WBEZ | chasing ice http://www.wbez.org/tags/chasing-ice Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Environmental film festival returns to western suburbs http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-02/environmental-film-festival-returns-western-suburbs-105832 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/ChasingIce_filmstill2_by_James_Balog-Extreme_Ice_Survey2.jpg" style="height: 407px; width: 610px;" title="Chasing Ice, a documentary about photographer James Balog, plays this weekend as part of the One Earth Film Festival." /></p><p>If the Oscars left you wanting for some environmental fare, a film festival in Chicago&rsquo;s western suburbs has you covered. The second annual <a href="http://greencommunityconnections.org/2013-one-earth-film-festival/">One Earth Film Festival</a> this weekend in Oak Park, River Forest and Forest Park, as well as Chicago&rsquo;s Austin neighborhood, will show 40 environmental films, including the award-winning documentaries <em>Chasing Ice</em> and <em>Dying Green</em>, as well as films produced by local students.</p><p>The festival is organized by Green Community Connections, a grassroots (though they call themselves a &ldquo;deep-roots&rdquo; group) environmental organization based in the western suburbs. (Full disclosure: A short film I co-produced showed during last year&rsquo;s festival.)</p><p><em><a href="http://www.chasingice.com/">Chasing Ice</a></em>, which had only a limited run in Chicago last year, will be shown Saturday morning at 10:30 at the Lake Theater in Oak Park. The film focuses on photographer James Balog, whose assignments for <em>Smithsonian, National Geographic</em> and numerous other publications fostered his fascination with glaciers. As Balog&rsquo;s work brought him face to face with the effects of climate change, he started the <a href="http://extremeicesurvey.org/">Extreme Ice Survey</a> to document <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/20/science/earth/arctic-sea-ice-stops-melting-but-new-record-low-is-set.html">retreating glaciers</a> through time-lapse photography.</p><p>Though not nominated for Best Documentary last weekend, <em>Chasing Ice</em> was up for Best Original Song. (&ldquo;Before My Time&rdquo; by J. Ralph predictably lost to Adele&rsquo;s &ldquo;Skyfall.&rdquo;) In addition to its hypnotic visuals &mdash;&nbsp;the ice survey team watches a hunk of ice several times the size of Manhattan quake and crumble into the sea &mdash; <em>Chasing Ice </em>provides a human lens through which to view the often unwieldy issue of climate change. Rather than take a tired political tack, the film zeroes in on Balog&rsquo;s own journey: his realization that the world is changing before his eyes, and his self-destructive obsession with helping stop it.</p><p>Other films deal with issues including the Great Lakes water supply, genetically modified food and fracking. Filmmaker Ellen Tripler will discuss her award-winning documentary <em><a href="http://www.dyinggreenthefilm.com/">Dying Green</a></em>, about a doctor who promotes &ldquo;natural&rdquo; burials that do not use chemical&nbsp;preservatives&nbsp;or embalming&nbsp;fluid.&nbsp;<em><a href="http://www.lastcallattheoasis.com/">Last Call at the Oasis</a></em>, produced by the company behind <em>An Inconvenient Truth</em>, argues that a global water crisis will be the central issue of the 21<sup>st</sup> century.</p><p><em>Download a full schedule for the One Earth Film Festival <a href="http://greencommunityconnections.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/2013_film_schedule_print.pdf">here</a>.</em></p><p><em>Chris Bentley writes about the environment. Follow him on Twitter at <a href="https://twitter.com/Cementley" target="_blank">@Cementley</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 01 Mar 2013 06:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-02/environmental-film-festival-returns-western-suburbs-105832