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Green Lens Environmental Film Festival offers six-day celebration, awareness of Mother Earth

April 17, 2013

Green Lens Environmental Film Festival logoCelebrate Earth Week at the third annual Green Lens Environmental Film Festival, scheduled from Saturday, April 20, through Thursday, April 25.

The festival offers film screenings, filmmaker talks, outdoor adventures, kids’ crafts, DIY presentations and a “Green Night Out” in downtown DeKalb to help people of all ages have fun while learning about the environment.

Green Lens is presented by NIU’s Institute for the Study of the Environment, Sustainability, and Energy (ESE) and NIU Outreach.  Thanks to a generous grant from the DeKalb County Community Foundation, organizers will be able to present a six-day community festival and offer free educational items such as children’s books and green do-it-yourself kits.

“We encourage people to think about the impact of climate change and carbon emissions, but we also want them to come away with ideas that they can use in their everyday lives,” said Melissa Burlingame, program coordinator for ESE and co-director of Green Lens. “We can make small changes – like recycling, composting, conserving water, gardening with native plants and teaching our children to respect the environment – that will add up.”

Green Lens offers “ a great chance to see unique and thought-provoking films, explore DeKalb and learn new ways to take action and make a difference in the world around you,” she added.

DeKalb’s Egyptian TheatreMost events are free and open to the public. The Film Competition Showcase and Best of the Fest are $5 per person.

The Egyptian Theater, 135 N. Second St. in downtown DeKalb will host Green Lens the Competition Showcase Screening Sunday, April 21, and the Best of the Fest screening Thursday, April 25.

Saturday, April 20

  • 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Green Family Fun at Lions Park. Throughout the day, families can come to the park for nature hikes, kids’ crafts, a geocache scavenger hunt and creepy critter exhibits.
  • 1 p.m. – STEM Café at Lincoln Inn. Join ESE Director Melissa Lenczewski for a discussion discussion on the ways that tourism impacts water quality and island ecosystems.
  • 2 to 4 p.m.  Lorax Craft Party at the YMCA. Kids are invited to watch the 1972 Dr. Seuss film and make crafts that teach them how to speak for the trees. Kids can take home free activity books and kits to learn more about the environment.

Sunday, April 21

  • 3 to 7 p.m.  Film Competition Showcase and Environmental Fair at the Egyptian Theater. See unique and original short films that focus on environmental issues and talk with local environmental organizations about ways to go green. (Tickets $5)

Monday, April 22

  • 7 to 8:30 p.m.  Film Screening and Filmmaker Q&A at NIU’s Montgomery Hall Auditorium – Everglades of the North explores the history of the Kankakee marsh, an extraordinary home for everything from water birds to Civil War deserters. Why did the marsh vanish, and should we take action to bring it back?

My Village My LobsterTuesday, April 23

  • 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Storytime and crafts for young children at DeKalb Public Library. Parents, bring your little ones to the library for a “green-themed” storytime and age-appropriate crafts. Kids can take home free activity books and kits to learn more about the environment.
  • 4 to 5 p.m. Second-Chance Crafts for K-8 students at DeKalb Public Library. Learn how to recycle and upcycle trash into treasures!
  • 7 to 8:30 p.m.  Film Screening and Filmmaker Q&A at NIU’s Montgomery Hall Auditorium – My Village, My Lobster focuses on lobster fishing in Nicaragua. Learn the real cost of your seafood dinner.

Wednesday, April 24

  • 7 to 8:30 p.m.  Film Screening and Filmmaker Q&A at NIU’s Montgomery Hall Auditorium – Turtle Derby focuses on a group of children who are finding and training turtles for their town’s annual turtle race. When some of their turtles end up on the endangered species list, the community must decide whether their small-town tradition should change to protect the turtles.

Thursday, April 25

  • 5 to 8 p.m.  Green Night Out – The community is invited to downtown DeKalb for various food and drink specials, short DIY talks, raffles, art exhibits and workshops at various businesses throughout downtown, including Tapa La Luna, Eduardos and the Smalltown Skateshop. Attendees can also enter a raffle to win prizes.
  • 8 to 10 p.m.  Best of the Fest at the Egyptian Theater – The festival will conclude with a screening of the winning films from each category, the Committee Choice Award and Audience Choice award. (Tickets $5)

To find more information and printable schedules, visit

by Gillian King-Cargile