Young filmmakers
contest Winners 2019

The One Earth Young Filmmakers Contest is pleased to announce the winners for 2019! Their films premiered at the One Earth Film Festival on March 2, at the Gene Siskel Film Center, in Chicago.

First Place Winners 2019

Elementary School category: $100 to keep + $100 matching gift donated to Mission Blue.
Patricia Lucaszczyk and Adriana Talavera. “Plastic in the Ocean.” A film about waste and water. Young Filmmakers attend Luther Burbank Elementary School in Burbank, Ill.

High School category: $350 to keep + $350 matching gift donated to Anacostia Watershed Society.
Emily Zhao. “Planet or Plastic.” A film about waste and water. Young Filmmaker attends Montgomery High School in Rockville, Maryland.

Middle School category: $200 to keep + $200 matching gift donated to The Orangutan Project.
Andrew Edwards. “The Turmoil of Palm Oil.” A film about food and open space/ecosystems. Young Filmmaker attends Roosevelt Middle School in River Forest, Illinois.

College category: $1,000 scholarship + $1,000 matching gift donated to Kiss the Ground.
Samantha Lane. “Spell of the West.” A film about open space/ecosystems. Young Filmmaker attends California Institute of the Arts in Santa Clarita, California.

Honorable Mention 2019 (college level includes grade 12)

Elementary School level: Lily Kleps. “What a Waste!” A film about food and waste. Young Filmmaker attends Lincoln Elementary School in River Forest, Illinois.

Middle School level: Tori Robinson-Thomas. “Our Water Crisis.” A film about water. Young Filmmaker attends Grace Lutheran School in River Forest, Illinois.

High School level: Nicole Tanaka. “Race to Stop E-Waste.” A film about waste. Young Filmmaker attends Gabrielino High School in San Gabriel, California.

College level: Anna Daugherty. "Plastics in Ocean." A film about waste and water. Young Filmmaker attends Wheeler High School in Marietta, Georgia.

College level: Cara DeGaish. "Sincerely Corpus." A film about waste. Young Filmmaker attends Gregory Portland High School in Portland, Texas.

College level: Joanne Ha and Sarina Matson. “Crime of Fashion.” A film about waste. Young Filmmakers created this film last year while seniors at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Maryland.

College level: Jacqueline Sepulveda. "Insecticides and Our Environment." A film about open space and ecosystems. Young Filmmaker attends Maine West High School in DesPlaines, Illinois.

Post-graduate level: Adam Joel. “The Green Burger Challenge.” A film about food. Young Filmmaker graduated in 2018 from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

Middle School level: Maiana Nelson. “Drowning in Plastic.” A film about waste. Young Filmmaker attends L.J. Hauser Junior High School in Riverside, Illinois.

High School level: Kendall Dirks. “Estelle’s Story.” A film about food and open space/ecosystems. Young Filmmakers attends York High School in Elmhurst, Illinois.

College level: "On the Backs of Salmon." A film about food, water, and open space and ecosystems.* Ballard High School Digital Filmmaking Program in Seattle, Washington.

College level: Gillian Dittmer. "The 1.3 Billion Ton Problem." A film about food and waste. Young Filmmaker plans to return to Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, in the fall.

College level: Amanda Godreau. "Waste." A film about waste. Young Filmmaker attends Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida.

College level: Hailey McMahon. "Trap, Neuter and Return." A film about open space and ecosystems. Young Filmmaker attends Citrus High School in Inverness, Florida.

Post-graduate level: Nikki Conero and Jack Szynaka. “Our Horizon.” A film about open space and ecosystems. Young Filmmakers graduated in 2018 from School of Visual Arts in New York City, New York.


Thank You to our 2019 Contest Jury:

Felice Bassuk, a screenwriter and film producer, is currently working on an immigration film.  Her short dramatic anti-smoking film, “The Call,” was screened at festivals across the country and is being distributed to schools, health departments, and youth clubs.

