one earth our earth

2014 Young Filmmakers Contest Winners

FilmFest-logo-contest2014-web(1)The One Earth…Our Earth Young Filmmakers Contest is pleased and proud to announce the winners for 2014!
  • High School category: Hinsdale Central Ecology Club. “What Will You Do?” A film about transportation by:  Stephanie Jamilla, Josh Feldman, Rachel Chang, and Wendy Li.  Young Filmmakers attend Hinsdale Central High School in Hinsdale, Illinois.
  • Middle School category: Pineapple Productions: Ana Shack, Lillian Lowson, Marta Rohner, Isabella Saracco Haley Gladden and Cia Gladden.  "Earth 2114." A film about water usage and resources.  Young Filmmakers attend:  Roosevelt Middle school in River Forest, Illinois.
  • Elementary School category: Jaxon Toppen, Danny Scholvin and Ray Deogracias. "Where Did The Rest of Us Go?" A film about electronic waste.  Young Filmmakers attend:  Willard Elementary School in River Forest, Illinois.
Screening of all films will be held at Beye School in Oak Park Saturday March 8th at 1pm.  Screenings will be followed by an award ceremony and an opportunity to speak with the young filmmakers.

Young Filmmakers Can Win the "One Earth, Our Earth" Film Contest


Last year, Green Community Connections kicked off our first One Earth…Our Earth! Young Filmmakers Contest as part of the annual One Earth Film festival.  We were impressed by the creativity and concern for environmental issues demonstrated by each submission we received. This year we hope to draw even more entries from a wider area and a deeper range of students. A primary goal of the contest is to engage and educate children and young adults about sustainability issues in the areas of water, waste, food, transportation, and energy.  The contest offers a way for young people to showcase their abilities in making positive changes for their future.

One Earth...Our Earth! Young Filmmakers Contest Details

Each winning film will be screened in the general film program of the upcoming 3rd annualOne Earth Film Festival taking place March 7-9, 2014.  Green Community Connections will also award cash prizes and a grant to each winner to be spent in support of a sustainably-focused organization of their choice.

A Powerful Experience for Students

We have learned just how powerful the film making experience is from last year’s high school category winner, Lea 553316_10151280239036954_1181042183_nKichler from Lincoln Park High School:

Being able to participate in the One Earth contest was not only very exciting as I knew my work would be scrutinized, but also quite fulfilling since the Young Filmmakers Contest brings awareness to multiple good causes. When I found out I won, I was extremely happy!  Being given the opportunity to show my work at a film festival was absolutely amazing, and I was looking forward to donating money to an organization I cared about. I donated the grant money to, an organization that provides water in sustainable ways to communities all around the world. I felt so lucky to contribute through the festival and through my film. I am saving the prize money to invest in more equipment so I can continue to create more documentaries in even higher quality to bring awareness to other subjects I feel strongly about.

There is Still Time to Get Involved This Year!

The Young Filmmakers Contest is open to students from 3rd grade through college. Students are asked to make a solution based, 3-8 minute film (5-8 minute for high school and college students) or a (minimum) 45-second animated film. The submission deadline is Sunday, January 12, 2014.If they start now, students still have plenty of time to create a winning film!

Please share information about the Young Filmmakers Contest far and wide as we wish to grow this part of the One Earth Film Festival and build upon the wonderful success of our inaugural year!  You can share this email (see button at bottom of email), download and share this year’s Promotional Flyer, and also visit for more details.


2013 Winners – One Earth…Our Earth Young Filmmakers Contest

Elementary School Category Wasteful Santa: Talia Levy, Elizabeth Larscheid, Ella Haas, Isabel Marx - Mann School Middle School Category Sporktagion: HEAT (Heritage Earth Action Team) – Heritage Middle School High School Category Let’s Talk About Water: Lea Kichler – Lincoln Park High School

"One Earth...Our Earth!" Young Filmmakers Contest 2014

The One Earth Film Festival -- taking place March 7-9, 2014 – is proud to announce the 2nd annual One Earth . . . Our Earth! Young Filmmakers Contest.

This contest is open to students from upper grade school through to college level.  The goal of the Young Filmmakers Contest is to invite students to use the creative medium of film to address the issues surrounding climate change and sustainability. Students are asked to make a solution based, 3-8 minute film or short 45-second animation.  Films are judged by industry professionals and leaders within the environmental community.

Please share information about the Young Filmmakers Contest far and wide as we wish to grow this part of the One Earth Film Festival and build upon the wonderful success of our inaugural year!  Entries are now being accepted (deadline is Jan. 12, 2014).  You can download and share this year's Promotional Flyer.

Film submission deadline is Sunday, January 12, 2014. Winners will be notified prior to the 2014 One Earth Film Festival, and winning films will be screened at the One Earth Film Festival 2014 and/or at the Green Carpet opening event. Winners in each grade level category will also receive cash prizes and matching grants for a non-profit organization or community sustainability project of their choice.

Want more information? Check out the full Contest Details for the 2014 Young Filmmakers Contest.


2013 Winners

Elementary School Category

Wasteful Santa -Talia Levy, Elizabeth Larscheid, Ella Haas, Isabel Marx - Mann School

Middle School Category

Sporktagion: HEAT (Heritage Earth Action Team) - Heritage Middle School

High School Category

Let's Talk About Water - Lea Kichler - Lincoln Park High School


Questions? Please contact Katie Morris, or Sue Crothers


And The Winners Are...

The votes are in, and Green Community Connections is pleased to announce the winners of the first ever One Earth…Our Earth Young Filmmakers Contest!  We are extremely happy to report that we received 12 films in the first year of the contest across the different age categories.   Thank you to all of the participants for making the first year of the contest so successful.  A lot of hard work and dedication were put into these films, and we are so proud of these young filmmakers.

 The Winning Films

Let’s Talk About Water – Lea Kichler , Lincoln Park High School, Chicago IL (High School Category)

Sporktagion – Heritage Earth Action Team – Heritage Middle School, Berwyn, IL (Middle School Category)

A Wasteful Santa – Mann School Group, Horace Mann Elementary School, Oak Park, IL (Elementary School Category)

Awards Presentation and Additional Screenings

Each winning filmmaker will be awarded a cash prize as well as a matching grant to put towards the nonprofit of their choice.  The public award ceremony will take place on Saturday, March 2, 11:00 am at Beye School in Oak Park (230 N Cuyler Ave).  The winning films will be shown and awards  will be distributed.  A reception with light refreshments will follow.

Each winning film will also be screened as part of the One Earth Film Festival general film program as follows:


Please come out to join us and celebrate the amazing pool of young talent during the film festival, March 1-3!

The Contest

As part of the 2nd Annual One Earth Film Festival, the Young Filmmakers Contest was created with the following goals in One Earth, Our Earth! Young Filmmakers Contestmind:

  • To engage and educate children and adults in Oak Park, River Forest, and surrounding communities about sustainability issues in the areas of water, waste, food, transportation, and energy.
  • To help viewers understand the urgency of sustainability issues in the above-mentioned topics, and share potential solutions.

Students in grades 3 through college were invited to submit environmental film entries with topics covering water, waste, food, transportation or energy.  Comprised of a panel of 10 judges, both in the media/film industry and volunteers from Green Community Connections, the young filmmakers were judged on their ability to address their chosen topic/s while being engaging, informative, inspiring, and creative in the execution of their film.  Submissions were to follow the established guidelines and show a strong (research-supported) understanding of the topic/s and related, key issues, as well as share solutions to the issues at hand.



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, or Katie Morris,