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

Dominican Library's Holiday Display Takes a Creatively Sustainable Twist

The Rebecca Crown Library of Dominican University and 4RFuture; the University’s sustainability initiative have teamed up to bring a creative and sustainable twist to the holidays by Dominican book xmas treecreating a large Christmas- themed display in the library. The most prominent feature of our display is the nine foot Christmas tree.  The tree is constructed from over 500 volumes of the National Union Catalog, a large collection of reference books.  Prior to the internet, this catalog was the best resource for finding books in other libraries.  The tree is decorated with snowflakes made from recycled book pages, and garland created from the colorful covers of old government publications. Beneath the tree are books from the library’s giveaway table that have been wrapped in newspaper and old maps already withdrawn from the collection.  The packages are adorned with ribbon made from old cassette and VHS tape.

Smaller trees made from volumes of an old series of government publications are on each study table in the library to bring a bit of holiday cheer while studying for finals.  Each tree features garland made from cassette tape and a little star adding the final touch.

Large snowflakes made from old maps of Illinois hang at three different levels from the interior spiral staircase creating a falling effect.  This also enables library users to see these magnificent creations from numerous levels of the library.

This display was designed by Bryan Deziel, Jill Bambenek, and Elena Maans.  Special thanks to the library staff and student employees for their assistance with the construction of the display.  The Rebecca Crown Library of Dominican University is located at 7900 W Division St, River Forest.  Stop by and take a look during their Holiday Hours.  Learn more on the library's blog.

"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


The Mantis Parable

Saturday Mar 2, 12:30P/William Beye Elementary School, Oak Park - Tickets

Josh Staub/2005/8 min/FAMILY

The charming tale of a humble caterpillar trapped in a bug collector's jar and in need of a helping hand.

AWARDS:  screened in over 40 festivals around the world and has won more than a dozen top awards, including twice qualifying for Oscar nominations.

Stories of TRUST - Calling for Climate Recovery

Playing at various venues throughout One Earth Film Festival 2013 (see below for details) - Tickets

Kelly Matheson; Christi Cooper-Kuhn/2012/9 min per segment/FAMILY

Stories of TRUST: Calling for Climate Recovery, is about the perfect trifecta of youth, law and justice.  This series of short documentaries features the voices of daring youth from across the country who went to court to compel the government to protect our atmosphere, in trust, for future generations.  Calling for Climate Recovery is a 10-part groundbreaking documentary series of nine young people who bravely share their stories of harm, activism and hope around the climate crisis.  

These youth have gone to court to hold their governments accountable for protecting the Public Trust resources that are essential for their well being and survival. What they want is simple: real Climate Recovery Plans, guided by our nation's best science, not dictated by politics and fossil fuel lobbyists. They come from California, Montana, Alaska, Arizona, Iowa, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Oregon and Massachusetts, but their stories cross state lines and tell a common American story.

Programming notes:
TRUST: Oregon - Oak Park Village Hall, Saturday Mar 2, 12:30P with Waterlife
TRUST: PA - Oak Park Village Hall, Saturday Mar 2, 3P with Houston, We Have a Problem
TRUST: AZ - River Forest Village Hall, Sunday Mar 3, 12:30P with A Simple Question: The Story of STRAW
TRUST: CA - River Forest Village Hall, Sunday Mar 3, 12:30P with A Simple Question: The Story of STRAW
TRUST: Montana - Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore, Sunday Mar 3, 12:30P with Killowatt Ours
TRUST: Alaska - Holley Court Terrace, Sunday, Mar 3, 3P with A Sea Change

Snowflakes and Carrots

Saturday, Mar 2, 10A/William Beye Elementary School, Oak Park - Tickets

Samantha Leriche-Gionet/2010/4 min/FAMILY

A little girl steals the carrots from all the snowmen in town.  The filmmaker's graduation film from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema (Concordia University).

AWARDS:  Winner of the Hermina Tyrlova Award for Young Artist at Zlin Film Festival 2011. Official Selection, Rhode Island International Film Festival. Official Selection, Chicago International Children's Film Festival 2010.

Change for the Oceans

Saturday, Mar 2, 12:30P/William Beye Elementary School, Oak Park - Tickets

Freerange Studios; Monterey Bay Aquarium/2010/1.5 min

Step into the Monterey Bay Aquarium and you’ll be inspired to do something, anything, to preserve the oceans. It’s a stunning emotional experience. The aquarium has been working hard to transform its passions into actions that matter. Recently, it’s been all about climate change and the undeniable fact that global warming is a huge threat to ocean ecosystems. But how to get that across in 90 seconds without terrifying the children?  Freerange Studios came up with this surreal yet simple story to motivate people to act while keeping a smile on their faces.  Then they super-charged that strategy with the voiceover talents of John Cleese.


Saturday, Mar 2, 12:30P/William Beye Elementary School, Oak Park - Tickets

Joaquin Baldwin/2007/2.5 min

An origami tale of a skilful paper folder who could shape the world with his hands. Papiroflexia (Spanish for “Origami”) is the animated tale of Fred, a chubby man with a passion for paper folding, who wants to change the world with his art. It was originally written as a poem by Joaquin Baldwin, and later developed into an animated film at the UCLA Animation Workshop, with music by Nick Fevola.

AWARDS: Short Film Corner, Festival de Cannes. Best Animated Short Film, Cinequest Film Festival. Best Animated Film: Director's Choice, Sedona International Film Festival. Best Animated Film, Peace on Earth Film Festival.

Ride of the Mergansers

Saturday, Mar 2, 12:30P/William Beye Elementary Schoool, Oak Park - Tickets

Steve Furman/2006/11 min

The Hooded Merganser is a rare and reclusive duck found only in North America. Every spring, in the Great Lakes region, the wary hen lays and incubates her eggs in a nest high in the trees.  Just 24 hours after hatching, the tiny ducklings must make the perilous leap to the ground below to begin life in the wild.

This age-old rite is rarely observed by humans. 'Ride of the Mergansers,' an 11-minute wildlife documentary, brings this hidden drama to the screen.  Filmed entirely in northern Minnesota, 'Ride of the Mergansers' is a heartwarming blend of natural history, humor, and suspense.  You'll be entertained, educated, and inspired - and leave with a newfound appreciation of the phrase 'leap of faith.'

AWARDS: Kids First! Film Festival, May 2011, Independent Short Ages 5-12 EcoFocus Film Festival, Athens, GA, October 2008, "Audience Award, Children's Favorite" EarthVision Int'l Environmental Film Festival, Santa Cruz, CA, March 2008, "Kids Power Hour"


First Snow in the Woods

Saturday, Mar 2, 10A/William Beye Elementary School - Tickets

Laura Sams; Robert Sams/2011/15 min (clip)

Set in the vivid fall season, the movie is a heartwarming, hilarious tale filled with stunning wildlife footage and original music (including a groundhog, chipmunk and woodpecker’s ode to fall). Based on the book First Snow in the Woods, by Carl Sams II and Jean Stoick. In a pumpkin patch surrounded by the reds and golds of fall, a worried scarecrow watches the animals prepare for winter.

AWARDS: Winner of 13 awards, including the Parents' Choice Gold Award for DVDs, Best Original Music at the International Wildlife Film Festival and a KiDS FIRST! Best of the Year Award.