Amy Brinkman is a retired board member for The Nineteenth Century Charitable Association. She has been a volunteer/assistant for Wicker Park DIY Landscape Design Class and a "Kids Grow" program that helps young people develop a relationship with the environment and an appreciation of the arts.

Laurie Casey is marketing manager for the One Earth Film Festival. She has been a professional communicator for more than 25 years, as well as a passionate advocate for nature. She has written more than 200 articles on the urban forest and enjoys native plant gardening in her free time.

Lisa Daleiden-Brugman works at Seven Generations Ahead (SGA), an environmental sustainability non-profit with a regional impact. Lisa, who holds a master's degree in education, is a former Chicago Public Schools teacher and board chair at both a local preschool and a Chicago elementary school.   

Kelly Doss has worked as a marketing executive for over 20 years creating commercials and video content for major brands globally.  Most recently in film, she was a producer for the highly acclaimed 2017 indie film Princess Cyd which premiered at over 50 film festivals globally.

Monica Fox has worked in the film and video industry for over 35 years, She has produced films shown on PBS and Discovery Networks, has worked with Kartemquin Films, and has worked on documentaries that span a wide range of subjects, including sustainability living, farm-to-table healthy eating, and histories of ground-breaking social justice institutions.

Bill Gee has worked in the food industry for over 25 years and has supported the One Earth Film Festival since its inception. He is a board member for the Sugar Beet Food Co-op, Chicago Public Media (WBEZ) and MOMENTA Dance Company. 

Kathryn Hempel is an artist, and Emmy Award winning partner/editor at the global production and post company Cutters Studios. She is the founder of AICP’s Editing, Design and Sound competition Camp Kuleshov and has edited viral commercial campaigns, such as Always “Like a Girl” as well as longer format content and the feature length cycling documentary “Road to Roubaix.”

Richard Laurent, former creative director/art director-animation for Encyclopaedia Britannica Films, currently teaches in the illustration program at Columbia College Chicago. His paintings are represented in several Midwest galleries.

Jennifer Maiotti has over a decade of experience writing, producing and supervising documentaries for National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, History Channel, Travel Channel, A&E, and MSNBC. She is publishing a children’s book about rainforest life in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Jonathan Moeller is the film teacher at DePaul College Prep High School and a member of the teaching staff for Chicago Filmmakers. He teaches production and visual storytelling to students of all ages while also working as a freelance filmmaker in the city of Chicago.

Jim Rohn co-directs the animation program at Columbia College Chicago. Formerly, he worked in the video game industry and also developed and illustrated comic books. Jim teaches computer and traditional animation production classes.

Risé Sanders Weir produced the documentary series America To Me and has produced and directed documentaries for MSNBC, PBS, History, National Geographic, CNBC, A&E, The Weather Channel and others. Her work has been recognized with Cinema Eye, Emmy, Hugo and Telly awards and nominations for an MPSE Golden Reel and an NAACP Image Award.

Annie Speicher is a documentary filmmaker and sustainable food advocate in Evanston, Illinois. Her last film, Sustainable, screened at One Earth Film Festival in 2016 and is now available on Netflix. Annie also works as a digital media specialist at Northwestern University, telling stories about innovative research and the university's newest discoveries.

Angela Taylor manages the Fulton Street Flower and Vegetable Garden, along with her family. In addition, she works for the Garfield Park Community Council as the Wellness Coordinator.

Lauren Travers Wall is an animator, art director, art assistant, and production designer in the film industry. She and David Arthur Wall recently created the official Claymation stop-motion music video for, “Fanger,” by The Kickback.

David Arthur Wall has created films in the field of education for a nationwide after-school program, an Evanston school, and Steve and Kate’s Camp, a summer program for children. He and Lauren Travers collaborate on stop-motion projects.

Matt Wechsler is an award winning documentarian, sustainable food activist and urban gardener from Evanston, Illinois. His latest film, Sustainable, is now available on Netflix and received the 2016 Accolade Global Humanitarian Award for Outstanding Achievement.  

