One Earth Film Festival creates opportunities for understanding climate change, sustainability and the power of people to take action. We showcase top-issue, thought-provoking environmental films leading audiences through interactive post-film discussions focused on solutions and actions.
One Earth Film Festival is proud and honored to be recognized by Karen Weigert, chief sustainability officer for the City of Chicago, as a regional leader for sustainability. The festival's growth over the past four years has pushed the event beyond the borders of Oak Park and River Forest, establishing a strong presence in Chicago and throughout the greater Chicago area. This expansion demonstrates that interest and participation in solution-oriented discussion and action is growing and that change, truly is possible.
The third annual One Earth Film Festival was the biggest and best one yet! Originally conceived and launched by Green Community Connections in Oak Park and River Forest two years ago, the One Earth Film Festival has grown dramatically in a short time. Festival organizers, volunteers, resource persons and attendees have made connections and formed new partnerships, opening doors for ongoing growth and development of the Midwest’s Premier Environmental Film Festival.
This year we expanded the volunteer-run film festival into 10 new communities. In Berwyn, River Grove and eight Chicago locations—from the North Side to the South Side, with Austin, Garfield Park and 3 universities and colleges in between, nearly 2,500 people saw 30 films in 28 locations the weekend of March 7-9, as well as at eight pre-Fest screenings.
“People came up to me at Chicago sites to thank me for bringing the festival to Chicago this year,” said Natalie Laczek, who headed the Chicago expansion team. “That was really nice to hear.”
Festival organizers launched the film fest weekend with a Green Carpet Gala at The Nineteenth Century Club in Oak Park. River Forest resident and activist Sue Crothers took the opportunity to thank all of the sponsors and supporters that made the film fest possible. Jamie Ponce, city director for Chicago in the C40 Climate Leadership Group of the Clinton Climate Initiative, was the guest speaker. Ana Garcia Doyle, leader of the One Earth Film Festival's core team, shared examples of "shifts" people are making to participate in the emerging sustainable economy, like Oak Park's Repair Café and the Sugar Beet Co-op.
"Share the joy with others!"
Festival programs combined relevant activities and appearances by knowledgeable resource people who enriched post-film discussions. Fest-goers got firsthand insights from beekeepers, reclaimed wood experts, permaculture practitioners and people like Ken Dunn, Chicago’s dean of recycling and founder of The Resource Center. After the “Growing Cities” screening at West Suburban Temple Har Zion in River Forest, Dunn told the audience, “Share the joy with others. There's no need to preach or make people feel guilty. Invite them to taste, to try."
“More Than Honey,” shown in the Jensen Room at Garfield Park Conservatory, not only drew 135 people, according to Pam Todd, another member of the Chicago expansion team,“but they hung out more than an hour after the program ended to talk to one another and local bee experts.”
"We've got to step it up."
Two of the three filmmakers of “Comfort Zone,” Dave Danesh and Sean Donnelly, trekked all the way from Rochester, N.Y., to join a lively discussion following their film’s screening Saturday afternoon at the Oak Park Public Library. Comfort Zone is an engaging, consciousness-changing, and often funny film that asks us to confront our own connection to climate change. Toward the end of the post-film dialogue, 90-year-old, former Oak Park Village Clerk, Virginia Casson, shared her pride in all that Oak Park has accomplished in the area of sustainability. She went on to challenge the crowd by saying, “looking at the faces of my grandchildren and great-grandchildren, I realize that we’ve got to ‘step it up’ and continue to make a difference both locally and globally.”
This year's winning Young Filmmakers
Family-friendly programming is always a priority in the One Earth Film Festival. The Young Filmmakers Contest, in its 2nd year, salutes the work of students from who use film to explore environmental issues. This year’s winners, from Willard School and Roosevelt Middle School in River Forest, Ilinois, and Hinsdale Central High School in Hinsdale, Illinois, submitted films about water conservation, transportation, and electronic waste. They received cash awards and matching grants to be donated to a nonprofit organization or community sustainability project of their choosing.
