NIU to hold annual Green Lens Festival

By Kelly Marshall

Environmentally friendly movies are coming to a campus near you.

NIU’s Institute for the Study of the Environment, Sustainability and Energy and the Division of Outreach, Engagement and Information Technologies are hosting the third annual Green Lens Environmental Film Festival this week.

“The goal at the festival is to educate others about being more environmental friendly, and how individuals can make a difference,” said Melissa Burlingame, festival director and financial contact.

The festival shows films with environmental themes that are relevant to global and local communities.

“We wanted to make it bigger and better and make the world more environmental friendly,” said Alexia Clay, publicist for the festival. “After watching the films we hope the viewers become more educated about being more environmental friendly.”

In the past, the ESE Institute purchased the rights to the films in order to view them. This year will be its first time doing a submission-based film festival. Organizers created an account at Withoutabox in which anyone from the U.S. can submit a video, said Justina Siuba, assistant to the director of ESE.

“We wanted to do something new this time and add a submission-based [system] and allowing more of [a] range and diversity and what types of films showing so it will allow students a choice to submit narratives, documentaries, things like that, so kind of a mix-up of things,” Siuba said.

There will be feature documentaries throughout the week in Montgomery Hall. On Monday night, “Everglades of the North” was shown. Today, a film called “My Village, My Lobster,” will be featured. “Turtle Derby” will be shown Wednesday. All of the feature films will have a Q&A after with the filmmakers, said festival registrar Gillian King-Cargile.

“Our theme of the festival was our Planet in Focus, so we were really looking for films that explored environmental issue and also show people how they can take action to effect the outcomes,” King-Cargile said. “We really liked these films because they really did break it down to actionable steps.”

The winners’ films will be shown Thursday, and there are different categories that each winner will be placed in. These categories include best narrative short, best documentary short, audience choice award and best student film. Each winner will receive $300, Burlingame said.