The One Earth Film Festival is about halfway through its 10-day 2019 season. This local invention is thriving and growing organically in ways that are remarkable and delightful.

Launched by Green Community Connections, a broader local Earth stewardship effort, the film festival keeps adding venues for its growing roster of films. We love the connections being made in city neighborhoods where the passion for our planet is strong and urgent. We love the Young Filmmakers Contest which just keeps drawing more entries from a wider geography — not to overlook the three River Forest students who placed in this year’s competition. We love the increasing attendance across venues. And, homers that we are, we love that it all started in Oak Park and River Forest.

The Big Idea is back. Now in its fourth year, this powerful entrepreneurial experiment comes out of the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation. A group of local entrepreneurs, Wednesday Journal among them, donates $2,500 each year to raise a cool $50,000. That pot of money is then gifted to the winner of the upcoming March 13 Pitch Party. 

The aspiring entrants have now been pared to five finalists spanning issues of education, sustainability, cross-generation connection, and the maker movement. The excitement is palpable as finalists make their pitch to the judges and the crowd at Wire. When the evening ends, one social entrepreneur will have the seed money to grow their Big Idea. 

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