As in years past, the festival got rolling with several pre-Fest screenings and discussions. Dominican University held the first pre-Fest screening, which also featured a packed mini farmers market. New pre-Fest venues this year were WIRE music club in Berwyn, the University of Illinois Chicago’s Latino Cultural Center and its Gallery 400, Columbia College’s Film Row Cinema, and Sacred Keepers Sustainability Lab in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood.
An enthusiastic crowd of 70 people turned out to watch “Urban Roots,” an inspiring film about urban agriculture in Detroit, at Sacred Keepers Sustainability Lab on a snowy Saturday afternoon one week before the festival. Following the film, audience members broke out into small groups, discussing everything from grocery store options in Chicago to rebuilding the local food economy to “getting un-addicted to processed food,” as one woman put it.
The New Environmentalists
The third annual One Earth Film Festival closed out at Unity Temple on Sunday, March 9th, with a reception and screening of “The New Environmentalists,” a multiple Emmy Award-winning PBS/Sundance Channel series featuring inspiring portraits of passionate and dedicated activists. And perhaps, in the span of one event-filled, thoughtful weekend, yet another group of new environmentalists was born.
Watch more film fest films
Perhaps you didn’t get to see all the films you’d hoped to during the Festival. If that's the case, please refer to our list of featured films, with information and links describing whether and how you might be able to obtain a copy to watch. Some of the films may be available via a Netflix account, or at your local library, for example. We found these films to be incredibly inspiring, and hope you will too!
Help us improve the film festival for next year
If you did not get an opportunity to complete an audience feedback survey for one or more of the films that you saw during the fest, please do so online NOW! Entering your feedback helps us to plan for our next event and you will be entered into a drawing to win a personal film screening as well (Details at the survey link.) Thank you!
A festival of the size and scope of One Earth Film Festival takes an enormous amount of work and coordination by many people. Green Community Connections - an all volunteer organization - would like to thank the following people for their contribution to the production of One Earth Film Festival 2014.
2014 Festival Core Team/Leads:
Ana Garcia Doyle, Films/Programming; Elaine Bell, 2014 Intern; Robin Sheerer, Venues & Events; Julie Moller, Sponsors; Dick Alton, Chicago Expansion; Pam Todd, Marketing and Chicago Expansion; Amy O'Rourke, Volunteers; Sally Stovall, Sponsors; Sue Crothers, Young Filmmakers Contest; Natalie Laczek, Chicago Expansion; Katie Morris, Young Filmmakers Contest; Christiane Broihier, Marketing/Promotion; Judith Hamje, Finance
Additional 2014 Planning Team Members:
Adam Webber; Cassandra West; Cheryl Munoz; Christine Fisher; David Gilley; Donna Morris; Doug Dixon; Earl Lemberger; Eileen Moloney; Estelle Carol; Gina Lee Robbins; Ginger Brown Vanderveer; Gloria Araya; Jacqui Ingram; Jim Babcock; Jo Ellen Siddens; Judy Dooley; Laurie Casey; Marni Curtis; Mary Erkins; Michael Reed; Mindy Agnew; Patrick O'Rourke; Peggy McGrath
2014 Festival Programming Participants:
Jamie Ponce; Carey Lundin*; Dave Danesh*; Sean Donnelly*; Sam Roe; Tom Eblen; Jim Slama; Joan Levin; Harry Rhodes; Ken Dunn; Adrian Fisher; Shaun Spikes; Patrick O'Rourke; Michael Reed; Doug Dixon; Micah Taair; Alicia Hammond; Maria Correa; Pam Bergdall; Seamus Ford; Dorie Blessoff; Jon Ravenscroft; KC Doyle; Michelle Hickey; KathyMarifjeren; Krista Mikos; Ellen Cutter; Kindy Kruller; Molly Fitzgibbon; Michele Gurgas; Gary Cuneen; Jim Haried; Namaan Gambill; John Hansen; Susan Lucci; Stephanie Walquist; Laura Maychruk; Cathy Schroeder; Blaise Dierks; Evelinda Ayala; Bill Gee; Seva Gandhi; Toni Anderson; Stephanie McCray; Larry Nance; Carol Serber; Cathy Aducci; Elena Maans; Monica Halloran; Neil Jiminez; Cindy McGuckin; Mario Lucero; Lisa Sanczenbacher; Cindy Klein-Banai; Thomas Shelton; John Wawrzaszek; Anthony Stepter; Dr. Rosa Cabrera; Seth McClellan; Dominic Frigo; Erika Horigan, David Pope; Robin Schimer; Jessica Fajun; Vicki Westerhoff; Emily Carroll; Vicki Nowicki; Maria Onesto Moran; Pete Sluka; Germaine Caprio Curry; Kristin Pink; Victor Guarino; Melissa Brice; Katerina Berin; Karen Rozmus; Josh Prysny; Harry Patterson; Matt Gbasik