Karen Weigert is a Senior Fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs focused on climate, energy and sustainability in global cities. Karen was also a producer and writer of the documentary film Carbon Nation on solutions to climate change.

Cassandra West is communications and media consultant who works with several Chicago-area nonprofits in the areas of conservation, urban agriculture and environmental activism. She has been involved with and supported One Earth Film Festival since its inception.

Angelo Williams is a filmmaker and documentarian from the west side of Chicago. His latest work Black Che The Panther, was mentioned in Ebony magazine. He is an active vegan and admirer of nature and earth. 

Caroline Ziv founded her production company Big Red Bike Media after 15+ years producing for TV shows including Good Morning America, Dateline NBC, and The Oprah Winfrey Show where she often worked on episodes about environmental issues.


2018 Winners

  • College category tie: Emma Josephson. Generation Compromise: Food vs. the Environment. A film about food. Young Filmmaker attends Portland State University in Portland, Oregon.

  • College category tie: Miranda Lu. Stop the Plastics! A film about waste, water, and open space and ecosystems. Young Filmmakers attends Cosumnes River College in Sacramento, California.

  • High School category: Alexander Grattan, “Lead in Water.” A film about water. Young Filmmaker attends Keystone Oaks High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

  • Middle School category: Andrew Edwards, Plastic Not Fantastic.” A film about waste. Young Filmmaker attends Roosevelt Middle School in River Forest, Illinois.

  • Elementary School category: Rachel Kralik, Evan Richardson, Carolina Rios, and Capri Scatton. Go Green, Go Clean.” A stop-motion film about waste. Young Filmmakers attend Longfellow Elementary School in Oak Park, Illinois.

  • Honorable Mention College level: Greer Fawcett. "Trash Man." A film about waste. Young Filmmaker attends Syracuse University, in New York.

  • Honorable Mention College level: Hunter Harding. "The Chase." A film about open space and ecosystems. Young Filmmaker attends The University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas.

  • Honorable Mention High School level: Desiree Nixon.Seventh Generation.” A film about energy and waste. Young Filmmaker attends Kickapoo High School in Springfield, Missouri.

  • Honorable Mention High School level: Jullian Woodard. "The Hidden Crisis." A film about waste and water. Young Filmmaker attends Pebblebrook High School in Mableton, Georgia.

  • Honorable Mention Middle School level: Isaac Averbuch. "Fresh Air." A film about energy, transportation, and waste. Young Filmmaker attends Metropolitan Schoolhouse in Chicago, Illinois.

  • Honorable Mention Middle School level: Lily O’Connor, Isaiah Pinzino, Elijah Spencer. The Stop Motion Animation Electric Car Movie.” A film about energy, transportation, and waste. Young Filmmakers attend Most Holy Redeemer School in Evergreen Park, Sutherland Elementary School in Chicago, and Clissold Elementary School in Chicago.

2017 Winners

  • High School category: Christina Yin and Elizabeth Hou. “Crash 'n' Crumble.” A film about open space and ecosystems. Young Filmmakers attend Monte Vista High School in Danville, California.

  • Middle School category: Ruhi Shastri Saldanha. “Deforestation.” (Password: woods). A film about open space and ecosystems. Young Filmmaker attends Julian Middle School in Oak Park, Illinois.

  • Elementary School category: Jaxon and Miles Toppen. “Shells in Need of Saving.“ A film about ecosystems. Young Filmmakers attend Roosevelt Middle School in River Forest, Illinois.

  • Honorable Mention College level: Breana Kloski.A Revolution Dance Against Petcoke. A film about energy and waste. Young Filmmaker attends Columbia College in Chicago, Illinois. This film did not meet our criteria of presenting an environmental problem and a solution. However, we applaud it's originality and creativity. Warning: song by Raury does have profanity which was bleeped at our awards event.

