More than 500 people came out and viewed films during the inaugural One Earth Film Fest in Oak Park and River Forest during the weekend of April 27-29. Volunteers with the local nonprofit Green Community Connections organized the festival.

More than 30 films were shown at multiple venues in Oak Park and River Forest. They touched on a full spectrum of sustainability topics. One of the highlights of the festival was the award-winning documentary Waste Land, shown at the Lake Theatre, which got a strong response from the audience.

The movie drew people in slowly and built to a very powerful, impactful conclusion. I think everyone was greatly moved and appreciative of being part of this showing. They seemed deeply affected by the dignity of the recyclers/garbage pickers and how they lived their life with such respect for themselves, their families and the world around them despite their dire circumstances.”

Also powerfully received was the epic film, A Fierce Green Fire, which was shown at Dominican University. The movies Angela’s Garden and Food Patriots, both from local filmmakers, also were featured. Films for children and families were included in the event.

The festival’s concluding movie, Dirt, was shown at Pleasant Home. Each movie was followed by a facilitated discussion, which engaged moviegoers and led to lively dialogue.

For more information on the One Earth Film Festival or to become involved in Green Community Connections, please contact

Melanie Weiss
Oak Park

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