*Filmmakers of One Earth Film Festival 2014 films
2014 Festival Volunteers:
Andrea Patete; Angel White; Angela Gonzalez; Anirudh Jyothi; Anthony Banks; Austin Robinson; Bettina Tahsin; Caitlin Jeffries; Carol Ann Trisko; Catherine Garcia; Cirese Giuntini; Corrine McLachlan; David Holmquist; Diane Pickard-Richardson; Dottie Hetzel; Elaine Houha; Eli Lauger; Ellie Kowal; Elna Hernandez; Emily Gilbert; Erik Malone; Erin Shattuck; Erin-Eileen Anderson; Brent Pope; Gina Ulrich Pope; Grace Sawin; Jodi Wine; John Owens; Julia Bankes; Juliana Engel; Justyna Nytko; Katie Larson; Kelly Conroe; Kimberly Ruffin; Loch Miwa; Maggie Testore; Marcus Copeland; Maria Pascarella; Mary Fitzgerald; Mary Rinder; Mary Perantew; Mary Fitzgerald; Mary Perantew; Mary Lou Dwyer; Michael Shannon; Michael Reed; Michael Quaid; Nan Whittaker; Natasha Kallish; Neru Arora; Nicole Gagliardo; Paige Kane; Ryan Mitchell; Sandra Reid; Sean Sheridan; Shannon Jarka; Sidney Shapiro; Sofia Sanchez; Susan Camberis; Sydney Tzeng; Sydney Tung; Tari Delisi; Ursula Wildfield; Vicky Carr; Vikram Somal; Violetta Khabibulina; Wendy Negron
We apologize in advance if we missed adding any people to this list; it was an incredible amount of people on board this year! Thank you one and all!
Making change in your life is rarely simple. But the One Earth Film Festival makes it easier by inviting inspiring guests who can help you dig deeper into the films and bring home useful takeaways. An exciting line-up of speakers and activities are in place for this year’s One Earth Film Festival. As in years past, film screenings will be combined with relevant activities and appearances by knowledgeable resource people who will enrich post-film discussions. Audience members can ask questions and share ideas, which can lead to continued discussion, local advocacy, and, most importantly, people-driven solutions to the myriad environmental challenges facing our planet. Join us with Jamie Ponce at the Green Carpet Gala on Friday, March 7th (7 pm at 19th Century Club, 178 Forest Ave., Oak Park) to celebrate the opening of One Earth Film Festival 2014. Ponce is the City Director for Chicago in the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group - Clinton Climate Initiative. He is currently working with the Office of Mayor Rahm Emanuel to develop and implement the City of Chicago's sustainability strategy.
Here’s just a sampling of other guests appearing at this year's festival.
Jens Jensen The Living Green. Carey Lundin, director and producer of this film about “the Midwest’s first great conservationist” will be at the Chicago Preview screening on Saturday, March 8 at 2PM at the Triton College Performing Arts Building (R) (2000 5th Ave., River Grove, IL). Danish-born Jensen (1860 – 1951), who battled corruption and the runaway expansion of steel mills at the turn of the 20th Century, fought to bring “the living green” into the lives of Chicago’s workers.
Growing Cities. Special guest panelists Harry Rhodes, Executive Director of Growing Home, and Ken Dunn, Founder and Director of The Resource Center, will appear at the screening of this inspirational documentary about urban farming on Sunday, March 9 at 3 PM at the West Suburban Temple Har Zion (1040 North Harlem Ave., River Forest, IL). Rhodes and Dunn's organizations are featured in the film, which follows the filmmakers’ road trip to discover how people living in cities across America are challenging the way this country grows and distributes food.
