluations of ecosystems throughout North America.  This experience has culminated in his co-authoring Plants of the Chicago Region, only one of two such works in the world rated as “excellent” by Robert Frodin, author of A Geographic Guide to the Floras of the World.


Cathy-WardCathy Schroeder, 1st Grade Teacher, The Children's School, has a B.A. in Humanistic Studies from Saint Mary’s College; an M.A. in Art Education from The Ohio State University; and a M.A.T. in Elementary Education from National Louis University.  Cathy will be a guest resource for A Sea Change, showing at Holley Court Terrace (Oak Park) on Sunday, March 3rd at 3P. 

Cathy and ten other teachers joined Shedd Aquarium scientists aboard their research vessel for a week in the waters surrounding Bimini, Bahamas.  She practiced marine biology research techniques, participated in beach clean ups from marine debris, and met with Bimini-based researchers studying human-created problems affecting coral reefs and the health of the ocean and all its inhabitants.



Marwin Brown is a self-taught chef who combines his native Texan roots and love of spices, resulting in a style of cooking that transforms simple ingredients into robust flavors that wow eaters.  Born and raised in Dallas by his grandparents, no single cuisine defines Marwin. All of his national, ethnic and social influences -- from childhood days spent at the local barbecue joint to travels to Spain, Italy and China -- have left their mark on him and his food.

Marwin lives in Chicago with his wife and two kids, who are enthusiastic sous chefs and taste testers. He's active in the community partnering with organizations like the American Heart Association, Chefs in the Classroom and Real Men Cook Charities Inc. to promote healthy living. Read more at his personal food and music blog,  Marwin will demonstrate healthy soul food cooking following the screening of Soul Food Junkies on Sunday, March 3rd at 3P at St. Martins Espiscopal Church, Chicago.


pam_photoPamela Todd is the author of The Blind Faith Hotel (Simon and Schuster, 2008), a novel about a young girl who is sentenced to community service at a prairie preserve. The Blind Faith Hotel received the 2009 Great Lakes Booksellers Award, the 2009 Green Earth Book Award from the Newton Marasco Foundation, the 2009 Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award from Northland College, an Illinois Arts Council grant, and was an ALAN pick for December 2008.  Her first novel, Pig and the Shrink (Delacorte 1999) was awarded the Judy Blume grant for contemporary fiction for young people from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.  Pamela is a new member of Green Community Connections and instrumental to the marketing team of One Earth Film Festival this year, especially in marketing strategy development and conducting interviews with filmmakers.  Pamela will facilitate two film programs:  Play Again on Saturday, March 2nd at 3P at Keystone Center in River Forest; Stories of TRUST/A Simple Question: The Story of STRAW on Sunday, March 3 at 12:30P at River Forest Village Hall.



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, a one-hour documentary that reunited a Navajo family, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and has screened and won awards at film festivals internationally; From the Bottom Up, a one-hour, national PBS public affairs report on community activism; The Roosevelt Experiment, a half-hour documentary for ABC-TV telling 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. A California native and graduate of UCLA, Spitz teaches documentary filmmaking at Columbia College Chicago.

Jeff presented his current project film Food Patriots as a work-in-progress at One Earth Film Festival 2012 and this year as a 70 minute rough cut.  Jeff will facilitate a special film program of Ingredients and a clip from his Food Patriots at Euclid Avenue UMC on Sunday, March 3rd at noon.  (The program includes a free lunch - free childcare provided - and is hosted by Sugar Beet Cooperative. )

Please join these special guests - and many others - March 1,2,3 at One Earth Film Festival 2013!