Community members of all ages are invited to celebrate the Earth at the annual Green Lens Environmental Film Festival.
The festival runs from Monday, Feb. 24, through Thursday, Feb. 27, at NIU and downtown DeKalb and offers film screenings, filmmaker presentations, kids’ crafts, panel discussions, an environmental art fair and other events to help people have fun while learning how to go green.
All events are free and open to the public.
Green Lens is presented by NIU’s Institute for the Study of the Environment, Sustainability, and Energy (ESE) and the Division of Outreach, Engagement, and Regional Development.
Melissa Burlingame, program coordinator for ESE and co-director of Green Lens, says that the festival is about taking action. “Issues facing the environment can sometimes seem overwhelming. Our goal with the festival is to help people find ways to take action right here in DeKalb.”
This year, the festival is hosting community panel discussions after select films to spur local involvement in green initiatives.
“The issue of green burial isn’t something people usually think about,” says Burlingame, “but this film captured our attention and won our Committee Choice Award. The documentary tells the story of a man who is diagnosed with cancer and wants his last act to benefit the earth.”
After the screening, audience members will have the opportunity to Skype with the filmmakers and participate in a panel discussion with representatives from the Illinois Green Burial Council.
At 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25, festival goers are invited to NIU’s Cole Hall for a presentation of the Feature Film Winner “Growing Cities.”
This quirky, upbeat documentary takes viewers on a cross-country road trip to explore how urban farming initiatives are changing the way American cities produce food. After the film, audience members can Skype with the directors and participate in a panel discussion on DeKalb’s local food initiatives.
Also on Tuesday, the festival will also host a free green literacy day and book give-away at DeKalb Public Library. Young children can participate in story time and make edible biomes at 9:30 a.m. Tweens can upcycle old clothes into hats and other stylish accessories at 6:30 p.m.
Other highlights include a Wednesday evening presentation of the Student Shorts and Narrative Shorts showcases at Cole Hall and a Thursday evening presentation of the Documentary Shorts showcase at O’Leary’s as part of the festival’s Green Night Out.
“The Green Night Out is a special night to celebrate filmmaking, art, and all of the local environmental agencies working to make DeKalb a better place to live,” says Gillian King-Cargile, festival co-director and the communications coordinator for NIU Outreach.
In addition to film screenings, King-Cargile says attendees will be able to win door prizes, see an environmental art show, and talk with representatives from local environmental groups such as DeKalb County Community Gardens, Argonne National Laboratory, Green Paws, Duck Soup Coup and others.
Green Lens will also provide free appetizers throughout the night. Meals and drinks will be available for purchase from O’Leary’s.
The Green Lens Environmental Film Festival is 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.
For more information, call (815) 753-6784 or email [email protected].