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Weekend Passport: One Earth Film Festival Highlights 'Hometown Habitat'

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Sonic Sea

Still image from the film ‘Sonic Sea’, playing at the 2017 One Earth Film Festival. (Screenshot via YouTube)

The One Earth Film Festival, now in its sixth year, bills itself as “the Midwest’s premier environmental film festival."

“It was an Oak Park thing at first,” said festival founder Ana Garcia-Doyle about the festival’s origins in 2012. “I had heard of the D.C. Environmental Film Festival -- which draws tens of thousands of people every year and for 25 years now. I thought, ‘Let’s try something like what they’re doing.’ ”

The festival, which WBEZ is co-sponsoring, runs from March 3 through 12, and will show 33 films in 37 locations across Chicago. Below are a few recommendations from Garcia-Doyle.

Hometown Habitat: Stories of Bringing Nature Home

Hometown Habitat explores how native plants "are critical to the survival and vitality of local ecosystems."

“Most people don’t have an inkling that there are connections, or that there’s a difference between native plants and non-native plants,” said Catherine Zimmerman, director of the documentary. “I felt like the first piece of the film should be about bringing this basic information: What’s a food web? What are ecosystem services? Non-native versus native.”

The film is playing in multiple locations, including Grayslake, River Grove, Chicago and Aurora. It also features Doug Tallamy, a Chicago-area entomologist whose work reexamines the way we landscape.

The Age of Consequences

Garcia-Doyle recommended The Age of Consequences, a documentary that investigates the impacts of climate change on human migration, conflict and resource scarcity. 

The documentary airs Saturday at the Institute of Cultural Affairs at 4750 N. Sheridan Rd. and Sunday at the Old St. Patrick's Church at 700 W. Adams St. in Chicago. Both showings will be followed by discussions.

Time To Choose

Garcia-Doyle also recommends Time To Choose, a documentary that highlights the urgency of climate change from Oscar-winning director Charles Ferguson. The documentary airs Sunday morning at Elmhurst College in suburban Elmhurst.

The Good Mind

Central New York state is home to the Onondaga Nation, a sovereign indigenous-government that follows the Great Law of Peace, the oral constitution of the Iroquois Confederacy that inspired American democracy. The Good Mind is a documentary about the Onondaga and Iroquois Confederacy’s philosophy and way of life. It’s playing on Saturday in the South Loop.

Filmmaker Gwendolen Cates, whose next movie will be about Standing Rock, will participate in a discussion after the film. 

Young Filmmakers Contest

For the young aspiring filmmakers in Chicago, the prizes for the Young Filmmakers Contest will be awarded on Saturday afternoon at Columbia College Chicago’s Music Center. The winning films will also premiere. 

Last year's winner was high school student Liam Loughran for his film, "Transportation."

Hit play above to hear more about the films showing at the One Earth Film Festival.

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