The Crusader Newspaper Group

10th anniversary of Chicago’s Peace on Earth Film Festival

By Elaine Hegwood Bowen, M.S.J., Chicago Crusader

The 2018 Peace on Earth Film Festival celebrates its 10th year as our city’s premier film festival, fully dedicated to promoting civic awareness, global engagement, discussions and, ultimately, a positive social change through film. Taking an intimate look at what is happening on six continents and in 12 countries, 35 powerful and courageous films will be presented at the newly renovated Davis Theater in Lincoln-Square March 9th-11th, 2018.

“Film at its essence must tap into our feeling nature to render its complete narrative,” states Executive Director Nick Angotti. “So we seek stories that are relevant, vital and personal; films current, honed and worthy of attention, as a foundation for significant dialogue for building bridges across Chicago’s diverse communities.”

The festival provides a special connection between filmmakers and the audience with panels and Q&As, and an all-free special education outreach, Student Voices for Peace, providing Chicago school students a perspective on world issues that reflect conditions currently challenging them in their community – and with an open dialogue so they can play their part in creating peace in their neighborhoods. WBEZ’s host of “Worldview,” Jerome McDonnell, will once again host Opening Night, which has a focus on restorative justice, prison reform and of the horror by dissidents in Iran.

Angotti remarks on the 10-year anniversary: “Our festival is based on respecting the dignity of all life, providing safe spaces where people stimulated by excellent films and filmmakers can discuss serious issues that concern us all. When we embrace our common humanity, we find comfort in taking action together, moving forward toward significant comprehensive change. The Festival’s films stimulate dialogue, essential for positive change, building a foundation for enduring peace.”

The Peace on Earth Film Festival will take you across the globe to catch a glimpse of some of the challenging issues our world is currently facing—and in many cases—addressing. Topics for this year’s festival include:

  • The untold story of genocidal actions by the Islamic Republic of Iran to eradicate the last of its political opposition.

While Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy has exacerbated 70 years of tensions in the region, clusters of Jews and Palestinians continue meaningful dialogue toward peaceful coexistence.

  • American Jews went to Israel with Rabbi Dov Taylor to question their own assumptions and witness life in occupied Palestine, and meet Palestinians who are Israeli citizens and meet Jewish and Palestinian activists.
  • The successful socioeconomic transformation of a war-torn community in Rivas City, Nicaragua, with the simple implementation of ‘the bicycle.’
  • An emotionally-charged visual is a tribute to fellow Latinos with a harrowing narrative of one family’s undocumented journey into the United States and their sudden and tragic separation.
  • What happened to Brazil’s environment 90 years after Henry Ford and the Ford Motor Company’s attempt to establish rubber plantations in the Amazon.
  • How global warming and melting ice has affected the life and traditions of Greenland’s Indigenous Kalaallit people – those closest to the North Star.
“THE BICYCLE CITY” — You’d be surprised how giving what you don’t need improves the lives of others. After his Peace Corps stint in Ecuador, where only his landlord had a bicycle, David Schweidenback had the bright idea to send used American bicycles to developing world towns as economic development aid. The Nicaraguan city of Rivas was the first city to begin receiving used bikes in 1991, and where, with local help, the program has proven a success, and we see how the bicycle has impacted this developing world town.

Encouraging stories of a reconciliation and positive change:

  • An inmate who pushed himself to become a college grad, author and TEDx speaker.
  • A look at the indigenous people, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, who struggle to protect the government’s interest in profit over humanity and the environment.
  • In the midst of U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord, Malaysian youth converge on Paris to take a stand for their region of the world.
  • Mothers whose children were murdered team up to help young people in their community break the chain of violence and revenge.
  • A father whose daughter was brutally killed shares his story and turns to activism to end violence toward women.


Tickets are $9 for individual screenings. Opening Night package is $22. Weekend packages are $85. Short film packages (three to four shorts) are $10. Tickets for the Student Filmmaker Showcase are $6. Discounts are available for seniors and students. The Peacemaker and Filmmakers Panels and awards ceremony (March 11 at 8:30 p.m.) are free and open to the public.

Tickets and passes are now on sale. See for full ticket pricing and to purchase tickets.

About the Peace on Earth Film Festival

Transcendence Global Media (TGM) NFP, the parent company of the Peace On Earth Film Festival (POEFF), was organized to develop and sustain the POEFF.

TGM’s mission is to foster change in public discourse by building alternatives to violence, while demonstrating progressive steps toward social justice and an eco-balanced world. The POEFF fulfills that mission by presenting films, discussion panels and outreach programming that highlight such efforts both locally and worldwide.

Established in 2008, POEFF is an annual event shining a light on filmmakers’ challenging perspectives regarding issues such as human rights, neighborhood violence, domestic violence, bullying, war, world politics, prison reform, environment, economics and more. The festival strives to put Chicago at the forefront of international efforts for peace and environmental recoveries while bringing together filmmakers, academics and social activists in discussion panels and educational components.





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