Annual film festival to bring interest in world environment

By Kate Chopelas

The planet is in focus for this year’s Green Lens Environmental Film Festival.

The mission of the festival — which is themed “Our Planet In Focus” this year — is to “provide Northern Illinois University with an opportunity to experience films with environmental themes that are relevant to both the local and global communities,” according to its website. This will be the fourth annual Film Festival, and the festival is still accepting late submissions until Nov. 20 and even later submissions extending to Dec. 20.

In previous years the festival has shown purchased environmental films, but to increase student participation the festival is now competitive.

“I think the Green Lens Environmental Film Festival is a great way to get students more aware and have a better, more conscious idea of what kind of environmental effects that we are having on the environment and current environmental issues that are going on right now,” said Kathryn Olson, senior environmental studies major. “It is a great way to get to know other people who have the same thought process as yourself regarding the environment.”

Justina Siuba, director’s assistant for the festival and graduate public health student, encourages students and the community to start getting involved now.

“We are starting to bring awareness to the Environmental Film Festival right now by doing upcycling craft parties where you can turn your trash into holiday treasures at Tapa La Luna. You can bring your items from home on Nov. 19, Dec. 3 and Dec. 10,” Siuba said.

Half of the event will be held in downtown DeKalb and the other half on campus. This year the festival will last four days, and students are encouraged to volunteer.

“The main goal is to spark interest in environmental issues, something as small as joining the Sierra Club, volunteering at prairies or [even] installing CFL light bulbs,” said festival coordinator Melissa Burlingame.

For more information on events, visit