  • Honorable Mention Middle School level: Amparo Acevedo, Josh Dingman, Sam Dingman, Laurel Ditzel, Danielle Guralnick, Cerys Hattersley, Amanda Janus, Zoe Klein, Sophie Larratt, Julia Patson, Daliah Ramos, Mateo Reyes, and Sarah Ungaretti (all are Brooks School Eco Eagles). Yard Hunters.” A film about open space and ecosystems. Young Filmmakers attend Brooks Middle School in Oak Park, Illinois.

  • Honorable Mention Elementary School level: Frederic and Boomer Small. “All About Sharks” A stop-motion animation about water and ecosystems. Young Filmmakers attend Suder Montessori Elementary Magnet School and Beaubien Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois.

2016 Winners

  • High School category: Liam Loughran. “Transportation” A film about transportation. Young Filmmakers attends Oak Park River Forest High School in Oak Park, Illinois.

  • Middle School category: Kendall Dirks. “Cutting CARbon Emissions.” A film about transportation. Young Filmmaker attends Sandburg Middle School in Elmhurst, Illinois.

  • Elementary School category: Miles Toppen and Carter Workman. “Pretty Nice Island--The Movie.” A film about energy, transportation, and waste. Young Filmmakers attend Willard School in River Forest, Illinois.

  • Honorable Mention High School level: Veronika Lubeck, Kate Conneely, Emma Alm, Katherine Cusack, and Sarah Whiteside. Trinity Team Green.” A film about waste. Young Filmmakers attend Trinity High School in River Forest, Illinois.

  • Honorable Mention High School level: Marieke de Koker. Iaglo.” A stop-motion animation about waste. Password is iaglo. Young Filmmaker attends Interlochen Arts Academy in Interlochen, Michigan.

  • Honorable Mention Middle School level: Alex Schrader, Zoe Klein and Amanda Janusz of Eco Eagles.What’s in Your Lunch? A film about food. Young Filmmakers attend Brooks Middle School in Oak Park, Illinois.

2015 Winners

  • High School category: Hinsdale Central Ecology Club. Why Have a Garden? A film about food by Josh Feldman, Stephanie Jamilla, Claire Hultquist, Wendy Li, and Rachel Chang. Young Filmmakers attend Hinsdale Central High School in Hinsdale, Illinois.

  • Middle School category: Kelly Colbert Adam, Annie Nuntarach, Veronica Brooks, and Emily Kerstetter. Unplugged: a Short Video about Saving Energy.” A film about energy. Young Filmmakers attend Roosevelt Middle School in River Forest, Illinois.

  • Elementary School category: Ezra Nudd and Kian Tan. “Peregrine Falcons.” A film about saving animals. Password is boyssavinganimals. Young Filmmakers attend Keystone Montessori in River Forest, Illinois.

 

2014 Winners

  • High School category: Hinsdale Central Ecology Club. “What Will You Do?” A film about transportation by Stephanie Jamilla, Josh Feldman, Rachel Chang, and Wendy Li. Young Filmmakers attend Hinsdale Central High School in Hinsdale, Illinois.

  • Middle School category: Pineapple Productions: Ana Shack, Lillian Lowson, Marta Rohner, Isabella Saracco, Haley Gladden, and Cia Gladden. “Earth 2114.” A film about water usage and resources. Young Filmmakers attend Roosevelt Middle school in River Forest, Illinois.

  • Elementary School category: Jaxon Toppen, Danny Scholvin and Ray Deogracias. “Where Did The Rest of Us Go?” A film about electronic waste. Young Filmmakers attend Willard Elementary School in River Forest, Illinois.

2013 Winners

  • Elementary School category: Wasteful Santa -Talia Levy, Elizabeth Larscheid, Ella Haas, Isabel Marx – Mann School

  • Middle School category: Sporktagion: HEAT (Heritage Earth Action Team) – Heritage Middle School

  • High School category: Let’s Talk About Water – Lea Kichler – Lincoln Park High School

 

The One Earth Young Filmmakers Contest is partially funded by a grant from the Manaaki Foundation.