More Than Honey. Beekeeping expert Naaman Gambill and John Hansen, Vice President of the Cook County/Du Page Beekeepers Association, will be present on Sunday, March 9 at 11AM at Garfield Park Conservatory's Jensen Room (300 N. Central Park Ave., Chicago) to discuss the film. This critically acclaimed film will also be shown Sunday, March 9 at 3PM at Willard Elementary School (1250 Ashland Ave., River Forest). More Than Honey examines the world-wide disappearance and colony collapse of the bees which pollinate 80% of plant species and are therefore critical to our food supply and the survival of mankind. Plus, local beekeepers will bring handmade honey to sample at each screening!
Toxic Hot Seat. Chicago Tribune reporter, Sam Roe, representing the Pulitzer prize-winning team behind this film, and Oak Park Fire Chief Tom Eblen will attend this screening on Sunday, March 9 at 3PM at the Oak Park Public Library (834 Lake Street, Oak Park). This film about the health concerns surrounding the widespread use of flame retardants in our homes and communities follows a group of firefighters, politicians, scientists and activists in their decades-long fight against the chemical industry.
Comfort Zone. Filmmakers Dave Danesh and Sean Donnelly will discuss their film on Saturday, March 8 at noon at the Oak Park Public Library (834 Lake Street, Oak Park) . Comfort Zone, a film about climate change in upstate New York, brings this global issue to a local and individual level and focuses on the things that ordinary citizens can do to combat climate change. This screening includes a zero-waste, complimentary lunch before the film.
GMO OMG. Jim Slama, Founder of Family Farmed and Good Food Festivals will lead a post-film discussion at Lake Theatre (1022 Lake Street, Oak Park) on Saturday, March 8 at 10AM. A second showing, also at 10 on March 8, at the fieldhouse in Chicago’s Humbolt Park (1400 N. Sacramento, Chicago), will be moderated by Joan Levin from IL Right to Know GMO and includes a sustainable food resource fair. This is an inspirational and ultimately feel-good film about the inter-continental road trip taken by Jeremy Seiffert, a father of two young boys, to learn about the prevalence and safety of genetically-modified foods.
Musicwood. Dominic Frigo, a guitar and piano teacher and player, along with Gary Cuneen, founder of Seven Generations Ahead, and Erika Horigan, Horigan Urban Forest Products, will be on hand to lead a lively post-film discussion on Saturday, March 8 at 7PM at School of Rock Oak Park (219 Lake Street, Oak Park, IL). Plus, enjoy a mini-concert and zero-waste refreshments! This film is about the travels of the most famous guitar-makers in the world -- Taylor, Martin and Gibson -- to the heart of the largest rainforest in the United States on a quest save the Sitka spruce, widely used in the manufacture of acoustic guitars.
It's here! The One Earth Film Festival is our Biggest. Most. Exciting. Event. Ever! And we need you! Consider giving a few hours of your time the weekend of the festival--March 7-9 --or on select dates for our seven pre-fest screening events starting Feb 18. We are actively recruiting volunteers to sign up for these jobs:
- Registration/Greeter Volunteer
- Event Set-Up Volunteer
- Event Clean-Up Volunteer
- Zero Waste Support
Volunteering for the One Earth Film Festival offers many benefits. It's quick. It's fun. It's easy! You'll also...
Get to work with an amazing, energetic group of people
See amazing environmental documentary films that will inspire and change you
Be able to engage with the community in thought-provoking discussions
Bring home practical advice that you can use right away
Receive your very own One Earth Film Festival t-shirt
Be invited to our fabulous Volunteer Celebration on Wednesday, March 19
And did we say that volunteering is quick, fun and easy?
It's simple to sign up:visit our Sign Up Genius page.
We also highly recommend that volunteers attend the Volunteer Orientation Session at 2:30-5:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 23, at Oak Park’s Maze Library Branch Meeting Room.
For more information, please contact Amy O'Rourke at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our volunteer page.
We are thrilled to present the Official Selections of this year's Festival. We have carefully selected these 30 films from a pool of nearly 200 and are proud to be screening them to audiences throughout the Chicago area this year.
