environmental films

Celebrate Earth Day with Us

Celebrate Earth Day with Us

We invite you to continue the One Earth Film Festival fun and celebrate Earth Day with us by watching the award-winning film, "Growing Cities" on Friday, April 22, at Chicago's official Earth Day celebration in two locations. This 60-minute film is friendly for all ages.

Young Eco-Filmmakers are Hard at Work

By Cassandra West, New Media Access

In a large, multi-grade classroom, several small groups of students hover over textbooks, laptops and iPads. They’re hard at work on a film about environmental problems that might plague a megacity in the future.

Once the film is finished, these sixth through eighth graders at Keystone Montessori School in River Forest plan to enter it into the Young Filmmakers Contest: One Earth…Our EarthThe contest is a new addition to the 2013 One Earth Film Festival which will be held March 1-3, sponsored by Green Community Connections.

In addition to being budding filmmakers, the students are part of the Future Problem Solving Program, which stimulates critical and creative thinking skills and encourages students to develop a vision for the future.  The Keystone students are imagining a time 50 years from now. By then, some experts predict, Chicago and Milwaukee and their surrounding suburbs will make up a megacity. The United Nations defines a megacity as a metropolitan area with a total population of more than 10 million people. And, with megacities come many problems: urban sprawl, waste, water and air pollution.  “We are trying to come up with solutions to these problems,” says Maeve Dempsey, who’s writing the film’s script.

Young Filmmakers at Work

Seated at another table, Trevel Eggleston, one of the cameramen, whips through photos he’s taken on his smartphone. The tiny screen shows images of his neighborhood, the Chicago skyline and lakefront. Keystone MontessoriOther students are seated on the floor, involved in various aspects of film production. One girl is doing research on pollution while a boy a few feet away uses an iPad to capture video of another boy who’s practicing his narration.

Lara Pullen, a volunteer science teacher at Keystone, moves around the classroom checking on progress. She’s careful not to insert herself too much into the process. “I have enjoyed accompanying the students on their film journey,” she says. “The challenge for me has been to stay in the shadows and let them discover and tell their own story.”

With only a few more weeks to go, Shira Tan, co-director of the film, finds personal rewards from her involvement in the project. “It’s fun. It’s definitely hard to do, but it’s good because it teaches you how to think about the future, and it teaches you how to work hard with other people you aren’t used to working with.”

The Contest

Now in its second year, One Earth Film Festival is offering young filmmakers a chance to showcase their abilities in making positive changes for their future—and to tell their stories as only young people can.

“Youth involvement in the sustainability movement is the key to our future,” says Sue Crothers, contest committee co-chair.

The contest deadline is 5 p.m. CST Jan. 25. Winners will be announced by mid-February, and winning films will be screened at the One Earth Film Festival 2013 the weekend of March 1-3.



Youth Films Demonstrate Commitment to Sustainability

by Katie Morris The One Earth Film Festival 2013, organized by Green Community Connections, will sponsor the first ever Young Filmmakers Contest: One Earth…Our Earth.  This film contest is a way in which young people can showcase their abilities in making positive changes for their future.  It is an opportunity to engage our youth, and create excitement around how they can, and do, make a difference in our world and in our local community.

As part of the 2nd annual One Earth Film Festival, the Young Filmmakers Contest invites students in all eligible age categories (from third grade through college) to submit film entries that cover at least one of the following categories: water, waste, food, transportation, or energy.

With this contest, “we want to encourage youth to not just contemplate the issues surrounding sustainability, but to get them thinking about potential solutions,” said Sue Crothers, contest committee chair. “Youth involvement in the sustainability movement is the key to our future, and film is a powerful medium for them to express their concern and awareness. ”

The Rainforest Rescue Coalition (RRC), a Chicago based nonprofit organization, is currently working on a submission for the college-aged category of the contest.  Founded by four OPRF High School graduates among others, the mission of the RRC is to conserve and protect rainforest land around the world and to support sustainable relationships between humans and nature. RRC raises money for sustainability and conservation initiatives through direct action campaigns.  One of RRC’s goals is to help educate the public about conservation and environmental issues - including both the problems and solutions, . . . and what better way than through film?

According to Adam Bauer-Goulden, RRC President, RRC is creating their film entry as a way to show that anything is possible, if you put forth the energy and try to make a difference.   Though the film is still in its production phase, Bauer-Goulden reports that RRC’s film will begin with a montage of the terrible environmental disasters taking place in the world today. It will move into the story of how RRC was formed and show footage from its first 350-mile fundraising ride. The audience will have the chance to learn how they can become involved with RRC and other conservation efforts.  The film will close with a final montage of the great and positive things that the environmental movement is accomplishing.

Bauer-Goulden says, “Our inspiration is trying to get as many people involved as possible in our movement. I really believe that energy is the most important thing that we have. I believe that our purpose in life is to use our energy for something inherently good and to make the world a better place…we really just want to show people that we are just normal kids and anybody and everybody has the power to make change in this world, no matter what your situation...Anything counts!”

The deadline to submit a film to the Young Filmmakers Contest is January 25, 2013 at 5 PM CST.  For more information on the contest, please check out our website and facebook page, or contact Sue Crothers, suebillgee@comcast.net or Katie Morris, Katie.a.morris@gmail.com.