An American Ascent

An American Ascent

George Potter & Andrew Adkins/2014/68 min/People & Culture

Saturday, March 9, 12:30 p.m. [West]
Chicago Public Library, Austin Branch

Saturday, March 9, 5 p.m. [South]
Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago

FILM DESCRIPTION: “An American Ascent” documents the first African-American expedition to tackle North America's highest peak, Denali. In only a few decades the United States will become a majority-minority nation, as people of color will outnumber today's white majority for the first time ever. Yet, a staggering number of people in this soon-to-be majority do not consider the outdoors as a place for them. By taking on the grueling, 20,310 foot peak of the continent's biggest mountain, nine African-American climbers set out to shrink this adventure gap by building a legacy of inclusion in the outdoor/adventure community.

Backyard Wilderness (Ages 6 to 13+)

Backyard Wilderness (Ages 6 to 13+)

Susan Todd & Andrew Young/2018/45 min/Wildlife

Tuesday, March 5, 6:30 p.m. [South}
The Ancona School, Chicago

Saturday, March 9, 11 a.m. [W Suburbs]
Thatcher Woods Pavilion, River Forest

FILM DESCRIPTION: In “Backyard Wilderness,” we follow Katie, a young girl, and her modern family living next to the woods who are blind to the real-life spectacle around them, absorbed by an array of electronic devices in their busy lives. Katie gradually discovers the intricate secrets that nature has hidden so close to her front door and we experience the joy she finds in her interactions with this new world. The film showcases a stunning array of unique wildlife images and behavior captured by cameras mounted inside dens and nests to reveal inhabitants in rare and breathtaking intimacy.  

Birders: The Central Park Effect

Birders: The Central Park Effect

Jeffrey Kimball/2013/60 min/Wildlife

Sunday, March 3, 11 a.m. [South]
St Benedict the African Parish, Chicago

FILM DESCRIPTION: “Birders: The Central Park Effect” reveals the extraordinary array of wild birds who grace Manhattan’s celebrated patch of green, and the equally colorful New Yorkers who schedule their lives around the rhythms of migration. The lively cast of characters features author Jonathan Franzen, as well as an idiosyncratic trombone technician, a septuagenarian bird-tour leader, and others. This charming, lyrical documentary transports the viewer to the dazzling, hidden world of America’s most famous park.

Call of the Forest

Call of the Forest

Jeffrey McKay/2016/52 min/Conservation

Sunday, March 3, 1:30 p.m. [South]
St. James Church, Chicago

Sunday, March 10, 11 a.m. [W Suburbs]
Thatcher Woods Pavilion, River Forest
Guided forest walk at 10 a.m.

Sunday, March 10, 2 p.m. [Lake County]
St. Joseph Church, Libertyville

CHICAGO-AREA PREMIERE. FILM DESCRIPTION: The science and enchantment of the global forest provides us with answers to modern dilemmas. “Call of the Forest: The Forgotten Wisdom of Trees” follows scientist and acclaimed author Diana Beresford-Kroeger as she investigates our profound biological and spiritual connection to forests. Beresford-Kroeger explores the most beautiful forests in the Northern Hemisphere from the sacred sugi and cedar forests of Japan to the great boreal forest of Canada. She shares the amazing stories behind the history and legacy of these ancient forests while also explaining the science of trees and the irreplaceable roles they play in protecting and feeding the planet.

Dirt Rich

Dirt Rich

Marcelina Cravat & Eric Katsuleres/ 2018/86 min/Conservation

Sunday, March 3, 2 p.m. [South]
Windsor Park Lutheran Church, Chicago

Wednesday, March 6, 6:30 p.m. [Lake]
College of Lake County, Grayslake

Saturday, March 9, 2 p.m. [W Suburbs]
Triton College, River Grove

CHICAGO-AREA PREMIERE. FILM DESCRIPTION: “Dirt Rich” shifts the focus from greenhouse gas emissions to carbon drawdown, a viable solution for reversing the effects of runaway global warming in a timely manner. In “Dirt Rich,”  Marcelina Cravat  (“Angel Azul”) and Eric Katsuleres shine a light on geo-therapy strategies. Through regenerative agricultural practices, reforestation of abandoned land,  protection/restoration of carbon rich wetlands and keystone species, “Dirt Rich” illustrates how implementing these strategies will return our atmosphere to safe levels of carbon while growing soil, our most precious resource.  

Dreaming of a Vetter World

Dreaming of a Vetter World

Bonnie Hawthorne/2018/77 min/Sustainable Food & Agriculture

Saturday, March 2, 7 p.m. [W Suburbs]
Good Earth Greenhouse, River Forest

Monday, March 4, 6 p.m. [Central]
Great Central Brewing Company, Chicago
OEFF After Hours Event
Admission $20, includes reception

Wednesday, March 6, 6:30 [South]
Beverly Arts Center, Chicago
Admission $6

CHICAGO-AREA PREMIERE. FILM DESCRIPTION: Donald Vetter grew up in Nebraska, farming 800 acres with horses. When he came back from WWII and learned about the new agricultural uses for wartime chemicals, Don enthusiastically embraced the Chemical Age. In 1953, he quit spraying, after realizing the chemicals didn’t deliver on promises and they were damaging his soil and killing farm wildlife. Since then, the Vetter farm’s most important “crop” was its soil. “Dreaming of a Vetter World” comes at a time when interest in regenerating soil has exploded worldwide. Others are realizing what the Vetters have known for decades: Soil is key to our very survival.

Earth and Sky Friends (Ages 3 to 8+)

Earth and Sky Friends (Ages 3 to 8+)

Saturday, March 9, 9:15 a.m. [W Suburbs]
Thatcher Woods Pavilion, River Forest

Watch five short films with your children ages three to eight. Topics range from wildlife to seasons to magical cranes. Featured films include "The Wishing Cranes" (2017, 3 min), "Autumn" (2016, 3 min), "The Short Story of a Fox and a Mouse" (2016, 6 min), and "U at the Zoo: Okapi" (2011, 2 min).

Families and children will enjoy lively facilitated post-film discussion with a children’s educator, as well as a book reading of “African Unicorn” (another name for the endangered Okapi), interactive activities, and healthy snacks. Families will leave wanting to continue discussion on the topics of these short but rich films.