We look forward to seeing you!
See the film Growing Cities at a Pre-Fest Screening!
Dominican University is hosting a screening of Growing Cities at The Lund Auditorium, 7900 Division St, River Forest, IL,on Tuesday, February 18 at 7 p.m. Reserve ticket. Join this Facebook event to receive news and updates.
Prior to the film, Dominican will host an indoor farmer's market starting at 6p.m. Come meet the folks from Gretta's Goats, Sugarland Bakery, Sugar Beet Co-Op, Three Queens Organic Maple Syrup, Blue Max Coffee - among others. After the hour-long film, stay for a discussion and meet the local farmers who are building Chicago's urban agriculture and community garden movement.
While this pre-fest screening is FREE, seating is limited, so please reserve your ticket using the link.
This film will be screened again during the One Earth Film Festival on Saturday March 8, 2014 at 2-4pm at Institute for Cultural Affairs – ICA Greenrise in Chicago AND Sunday March 9, 2014 at 3-5pm at West Suburban Temple Har Zion in River Forest. Reserve ticket.
Filmmakers Dan Susman and Andrew Monbouquette take a road trip to meet the men and women who are challenging the way this country grows and distributes its food, one vacant city lot, rooftop garden, and backyard chicken coop at a time.
Join the filmmakers as they discover that good food isn’t the only crop these urban visionaries are harvesting. Urban farmers are producing stronger and more vibrant communities, too.
Directed By Dan Susman /2013 / 60 minutes
This film will be screened again during the One Earth Film Festival on Saturday March 8, 2014 at 2-4pm at Institute for Cultural Affairs – ICA Greenrise in Chicago AND Sunday March 9, 2014 at 3-5pm at West Suburban Temple Har Zion in River Forest. Reserve ticket
For more information on the film, please visit the official documentary website.
See the film Urban Roots at a Pre-Fest Screening!
Sacred Keepers Sustainability Lab is hosting a screening of Urban Roots at 4445 S. King Dr. in Chicago, IL on Saturday, March 1 at 2-4 p.m. Reserve tickets. Join this Facebook event to receive news and updates.
Stay for a fun and engaging discussion and meet local community groups involved in real projects that are building Chicago's urban agriculture and community garden movement. While this pre-fest screening is FREE, seating is limited, so please reserve your ticket using the link.
This film will be screened again during the One Earth Film Festival on Sunday, March 9 at 3-5:15 p.m. at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Chicago, IL. Reserve ticket.
Urban Roots follows the urban farming phenomenon in Detroit. Produced by Leila Conners (The 11th Hour) Mark MacInnis and Mathew Schmid, the film is a timely, moving and inspiring film that chronicles the hopes and dreams of Detroit's "next big idea."
Young urban farmers are reclaiming vacant land and coming back to the city to set up organic farms. This new agricultural movement is feeding Detroit -- both its appetite and sense of hope.
Urban Roots speaks to a nation grappling with collapsed industrial towns and the need to forge a sustainable and prosperous future.
Directed By Mark MacInnis / 2011 / 93 minutes
This film will be screened again during the One Earth Film Festival on Sunday, March 9 at 3-5:15 p.m. at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Chicago, IL. Reserve ticket
Director – Jeremy Seifer/2013/90 minutes
GMO OMG director and concerned father Jeremy Seifert is in search of answers. How do GMOs affect our children, the health of our planet, and our freedom of choice? And perhaps the ultimate question, which Seifert tests himself: is it even possible to reject the food system currently in place, or have we lost something we can’t gain back?
Post-film discussion at Lake Theatre will be facilitated by Jim Slama, Founder of Family Farmed and Good Food Festivals. The Humboldt Park event will be facilitated by Joan Levin of IL Right to Know GMO and includes a sustainable food resource fair.
These and other questions take Seifert on a journey from his family’s table to Haiti, Paris, Norway, and the lobby of agra-giant Monsanto, from which he is unceremoniously ejected. Along the way we gain insight into a question that is of growing concern to citizens the world over: what's on your plate?
For more information on the film, please visit the official GMO OMG website.